This Fix it Friday comes courtesy of Debbie Smith

BEFORE picture

This photo’s main issue is underexposure. Curse you, Underexposure!

However, in some instances, we can conquer this Horrid Monster.

AFTER, basic edits

I opened up my levels first and pulled up the highlights tab and midtones and then pulled down the shadows just a touch for contrast. Then I opened up my curves to give it another little punch. I pulled up the midtones a touch, and then pulled down the shadows just slightly. This was an alright fix just right there!

Thank you, Photoshop, we heart you.

But I wanted to give it a little more pop, so I ran PW’s Boost action on it for a little more kick in the pants.

Then I started in clearing her complexion with my healing tool (band aid tool in Photoshop). I wanted to clear up as much as I could before I started any other work. After that, I opened my dodge tool and lightened up her undereye shadows. (A hazard sometimes when you shoot with your subject lower than the camera.) With the same dodge tool, I started work on the red places on her face to help get it as clear as I could.

Please note: I don’t normally clear teenage skin PERFECTLY. I want to emphasize that. If you take a picture of someone with extreme acne and you clear it up completely, that is not a true representation of the person. You can soften it, clear the majority of the issues, but try to keep the client looking like themselves. This is debatable, however, it’s my opinion. For THIS demonstration though, I’m trying to clear it as much as possible. In mild cases of acne, such as this one, I’d clear it up as much as I could while still keeping the integrity of the client.

Was that harsh? I didn’t mean to be harsh. Smile.

While I as at it, I took out the stray hair from across her forehead. Stray hairs bug me. I have a daughter and it just drives me batty to have stray hairs across her face. So I take them out.

Then, I smoothed her skin. I used an opacity of 60% to go all over the face, minus the eyes and mouth, and then I reduce the opacity of that layer again by 30% to keep some texture of her face. As much as we’d like to have smooth skin like a Barbie, sadly, it’s just not possible without costly plastic surgery. So, let’s keep some texture there and reduce that opacity, shall we? Also, another little hint: when I smooth skin, I zoom in pretty close to do it right, however, when I’m done, I ALWAYS zoom all the way out to see the relation of the smooth skin to the rest of the photo. It’s kind of like a little insurance policy to ensure you haven’t overdone it.

Then I cropped to a vertical 5×7, ensuring I didn’t cut off her hands, and kept a little of the beautiful weathered door behind her, and then I saved my image as a copy.

Fun, old west edit

For the fun edits: after I had my basic edit done, I ran PW’s Old West action on it, reduced that to 70% and added a nice weathered texture (Raw Sugar from Florabella collection) to it to age the photo artificially. As a final touch, I added Florabella’s Grunge Edges.

fun edit, black and white

And finally, because you have to have a great black and white….I used A Whole Lot of Soul black and white action. Hint: when you run this action (or many others) make sure you correct the photo (yes, even the color) before you run the action. The actions will look better with the photo.