October 21, 2010
Before and After: Dustyn!
For those of you with children, you know how much “fun” it can be to get a two year old to stop and smile at you. The reality is that you get comfortable and play like a two year old to get that perfect shot. Alright…so, take all of that with a grain of salt – I’m certainly not a professional, but my limited experience tells me that children are more likely to act natural and show their personality if you’re playing with them. Well, I did just that on Tuesday evening. 

As I mentioned the other day, I met up with Sarah and her family for a mini-portrait session. I had three goals: 
  1. Get some great shots of Sarah (by herself) to use on her blog. Check!
  2. Get a couple of good family photos for Christmas cards. Check!
  3. Practice children’s photography (aka shooting children) on Dustyn. CHECK!
IMG_7560 SOOC
So the above is clearly my SOOC (straight out of the camera) shot. Nothing too wrong with the exposure (I almost always have to do some processing for a clean finish), but Sarah was in the photo. If he wasn’t looking so stinking cute, I might have just left it alone…but look at that smile…those eyes…it was begging for a “before and after.” Below you can see the SOOC and after side-by-side.
Dustyn Before and After RS
I’ve been mixing up my processing just a little bit, and I’m really liking my my latest recipe (makes me that much more excited about upgrading to CS5 so I can make my own actions). Anyways, I removed Sarah’s leg by using the quick select tool to select her leg. I clicked ctrl J to move her leg into it’s own layer. I then made a copy of the background layer (bottom layer) and moved it above the leg layer. I clicked ctrl G to group them. On the top layer, I clicked ctrl T (transform) and pulled the right side to the left side so I could mirror the image and then moved it back into place (to fit in line with the rest of the photo). I clicked ctrl, shift, E to merge the layers and then created a new layer to heal the line from the merge. If I just lost you, I completely apologize…it’s not really that complicated, but takes a bit of patience and experimenting to get it right.

I then used Coffeeshop’s Baby Powder Room in low opacities to even out his skin tone, lighten the shadows and remove the bug bites from his legs. I used Morgan Kervin’s Eye Love Sparkle on his eyes (again, low opacity). He has such beautiful baby blues that I wanted them to stand out.

I used Pioneer Woman’s Fresh Color action to brighten up my background. I lowered the soft light layer to 40% and removed a bit of it from his face. On top of that, I used Everyday Actions Florida action, using sunlight and creamy glow (in addition to their default settings – removing some of the layers from his face). And finally, I applied a median layer (noise reducer in photoshop elements – applied manually). I’m really pleased with the final outcome. What do you think?
IMG_7560 RS
For more Before and After, go to:
Have a great night!
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