February 17, 2011
Shoot and Edit: Week 6 – Love/Romance…Edit
Welcome to Week 6, 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 “love/romance” 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. 

***Before I get to today’s edit, I wanted to give you an update on the “jury duty” situation. I reported to duty yesterday morning at 8:30 am, just as my summon requested. I sat in the jury waiting room all day waiting to be called…not one person in my group was called for selection, so we thought we were no longer needed. At 4:40 pm, our clerk came into the room with unfortunate news. We would need to report again today per the judge’s request. So…I am back in jury duty today. If I am selected, I could potentially be “away from my desk” for several days (they say that typically jurors are in service for about a week). 

I have scheduled most of my posts for the next few days, but my ability to blog hop and email is severely limited. In the evenings (until things get back to normal), I am committed to making return visits and returning emails to those who connect their email account. In order to do this, please be sure that you’ve enabled access to your email and blog so that I can  easily find you. In addition, enable comments on your blog so that I can leave a comment (recently I’ve found a few bloggers who have disabled their comments and I really want to be able to comment). 

In the meantime, I am tweeting. Click HERE to follow me on Twitter. Anyways…here is my SOOC shot:
Valentine Flowers SOOC RS
I should point out that in my SOOC shot, I might have slightly overexposed my image on purpose. Several of you have mentioned that what sometimes appears to be proper exposure in camera can create a lot of noise when you move into post-processing (as you increase your midtones). I found this was especially the case when I shot with my Canon Rebel XSi (not as much on the 7D). But, if you’re in this position…meter for proper exposure and then move your exposure to the right just a bit (if you’re a Canon user…or to the left if you’re using a Nikon) to slightly overexpose your shot. You can typically pull back that data in post-processing and it won’t create the same type of noise that is created in an under-exposed shot. Does that make sense?

Anyways, building on what we’ve learned in the past five weeks (Week 1: Edit, Week 2: Edit, Week 3A, Week 3B, Week 4 and Week 5), 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 one of the white flowers. Below, I’ve copied my SOOC data and the revisions I made in Adobe Camera Raw. Here’s what I did:
Valentine Flowers ACR Adjustments
Once again (and I don’t know if I still need to say this or not)…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 voila! If you are starting to experiment with RAW, you may need to go to Adobe’s website and download your camera’s drivers.
As I’ve done in previous weeks, 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 curves (especially since I mentioned it last week). 

I believe that Photoshop Elements 9 now has curves capabilities, however, if you are using  previous versions of Photoshop Elements (I have version 7), then you can still adjust your curves by downloading a Curves Action. I fully recommend Grant’s Tools – DOWNLOAD HERE (if you need instructions for downloading and installing actions, click HERE…I also found a video for installing the actions HERE).
If you’re interested in the Photoshop Elements version of Curves Adjustments, click HERE (10 minutes long).
Curves Adjustment
Following the video tutorial, I used the icon that looks like a finger pointer to select various points in my image (thus the reason there are so many points on my curve) – I made very subtle adjustments. Those subtle adjustments plus my favorite step (high pass filter with a soft light blending mode – only on the flowers using a layer mask) created a huge impact.
IMG_1993 Curves RS
Since last week’s tutorial, I’ve been curious about using a grid to edit according to the rule of thirds. If you didn’t have a chance to watch the tutorial, I’ve included it again. As it turns out, my photograph did adhere to the rule of thirds (based on the pink daisy in front)…so, I didn’t bother cropping.
Beyond the high pass filter and curves adjustment, I went through a pretty clean edit – I’ve gone through these steps enough that I don’t need to re-write them (many of my steps were used in last week’s edit – HERE). Don’t feel as though you must use every step that I use. Consider your image and determine the most appropriate steps. If you’re not sure, you can always ask me. 

I also decided to apply Totally Rad’s Lux Soft action at 55% opacity. This step is completely optional for your steps. However, I have noticed that many of you are already using actions in your edits. I am a huge fan of actions…they can make life so much easier, however, most actions are built with very strong intensity. I strongly encourage you to lower your opacities when using actions.
Valentine Flowers FINAL RS
To recap, today we discussed the the curves adjustment layer and reviewed the rule of thirds grid lines. For your edit, I would love to see you continuing using the lessons we’ve covered in the past five weeks as well as apply today’s lesson. With that said, here is a side-by-side comparison. I hope you found today’s lesson useful. If you have any questions or need more explanation, don’t hesitate to contact me.
Valentine Flowers Compare
I hope you all have a great Thursday and I look forward to seeing your edits!

Good to Wow