March 03, 2011
Shoot and Edit: Week 8, Part 2 – Self Portrait…Edit
Welcome to Week 8, Part 2 of our Shoot and Edit.

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This week’s theme or prompt was to show us one “self-portrait or couple” 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:
In Car Selfie SOOC RS
Building on what we’ve learned in the past seven weeks (Week 1: Edit, Week 2: Edit, Week 3A, Week 3B, Week 4 Edit, Week 5 Edit, Week 6 Edit and Week 7 Edit) – in particular…last week’s edit, I started this edit in Adobe Camera Raw. Don’t forget to use your eye dropper to create a custom white balance – in this case, I used the white of my eyes. Below, I’ve copied my SOOC data and the revisions I made in Adobe Camera Raw. Here’s what I did:
In the Car ACR Adjustments
And of course, here’s the ACR adjustments in photo:
In Car Selfie ACR RS
ACR Adjustments
If you read my post on Saturday, I mentioned that even when I think I look good (and this was taken early in the morning…fresh makeup!) that the camera is really good about capturing all of our imperfections.
In Car Selfie Clean RS
Clean Edit using MCP Mini Fusion Action
Just as we did last week, I made a slight curves adjustment and then used MCP Mini Fusion Action Set for clean processing. After a few tweaks, I was ready to move to the next step:
  1. Decreased clarify layer to 10% opacity.
  2. Decreased contrast layer to 5% opacity
  3. Decreased deeper layer to 5% opacity.
  4. Decreased the more contrast layer to 25% opacity.
  5. Increased brighten layer to 20% opacity.
At this point, it becomes pretty obvious that we need to do a little bit of retouching. As we did last week, I used Baby PowderRoom by The Coffeeshop Blog (you may  have another retouching action you like even better…but this was fairly easy).
In Car Selfie Powder Room RS
Powder Room
Anytime you are retouching faces (baby or adult), really try to make NATURAL adjustments (and I hope that I’ve provided a good example). It can be really easy to overdo your adjustments, so be aware of your brush’s opacity as well as your layer’s opacity. 

I actually overdid it in an earlier version of the photo above. Fortunately, I saved a PSD version of the file at this step and was able to go in and adjust the appropriate layer. Here’s a couple of tricks you may or may not be aware of (in addition to the ones I shared last week): 
  • Use the inverse of your high pass filter – overlay blending mode to soften skin. In Photoshop or Photoshop Elements, go to Filter>Other>High Pass – run your high pass filter as I’ve shown you to do in previous edits and then click CTRL+I (or command if you’re a mac user). Then set your blending mode to overlay, create a layer mask on that layer (fill it black) and then use a soft white brush at 20-30% opacity to paint over the skin.
  • Need to reapply your lipstick (and mine did not since I was wearing fresh lipstick…and I never wear lipstick)? Try Pamela Topping’s Lipstick Boost!

Another trick that I did not use on my photo but that you may find helpful is the liquefy tool. This tool is a great way to fake weight loss. Rather than tell you how to use it, here’s a quick video (this particular one doesn’t require sound).
In Car Selfie Florida RS
Powder Room + Florida Action
If you’ve gotten this far, you’re in pretty good shape. From this point forward, it’s all about personal style. Right now, I find that after running through my clean processing steps (and retouching if necessary), I almost always apply Florida by Everyday Elements…it’s my favorite! Like any action, you’ll need to adjust to taste (in my case, I lowered shine to 55% and creaming glow to 2%), but I think it really brightens up my complexion.

As I mentioned last week, I really could have stopped at this step, but I wanted to share two more “style” edits. This first one uses Nelly Nero’s I Fake Film action (I introduced this action to you last week). I think it has a more desaturated look than the previous edit using the Florida action, but I do like it’s clean and natural finish.
In Car Selfie Fake Film RS
Nelly Nero’s I Fake Film Action
I also wanted to experiment with a more dramatic edit. Up until recently, I’ve prided myself on only using free resouces. However, there are some incredible actions/textures/presents out there for a fee. While searching the net one day, I came upon a $20 off code to be applied toward Florabella’s Luxe II Collection. After a little deliberation, I decided to purchase and have been thoroughly enjoying it!

For some of you, this particular edit (and a lot of the actions in this set) is way too much, but like I said…I was experimenting. In fact, I’ve found the best way for me to learn Photoshop is to experiment! If you don’t want to purchase Luxe II (and I am by no means being compensated by mentioning them), one of my new favorite FREE actions that offers a little bit of drama is Jubilee by Paint the Moon. If you “like” them on Facebook, I believe you’ll get Jubilee as a gift. 
In Car Selfie Florabella RS
Florabella’s Luxe II Action Set: Lume + Love + Hazy Jane
So, to recap our lesson, today we reviewed the use of actions to speed up your work flow and retouching.  For your edit, I would love to see you continuing using the lessons we’ve covered in the past seven weeks as well as apply today’s lesson.  It’s not necessary that you use the exact recipe that I’ve used today…I’d love to see a reflection of your own style within your photo. 

With that said, here is my 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.
In Car Selfie Compare
I hope you all have a great Thursday and I look forward to seeing your edits!