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:
- Get some great shots of Sarah (by herself) to use on her blog. Check!
- Get a couple of good family photos for Christmas cards. Check!
- Practice children’s photography (aka shooting children) on Dustyn. CHECK!
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.
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?
For more Before and After, go to:
Have a great night!