March 17, 2011
Shoot and Edit: Week 10 – Yellow…EDIT
Welcome to the tenth week of Shoot and Edit: Part 2. Click HERE for all the details and upcoming prompts/themes.  

This week’s theme or prompt was to show us one “YELLOW” 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 – linky will now be open THROUGH SUNDAY. 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 nine weeks (Week 1: Edit, Week 2: Edit, Week 3A, Week 3B, Week 4: Edit, Week 5: Edit, Week 6: Edit, Week 7: Edit,  Week 8: Edit and Week 9: Edit), I started this edit in Adobe Camera Raw and then ran my photo through my typical clean processing steps in Adobe CS5.

As I said last week, my hope is that at this point in our lessons, you have gotten really comfortable with clean processing in whatever editing program you use (Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Lightroom, Picnik, Picassa, etc). As your SOOC shots continue to improve, you’ll need to do less and less processing (unless you enjoy creative editing – I won’t remove that from you because I enjoy editing way too much). 

Considering that this week’s I Heart Faces theme was “Sun Flare,” I thought it’d be fun to try our hands at some creative processing by unwrapping one of my favorite actions – Sunkissed by Rita at the Coffeeshop Blog (by clicking on the link, you’ll also see the tutorial she wrote in February 2010 – my steps will closely follow her steps). You may find that your photo is not well suited to this type of processing…and I do not regularly use this type of processing, but for the sake of learning – let’s give it a try! 

Let’s start by creating three duplicates of your background image (Ctrl+J three times) – you’ll then want to label them: lens flare (bottom layer), lighten (middle layer) and contrast (top layer). I’m not always the best about labeling my layers but it can often help you remember what steps you applied to a particular layer. 

If you start with your top layer (contrast), change the blending mode to Soft Light and lower the opacity to 70% (Rita actually suggested to start with 50% but I decided I wanted more of a bump). On your lighten layer (middle), change the blending mode to Screen and lower the opacity to 50% – or in my case, I lowered it to 38% opacity.
Lens Flare
Now, on your bottom layer (lens flare), go to FILTER>RENDER>LENS FLARE. I tried each of the lens type options but ultimately decided to go with the 35mm prime lens at 100% brightness. Click Ok. You can then adjust the layer’s opacity – I lowered mine to 70% opacity. The image below illustrates what the lens flare at 100% will look like without any other adjustments.
IMG_3004 Lens Flare
At this point, I wanted to add a bit of haze. In order to do this, you’ll need to click on your LIGHTEN layer and then add a levels adjustment layer (it’ll create a new layer above your lighten layer).
Creating Haze
With this layer, I increased my midtones to 1.28 and then pulled my output level up by pulling the arrow to the right (see at the bottom of the screen shot where it says output levels: 40  255?). I did not apply a blending mode to this layer, but I did lower the opacity to 88%.
IMG_3004 Haze
To warm up the photo, you’ll want to apply a photo filter. Just click on your Contrast layer and add a Photo Filter adjustment layer. I used Rita’s recommendation and applied Warming Filter 81 (although it looks like I used 85 – just a screen shot I produced after the fact) at 25% density (Rita uses 50% density) and I checked “preserve luminosity.”
Photo Filter
I left this layer’s opacity at 100% and did not adjust the blending mode. At this point, I encourage you to play with those layers to suit your taste, or you can take it a step further as I did and add a couple of color-fill layers.
IMG_3004 Photo Filter
I wanted to reinforce the “yellow” theme this week and applied two color-fill layers. You can see my specific color choice below: #fcfbb5.
Color Picker
On the bottom of those two layers, change the opacity to Soft Light and lower the opacity to 6% (these color fills are meant to be very subtle). The top layer should be changed to a Screen blending mode and the opacity will also be 6%. Again, the differences between the previous version that included all of Rita’s steps vs. my final edit are subtle, but for this image, I wanted a softer look.
IMG_3004 Sun-Kissed RS
On any one of these layers, you can use layer masks to erase part of the effect from a face – I personally find it easier to just lower the opacity (at least for this specific type of processing). You’ll also want to be careful to use lens flare in situations that are appropriate…meaning, you don’t want to throw lens flare in on a shot that wouldn’t naturally be taken during sunny hours (aka, night shots or indoor shots not taken by a window).
So, to recap our lesson, today we discussed adding lens flare and haze to your images.  For your edit, I would love to see you continuing using the lessons we’ve covered in the past nine weeks as well as apply today’s lesson.

With that said, here’s a final look at my SOOC and Final shot. I hope you found today’s lesson useful. If you have any questions or need more explanation, don’t hesitate to contact me.
IMG_3004 Compare
I hope you all have a great Thursday and I look forward to seeing your edits!


    Wonderful edit. It made a huge difference.

    it makes the photo come alive

    The edited photo looks a lot different. Really cool!

    great tutorial again…
    i have not used the sunflare filter yet – tried it a few times but always thought it looked too fake on my shots. i like how you did yours!

    Ashley – Thank you so much for a GREAT tutorial! Love how your photo turned out!!

    I LOVE it, I love that action, and you rocked it!

    Love, love, love!

    I like the warm sun kissed look;0 And I must say your original was really nicely exposed! Good color and not washed out! nice!

    I’ve noticed Jill is transitioning away from her blog to her photography website. The button shows the new url on your post, but when I add the code to my post, it shows up as the old FNA blog. Am I using the wrong code?

    Love the sun kissed edit! Great shot to begin with!

    Really love your edit Ashley, it took it from almost industrial to more country (That’s not the right word but you know what I mean). Who knows you may have written that but I have four people talking to me at once. :-)

    This is a gorgeous sun kissed look!

    Beautiful edit! Thanks for the tutorial, I now know how to do it without using an action :)

    nicely done I have always wanted to know how to get this effect, I will try it some time.

    that’s an awesome edit! What a great photo!!

    Oh wow – I wondered how you’d improve on this because I loved the SOOC, but this edit is amazing.

    Beautiful tones and vintage look you gave it! Looks like you all had a great time.

    I’m so curious, though… why did you place the flare camera right when the shadows show that the sun is camera left?

    Gosh, I love your edits! Now that I have a fancy camera and CS4, I really ought to start paying REAL CLOSE attention to what you’re doing and learn photo editing. I know how to use CS4 for a lot of other different things and I’m pretty good at it now, but now I just gotta apply it to photography!

    HUGE difference in this photo!! Gonna have to play with the sun kissed look some. I have a few photos that I think would look good with it, but I’ve never been able to get it right. Thanks!

    It looks so much nicer! :D Great edit.

    Nice edit. I like the new vintage quality, and how the sky now has a slightly pink hue.

    Love seeing your different stages. :)

    Great job editing Ashley! I hope to one day have the time to play around with my photos like this. I’m so rushed when I finally get a minute or two to post-process I usually slap on an action or two, adjust the opacity and go with it. Wonderful tutorial. :-)

    Happy St. Patty’s Day!

    LOVE the sunkissed edit. Love the softer tones but yet the subjects still really stand out!!! Perfecto as always! xoxo

    I really like the “sunny” effect. I’ve been playing around with that a lot. I just love the warmth the yellow tones give. Beautiful before AND after :)

    Love it Ashley!! I’m going to try to link up with you on this super cool hop on Monday & Thursday next week. See you then- and all the days in between too :)

    Awesome edit! I love the Sunkissed action but it always looked to bright and hazy for me. I’m definitely going to have to try out the tutorial and see if I can’t get it to work for me.

    I love this edit. Good job.

    Marla @

    So clever. Thank you for teaching. xxx

    wow. your edit is great. it totally change the picture… I like it much better than the oryginal!

    Nice edits! You completely changed the look of the photo!

    I love Sun Kissed!

    I loved this composition from the start – sunkissed is perfect for it.

    The sunkissed look is a favourite of mine – I’ve done it a few times and I suppose the last photo on my blog post today could have done with a sunkissed look as I was nearly blinded by the sun LOL…. you’ll see when you click on my edit!

    Your edits are wonderful! Thank you so much for the tutorial. I played around with it but didn’t post the final sun-kissed photo. I am glad you broke it down though. It is nice to know what actually happens when I run an action. :)

    Great edit and I love the soft effect. I submitted to shoot and edit shots. My original “yellow” wasn’t the right photo for sun flare and I couldn’t resist playing with your tutorial. Thanks Ashley.

    I couldn’t wait to get home to see this on my computer. I read it a couple times on my phone today! :-) Wow, I have so much to learn. Never occured to me to change the blending mode on a contrast layer. Also… I always forget to add color fill layers. AND…I’ve never added haze that way – so cool! I do a white fill layer (even and reduce the opacity to like 3%). I’m off to PS to pull up a pic, try it both ways, and compare. AWESOME tips – thank you!

    Great idea to walk through the “how-to” instead of just running the action.


    Wow this is a killer tutorial! I keep saving them on my computer and feel so far behind but I’m so happy I have them to refer back to!

    looks great I like a lens flare effect too!

    What a pretty edit!

    Great tutorial! I’ve never tried adding a lens flare effect before. Really like it’s effects on your photo. And had fun trying it out on mine too. :)

    Thank you so much for this week’s tutorial. I loved your edit and was so excited that you shared the lens flare action with us. I had fun playing with it this week on my yellow pics too!