February 03, 2011
Shoot and Edit: Week 4, Part 2 – RED….Edit
Welcome to Week 4, Part 2 of our Shoot and Edit.

Click HERE for all the details and upcoming prompts/themes. You can also click on the button below for tips on becoming a “Word Verification Free” blog.
Just Say No - Word Verification  
This week’s theme or prompt was to show us one RED SOOC  shot (this was just a suggestion, you can show us any SOOC shot). Hopefully you linked up with Jill’s blog earlier this week.

Each Thursday, I will take my SOOC shot and provide some basic editing tips (I will try to keep it basic and work my way up). You can then try these tips on your own photos and link up here. If you’d prefer,  can simply share your own edit and show us what you did to achieve the look. We want this challenge to be a learning experience, so feel free to teach us something new too! Also, it does not matter what editing program you use. Although I tend to work within Adobe CS5 (Photoshop), Photoshop Elements and Adobe Camera Raw…it does not mean that you have to use the exact same program. I hope you’ll be able to take the concepts and apply them in the program you feel most comfortable using.

Once again, here is my SOOC shot:
Building on what we’ve learned in the past three weeks (Week 1: Edit, Week 2: Edit, Week 3A and Week 3B), I started this edit in Adobe Camera Raw. Regardless of what editing program you’re working in, you should have some of the basic functionality that Adobe Camera Raw offers. Don’t forget to use your eye dropper to create a custom white balance – in this case, I used the white lettering on the stop sign. Below, I’ve copied my SOOC data and the revisions I made in Adobe Camera Raw. Here’s what I did:
STOP ACR Adjustments
What I love about the ACR adjustment is that it really brings out the blue sky. For those of you that prefer to shoot and post, I hope you’ll now consider using a program like Adobe Camera Raw to make basic adjustments. 

Once again (I shared this last week)…for those of you that shoot in JPG format, but would like to use Adobe Camera Raw if you only knew how to use it (and of course, this applies to Photoshop Elements and Photoshop users). Open your program and go to OPEN AS. A pop up menu will come up. Select your image and use the drop down menu to select AS CAMERA RAW. Select open and wallah! 
This week, I did edit my photo in Adobe Photoshop CS5, but I limited my edits to activities that could also be performed in Photoshop Elements. In particular, I was interested in exploring my hue/saturation, brightness/contrast and gradient edit adjustments layers.
Adjustment Layers
After going through ACR and pulling my photo into CS5, I created two background copies. On the first copy, I applied the Reduce Noise filter that we discussed last week. On the second background copy, I applied the high pass filter with a soft light blending mode. 

From there, I wanted to adjust my hue/saturation. Take a look at the embedded video – it actually does a decent job of explaining all of the functionality within your hue/saturation adjustment layer. For my purposes, I was most interested in enhancing the red of the stop sign. Rather than adjusting the master level, I did as the video suggested and adjusted each one of my individual colors (red, yellow, green, cyan, blue and magenta). I tend to only adjust the saturation for a natural look, and although I did increase the saturation fairly significant for red…small adjustments can make a huge impact.
Interestingly enough, I duplicated my hue/saturation layer and applied a screen blending mode to brighten up the red. I used a layer mask to focus the effect solely on the stop sign.  I lowered that layer’s opacity to 60%. Try experimenting with your layers by applying a blending mode – if you don’t like it, change it back to normal. 

I also experimented with using a gradient map. I’ll be honest – this was pure experimentation…but most of my learning is done through trial and error. I tried finding a good video that would explain the effect, but I just wasn’t satisfied with anything I found. On that layer, I applied a soft light blending mode. If you’re feeling brave or you’re just a little curious – feel free to play with the gradient map tool.

Beyond that, I also adjusted my brightness/contrast. Again, I was focused on the stop sign, so I made a very subtle adjustment (-1 brightness, +2 contrast) and used a layer mask to paint off most of the effect from the rest of the image. I made a duplicate of that layer and applied a screen blending mode at 80% opacity and continued to paint off the effect so it wasn’t too bright.

With that said, I hope you’ll continue to experiment with your adjustments layers and blending modes. I look forward to seeing what you’ll come up with. Remember to make SUBTLE adjustments and use layer masks  to remove the adjustment/effects from part of the image.
STOP Basic Edit
Once I was done with a basic edit, I decided to experiment with textures. A few weeks ago, I announced that I was asked to join the Mortal Muses. Since joining this talented group of female photographers, I have been inspired by hundreds…thousands of gorgeous images in the Mortal Muse Flickr Group: Everyday Beauty (not to forget Life in B&W). 
A couple of weeks ago, I was asked to write a tutorial on applying textures. If you have not read that post, click HERE. Since the current Mortal Muses’ theme is APPLIED TEXTURE, I thought it would be appropriate to apply texture to this photograph. I used Timeworn Soft by Paint the Moon (1st layer: Multiply at 40%, 2nd layer: Soft Light at 25%) and Mask 2 by Shadowhouse Creations

I love the final effect and think it’d be cool to see your textured edits as well…that is if you feel inspired. In the meantime, here is my SOOC shot along with my three edits. Which do you prefer? 
STOP Compare
By the way, if you’re interested in really understanding color accuracy, try this link from SmugMug (thank you Barb Phillips for sharing this link with me). What questions do you have?

Good to Wow

I’m also linking up with You Capture today since the theme is also RED!