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Touch-Up Tuesday - Ramblings and Photos

August 11, 2010
Touch-Up Tuesday
Jessica at the Caterpillar Family Blog contacted me last week with an editing challenge. She loves this photo of her son but thinks the background is a little distracting and thought I might be able to help. She was so patient with me as I got through a busy week, but I did want to share the before and after for Touch-Up Tuesday.
DSCF2137 Before and After
I will be guest-blogging on a couple of blogs within the next couple of weeks and plan to go through a typical workflow, but for those of you that are new to my blog, I always start my photos (RAW or JPG) in Adobe Camera Raw. This photo was no different. 

I made an adjustment to white balance and gently adjusted the exposure before bringing the photo into Photoshop Elements 7. I ran the image through Amy McMaster’s Squeaky Clean and merged my layers.
From there, I created a duplicate layer and used the spot healing brush to clean up his shirt. I also decided to try out Morgan Kevin’s new action: Eye Love. Love it although I had to adjust the layer masks (meaning that I filled them black and then painted on the effect using a soft white brush). Again, I merged those layers. 

I initially was going to completely replace the background. To be honest, I felt like it was a little sloppy looking so I decided to apply texture instead. I actually test drove a couple of Love That Shot textures that I received after submitting some photos to a photographer search. Here is what those layers looked like (texture, blending mode and opacity):
  • Duplicate layer, filter, blur, radial blur, zoom at 25 (I think) – before adding texture, this really helped make the background disappear without really disappearing. 
  • Tuscany-owc-lts, Soft Light blending mode at 100% opacity
  • Rome-owc-lts, Overlay blending mode at 70% opacity
  • Pulled down the overall saturation -45 and then used a layer mask to paint saturation back on his body
  • Poster 3 from Shadowhouse Creations, Multiply blending mode at 60% opacity
I always use layer masks to paint texture off of people. Also, if you’re looking for more texture and action resources, click on my Inspiration tab…tons of information there.   

Finally, I applied Paint the Moon’s Sugar Cookies action for a little bit of style before I resized and sharpened for the web.  Confused? Yeah…me too, or rather I’m just sleepy. Feel free to comment or contact me with any questions or just stay tuned for my guest post over at Skinned Knees next Wednesday. Actually, if you have any questions that I can better answer next week, please send them on. 

Alright, time for bed. More tomorrow. Until then, go see my friend Karli at:
Good Night and Good Morning.

    Very informative post and the after is exactly what she wanted! He is a cutie too:-)

    So heeeeeere you are, squeaking in at the last second! ;-) I’m really liking your motion blur edits – and how perfect for a cute lil’ guy like this one. Thanks for the links in this post…will definitely check them out, and your Inspiration Page is, well, inspiring. It really is…I’ve gotten a lot of awesome actions and textures from the links you provided. Great job and I’m so glad you played!! :-) I really appreciate your contributions to TUT (wow, that sounded formal)…everyone loves you, and I’m so glad to have you link up. ♥

    Wow…great job :)

    What a difference! Now the cute kiddo is the front and center without any distractions in the background.

    I think I was lost after the first paragraph……LOL! :)

    The edit makes him look like he’s running down the hall… which I’m sure is very realistic. ;)

    Great job!

    love your editing and your detailed explanation. the after shot looks great!

    That looks great! Now he is the main focus! :) Thanks for following my blog – I’m following yours also!

    The picture looks fabulous! I don’t think I could ever do all that!
    I got lost on step two! lol
    One day!!!

    Love what you did to tone down and almost rid the picture of the background. I love the texture choice… You’re Super Photographer and Super Processor!!! LOVE IT AS ALWAYS!

    What a great edit. You minimized the background distraction and really made his eyes pop. I love this edit! Great job.

    You did a great job !!

    BTW I’m your newest follower after seeing your editing on Jessi’s blog

    Hi Ashley,

    Thank you for the sweet comment today. It does become a struggle for me to keep going sometimes. I guess after having a 4th blog I’m just plain worn out.

    I love the edited photo of the little boy. It looks like something that was created in a portrait studio And I mean that in a good way. Not the bad (Olan Mills kind of cheesy way)

    Of course, your photos are always amazing.

    Me’s a little sweetie! I do like your improvements. :)

    He’s, not Me’s, lol!

    Very cool! He’s such a cute little boy.

    You really did an amazing job of taking out what was distracting in the background and bringing the subject into the forefront. Nice work!

    BEAUTIFUL edit! Of course now I have a couple questions…

    1) can you give a tutorial or direct us to a tutorial on how to delete backgrounds on PSE?

    2)how exactly do you paint texture off of people using elements? I usually just use the eraser tool, but it looks terrible :(

    Thank you!!!

    Whoaaaa, just saw this one now & yes….super confused! I’m nowhere near being so tricky / creative with textures, etc. But how wonderful did you make that photo??!!!! Amazing!!!!!