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!


    I love the dramatic edit! Editing pictures is so fun!

    Also, that’s awesome other bloggers have emailed you about getting together. I really enjoyed meeting you all!

    Really great edit, Ashley. So beautiful!

    Love your dramatic, Ashley! You’re beautiful! :)

    Love the soft hazy one and dramatic – GORGEOUS! yes you are :-D

    Wow, I’m really enjoying your tutorials!

    I love the final edit. Bright, striking and dramatic;0. I like the powder room action. It would be a good action for me to have for faces when I do photo sessions;0.

    You really brightened it up! Gorgeous photo of you!

    Awesome edit…I loved both the ACR & dramatic. Loved the video too…I don’t even know if I have that tool, but I’m going to find out! LOL :)

    My favorite is the dramatic one! Great job! I plan to watch the videos in a few and to try the liquefy thingy.

    I really liked powder room and the other one with the florida action. Beautiful, Ashley!

    Beautiful edits Ashley – perfection!

    Beautiful edits, all of them! I really like the Florida edit and Nelly edit the most. You are so informative!

    Great edits. Thanks for the tip about the inverse high-pass filter!

    love this, very clean and beautiful. I liked the pink also in my SOOC but i wanted to try my new preset lol :P

    this is great.

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    I really like the dramatic edit, but the clean edit is my favorite. And… the liquify tool is awesome. I may, or may not have used it once or twice. You gotta give a girl a break sometimes, though. I have a baby gut. Ha ha. Never tried using it on someones face though. That is intimidating!

    Really like the Florida one, and the last one! :D

    Very lovely! And my stupid thumbnail will not show up. I tried 3 times, so I give up. Must be a glitch for me.

    I like the clean edit, but LOVE the dramatic! You look absolutely gorgeous! Great job!

    Thanks for the great action links and tips, I am anxious to try some on my next edits.

    I love that high pass filter for smooth skin trick! I can’t wait to use it!

    I LOVE your edits! But it looks like you cloned out a freckle on your forehead!?

    Great edits! Love the dramatic one…ALOT! I didn’t get to read through all your steps, but will read it tonight when I have more time!

    I think I fixed it. I had to delete the old post and then copy and paste it into a new one. Blogger is doing some funky stuff today.

    You know me…I’m not one to usually choose a dramatic edit, but for this pic – it’s my FAVE!!! I love it! You look awesome and the edit just sPaRkLeS!! ♥♥ (yes, I’m 7 years old)

    Totally agree with Karli :) It speaks to me & says “see how great your photos can look if you know what you are doing” It came out fantastic! :) Love these tutorials & explanations- they help a great deal for beginners like me. Maybe someday I will enter this challenge after a lot more learning.

    Experimenting is so much fun! And I believe in the beginning all my folks had flawless skin and alien eyes ;o) Luckily, i’ve learned to scale it down considerably! Great B/A edits!

    This is really awesome, Ashley! I was really curious what you would do with that SOOC, as I already loved it, and the results are really stunning!

    Ok, I think I might be doing something wrong. I liked them on FB and it gave me a FB template action…not sure where the Jubilee is…… any clue? I LOVE your edit… are soo beautiful friend!!!! :)

    Wow this is tough because I really like all your edits. I usually can’t stand over processed pics but your dramatic edit is great. I think that is what an action is supposed to look like, vibrant and beautiful, not super crazy fake like you see sometimes. Great job, I love them all!

    I’m the clean type! Ha ha…Love your shot. I can’t wait to use all your tips and do mine tonight. XOXO

    love the self portrait! you didn’t edit it too much….and i like that :)
    ~kelsey from purply pink me {follow me? :]}

    I fake film is probably my favorite its so creamy and natural and makes your eyes pop! I have those now I must use it Im stuck on ivory bleach and ginger sky right now lol.

    Great edits Ashley. You are such a pretty young woman!

    Your edits are beautiful this week! I love the dramatic edit; it’s definitely a keeper!

    YAY! Love the edited version. Great job Ashley!!

    I like that you kept both your edits natural. The clean edit edges the dramatic one for me slightly because your eyes look more natural in the clean edit.

    So I linked up in a hurry this AM & just now getting back to read through. You are stunning, girl! Your eyes are incredible. I love both edits and can’t decide which I like better. I’ve never used the liquify tool. Now I’m intrigued…

    I loooove your dramatic edit! I am absolutely devoting my whole “me time” tomorrow to visiting the awesome edits this week and learning some stuff about editing! Thank you for this challenge… portrait editing is a thorn in my side, so I need to study up! =)

    oooh, i love the dramatic! looks great :)

    Great edits Ashley. I love the fake film action and it works perfectly for this shot.

    Beautiful self portrait.

    What beautiful actions!
    I love the tones!
    Wish you a wonderful weekend,

    Fantastic – thanks so much for sharing!!! I love the actions!

    wow! and i am also jealous that you can pull off such a gorgeous lipstick! you go girl!

    Love the shots of the boys ~ that one of Dustyn really is adorable! And I really like the one you got of Sarah, too. With Carsyn. :)

    This is awesome, Ashley! I really enjoyed seeing and reading how you edited your pictures. love the different looks. Beautiful!

    I missed your edit. It looks great though. Wonderful job!

    Yet again, excellent tutorial.

    I’m loving your first full edit w/ the Florida action! So bright and “good morning!” :) You are a very pretty lady! :)

    For all the actions I have, I really don’t know what most of them “do” — I’m betting I probably have numerous actions that do “clean” edits and “touch-ups” (like I have baby powder room) but have no clue that that one does whatever! :) I may have to really sit down one of these days and figure that out!