Before & After
I am so behind on my Before & After editing challenges, but I’ve been doing more of my own work lately so I felt it was important to develop that side of my skill set (that and my day job has been keeping me busy)…I hope you understand.

Before & Afters were a major part of the early days of this blog (you know, 8-9 months ago) so I’m always happy to accept new editing challenges. If you have a challenge for me, just shoot me an email (click the Contact Me page) – seriously. Anyways, Denise sent me an email request a couple of weeks ago to add texture to the photo below.
DSC_0024 Before & After
I always start my edits in Adobe Camera Raw to adjust exposure, brightness and contrast before bringing it over to Photoshop Elements 7. Once I brought it over to PSE7, I decided that I didn’t like the original composition. 

I first needed to straighten the photo using the straighten tool. Then I used the crop tool to re-crop the photo. You can actually use the original dimensions of the photo and then slide it over to place the subject within the rule of 3rds. Of course, you’ll need to stretch the canvas (use the marquee tool to select the space on the left, click ctrl T and pull the left side to fill the new space). 
From that point, I ran Amy McMaster’s Squeaky Clean action to create a clean finish. On top of that, I made a slight curves and levels adjustment. I also lightly cleaned up his face using a combination of the healing tool and my paint brush at 20% opacity. Next, I started to apply texture. I only wanted to apply texture to the wall, so I used the marquee tool to select just the background and clicked ctrl J to move the wall into it’s own layer. I applied the following textures on top of the wall layer (I clicked ctrl G to group the texture layers together). 
  • Heavens Blush, Normal at 100% opacity
  • I used the eye dropper to select the turquoise from his seat (sorry, I’m not a mom so I don’t know what these are called) and filled a blank layer. I lowered the opacity to 70%.
  • Paint the Moon’s Timeworn, Soft Light at 50% opacity. 
Notice that I only used a couple of textures – I’m trying not to overdo it too much these days. I believe I merged those layers (ctrl, shift, E), created a new layer and lowered the saturation on the seat (it was just too bright). I then applied Sugar Cookies and adjusted the layers just a tad bit before resizing and sharpening.

Was all of that foreign? Let me know if you have questions…I’ll be happy to explain a little more. Also, if you like before and afters, check out the following websites (I contribute to both of these blog hops as much as I am able): 


Have a great weekend!

    what a cutie! I always love your edits!

    Huge difference! Nice job!

    What a wonderful before and after. I like that it doesn’t look like you “changed” the photo, it just looks like you “improved” it, even thought the improvement is magnificent! And, correlating the wall and seat colors brings the focus to the baby. Beautiful!

    I need spell check :-) That’s supposed to be though not thought.

    Look at that hair! What a fun picture! I like the way you changed the background color.

    That’s a really great edit! I love the texture and the colors!

    Wow! I am truly amazed. I can’t stop scrolling up and down to see the differences. Thanks for the tutorial. I will try out a few of your techniques – I know just the photo.

    I’m putting a big ol’ fat star next to this post. Thanks!

    I love your edit!

    OK, I said I wasn’t going to scour thru your blog until tomorrow when I had more time, but I couldn’t resist. I got sucked in by your scavenger hunt – completely amazing. And now I can’t decide if I’ve been inspired or if I’m totally bummed by my (lack of) skills. My point…I TOTALLY missed this touch-up Tuesday post! I’m so sorry I didn’t respond to it. I’m not sure how I missed it from last week??? I’m so sorry! It’s fantastic, and I LOVE the texture and color of the wall! Just fantastic!!