My friend Maren asked me to do this a long time ago. I’ve planned to do it, its just been on the back burner because I knew it’d take some time to go back and find untouched files. I’ll do a 2 part/2post for this because I have a few things to show.
First, what I do to all of my images is give a slight vignetter around the edges. You can see it the most at the corners, but it darkens the edges of the entire image, which gives a bit of a soft frame so the focus goes to the subject. Often with babies, there is a slight reddish ness that I’ll lighten that red. Since I shoot in RAW, I’ll then convert this image into a JPG and add a Color Pop Action (recipe with steps made to make my flow faster) which brightens the “fog” that comes out of digital images. I’ll then work on skin tones. I apply to most of my images a Portraiture filter. I don’t always do this, but often. It can tend to look plastic, but I do it on 3 or 5% depending on the subject. This smoothes the skin and shadows around the face. I’ll show you later on an image of myself, there is a bigger difference on an adult.
I’ll then add my favorite black and white conversion action which is called Shot of Espresso, made by a girl on my photography forum.
The thing is, most photographers have their own “formulas” or recipes that they do in photoshop. Some like a certain look, while others don’t like that look. I’ve got hundreds of them and try out different things and am always looking for new ones to change it up. 2 different places to look for actions are Phaunt Actions and Indie Actions Both are pretty reasonable in price and I have both of them. Some action sets take more “tweaking” than others, and thats another lesson all in itself that I’m still learning. Totally Rad Actions and Jinky Actions are cool, but more pricey. Just don’t be fooled that you push a button and get what they show you…its a big more complicated than even I originally thought. You can also type in “free actions” in google and see what comes up. You just have to have Photoshop 7 or higher in order to use them. There are some plug-ins that work for Elements though, try this one.
This is after I add my “color pop” to the image to help the image to come alive (below)
Then I went in and lightened her eyes a bit and swipe my clone tool (at 13%) under her eyes to lessen the harshness of the shadows under her eyes.
A closer look
P.S. I don’t know why you can’t click on them to look closer…I wish you could.
I’ll just have you all know that this took me 2 and a half hours to put together, so give me some blog love if you actually read all of this;)!!
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