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Oh this beautiful photo…….I’m trying really hard NOT to totally hate Rachel and her beautiful self.  ;)  Gosh, I wish I looked a FRACTION of her goodness!  So, with a begrudging heart, I went about “fixing” this photo.  (Darn beautiful girls! :D  )

Original:

The only problem that I see in this photo is it lacks PIZAZZ!   There’s no OOMPH!  Nothing that makes you stop and look twice at it (other than the pretty people in it…..I promise, I’m not bitter or anything  ;)  ).

So, for my edits, I wanted to add some kind of drama!  Something that makes the couple POP out!   In some of them, I think I accomplished that.  Anyway, that was my GOAL.

EDIT #1

For my SIMPLE edit, I ran AUTO color, contrast and tone just to see how it would turn out.  Because of all the green in the photo, photoshop overcompensated by adding more magenta to the photo.  To fix this, I opened my COLOR BALANCE and adjusted the colors.  I added a touch more blue, yellow, and green to the photo.  Then I used LEVELS and adjusted the midtones and shadows to make the photo POP.  Then, on a whim, I used my BURN TOOL with an opacity of 13% to burn some of the foliage and bring them OUT of the highlights.  It just brought back some of the details of the photo.  I used USM set at 80/2/0 to sharpen the photo.  I cropped with the couple off-center.

EDIT #2

Because I did my basic edit, I wanted to play a little with my bag of tricks.  I do believe it is IMPORTANT to know the BASICS (at the very least) of editing before you start playing with actions.  If you do not know how to duplicate an action yourself (using only photoshop and NOT the use of any actions to come up with roughly the same effect) then I do not believe you are ready to play with actions.  Actions are a time saver and totally FUN, but if you do not know how to work Photoshop on your own, learn FIRST before you play.  Fix it Friday is a GREAT opportunity to learn and practice!

::::::::::::::::::::putting my soapbox quietly away::::::::::::::::::::::::::  (Sorry for my bluntness……)

For this edit, I used Florabella’s Vintage Spring I action “Rain”.  Then I ran her sharpen/defog action (because it was quick to do it right there while I had my actions open).  I cropped with more room on the right this time just for a different option, but then after comparing the 2, I really think THIS is my favorite crop!  His glance backward makes you unconsciously scan the rest of the photo to follow his gaze.  I like this crop.  I am pleased with it.  Then, on a whim, I ran “sun/lens flare right” from the same action set and I was pleased with the result.

EDIT #3

I am simply CRAZY about a great black and white and I LOVED the contrast on this one!  I used Route 66′s Photo flavor action called “Simple B&W” and then used their sharpening action “Steak knife” (with a reduced opacity).   Then added the text “LOVE” because I’m all sappy.

EDIT #4 (last one, and one I’m really excited about!)

I’ve been studying some Photoshop tutorials and trying to learn some new tricks when I came across a tutorial for adding a BLUE sky back to your photograph!   Here, let me teach you something for a second:

If you expose for the SKY, the people will be underexposed, and in some cases, complete shadows or a silhouette.

If you expose for the PEOPLE (or any other subject), then the sky will be completely overexposed and blown out.

However, if you use OFF CAMERA LIGHTING, like a Strobe of some kind, then you can properly expose for the sky, and your subjects will be properly exposed because of the off-camera light.

There you go, your little lesson on exposure today.  BUT, there is a way to add back a nice, blue sky using PHOTOSHOP!  (And please keep in mind, this is my FIRST attempt at it, so if it looks wonky, I plead for your forgiveness.  This is why I don’t do tutorials.  ;)  You’re welcome.)   I opened the photo (one of the previous edits I believe with a different crop to include more of the sky), made a new layer, and then, using a photo I found (free for public use, I checked first) on Flickr of a beautiful blue sky, I copied the photo of the blue sky and layered it onto my photo!  I reduced the opacity of the layer, then used my eraser tool set at 50% opacity to erase what I wanted in the photo to shine through the sky.   Then I used the opacity slider for my sky to try to find an opacity that looked somewhat real.  And VIOLA!  Beautiful blue sky in a wonderfully exposed photograph!

:D  I’m all proud.

Be KIND, and always keep LEARNING!

Dana-My photographic journey began in July in 2007 where I assumed I would purchase the expensive camera, and all my photos would be breathtaking, and I’d make a kajillion dollars. People would throw their wallets at me….I’d be famous and stuff….

I learned very quickly the error in my thinking.

It meant late late nights studying all I could and practice practice PRACTICE! Because I am later in life discovering this God-given talent, I am now a wife of 18+ years, mother of 3 (15, 12, and 4), and a full-time+ job-holder who could not go to school to learn photography.  So, I am mainly self-taught with a photography group online that has been amazing to me!

I’m not the best. I’m not the worst. I am learning, and I think it’s pretty acceptable to camp out there for awhile….maybe the rest of my life. For when I have reached perfection, what more is there to do?

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