June 21, 2011
Categories: Touch-Up Tuesday
Anatomy of a Portrait
Last week, I shared more photos of Casey from our impromptu portrait session at Duke Gardens. She assures me that she’s got beautiful pictures of me to share soon…so just stay tuned. As it turns out, I found a few shots of me taken by Casey on MY camera…so I thought I’d share the anatomy of a portrait edit.
Steps 1-3
On the far left (above), you see the Straight Out of the Camera (SOOC) shot. Casey is unfamiliar with my camera’s settings, so…I set up the shot and got into place. Also, since I shoot RAW, all of my photos appear a little dull SOOC…thus the reason to process them.

The middle shot has gone through my basic Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) adjustments followed by Perfect Portrait 3 (and applying the dodge/burn effect we discussed on Thursday). I consider this clean processing.

The image on the far right applies a combination of my new favorite actions by Pure Photoshop Actions from their Summer Days collection. About a week or so ago, these were given as a freebie on their Facebook fan page, but I can’t seem to find the link anymore. However, they just released a new action set called “Just a Pinch” – I’m pretty excited about it.
IMG_5512 Closer Crop-blog
Once I went through the steps above, I decided that there was too much space above my head in the original image. So, I decided to crop the image in a little closer. What I like about this crop is the position of my hands and that you still get a sense of context. However, I don’t like that you can kinda see up my dress.
IMG_5512 Focus on the Face-blog
Which leads me to my final edit…and a much closer crop with a focus on my face. I think this one might be my favorite, but what do you think? 

By the way, don’t miss out on this week’s giveaway sponsored by Katie Lloyd Photography! In addition to this awesome giveaway, Katie has offered my readers an additional 25% off anything in her shop. The code is RAMBLINGS25 and will be valid through the end of the month, June 30th. So be sure to check out her shop on Etsy and if you want to enter the giveaway, be sure to do it today. Comments close tonight at 10 PM and a winner will be announced tomorrow along with a final giveaway to celebrate my birthday. Also, if you’re interested in receiving a SIGNED 8×10 print of my photograph: 1000 Cranes, be sure to visit Emily at Just the Two of Us…plus a cat. Happy Tuesday!
Photography love...Giveaway at Ramblings and Photos http://emilyandbradsblog.blogspot.com/
PS: If you’re interested in the frames I used for this post, go to The Album Cafe. 

    I really like your final edit, with the close crop. It’s a really beautiful picture of you!

    I’m a fan of close crops. Hey and portraits are tricky for me. Thanks for the post chica.

    This is a really good picture of you, Ashley! You look beautiful! And the edit is excellent of course!

    I definitely agree, the final one is fantastic! Beautiful! Looking forward to seeing the shots Casey has of you. :)

    I agree the edit is perfect. Really draws you in. Great job!

    The close crop just makes the portrait! Kudos to Casey for the shot and a thumbs up to you for the edit!

    What great shots Ashley…err…Casey!

    I love the crop…I love the edit…I love the actions you used! You are beautiful! Have a blessed day!

    Lisa H.

    What a difference an edit makes!! These are gorgeous!! …and of course, a pretty model doesn’t hurt! :)

    I like your hands in the first cropped one… I never noticed the dress thing until you said.

    I do love the final crop, though. It’s a great picture of you! :D

    I love the edits! and such a cute shot – you look fab!!

    So pretty

    Wow I love the way you’ve cropped that last photo too. You have a really artistic eye Ashley.

    You looked amazing! not sure what you are talking about a “sweaty mess”???

    Love the final edit – for the exact same reason you said.


    You are just gorgeous!
    Thanks for the info on the actions.

    That’s a great portrait of you! :)

    Love this portrait of you. You’re gorgeous! And it’s a great composition. I love the final edit where you take some of the space off the top above your head. Perfect!

    I have to say I don’t like the landscape orientation. The top of your head is cut off and it feels like you’re trying to scrunch into the space and don’t fit, and my neck started hurting looking at it. It looks a little awkward. The portrait orientation is perfection. :)

    You look gorgeous! Love the final edit!! Beautiful!

    I love this tutorial! I was working on some photos last night and realized I almost never play with crops – and this shows how powerful those adjustments can be.

    I love your final edit. Now, mind you I have no idea what I’m talking about (we know this) but I’ve always heard that I should avoid chopping/cropping limbs. You are missing part of your arm in that last edit, but it works and is a beautiful portrait. Maybe I need to learn to break some rules ;)

    Beeeautiful! Thanks for the links!

    Gorgeous shot of you! Love what you did with it. Also, belated happy birthday! I didn’t realize it was your birthday until I saw the post below about your husband. Love that shot, too…great composition.

    They all look lovely, though once you mentioned your dress a closer crop seems like a good idea. Thanks for walking us through your process.

    You are Gorgeous girl!!! Love the final Edit… Happy tuesday!!

    I agree. The last one is perfect. I love that the focus is on your face, and the placement of your hand. Beautiful! Love that dress, by the way.

    Great editing. I like both of your final edit/crops. I personally did not find your dress distracting. I see what you mean but my eyes did not go there automatically until you said something. So I liked that crop a lot.

    Hello Gorgeous!!!! Seriously- you two together are a force- WOW- look out.

    I must try taking some portraits and then edit them per your instructions. I take my photos in jpeg and then edit them using the raw feature in PSE9. Getting confidence I think is the key to good editing. Hopefully I can do it. Thanks for the tips. V

    *insert wolf whistle here* (again)
    BOO! Thought I’d scare ya with a “real” comment again today. LOL! :-) BEAUTIFUL edit! Hope you’re having a great Tuesday!

    Beautiful pictures on your blog.

    Regards from Creativity and imagination photos of Jose Ramon

    Gorgeous as always! Love your final edit, the close-up!

    You’re really beautiful Ashley! Those selfies are great! beautiful colors!

    what a great shot! I like the one where you can still see your hands and knees–you can’t see up your skirt TOO much :)

    I love the last edit and crop. :)

    Marla @ http://www.blueskiesphotoblog.com

    Your final edit is gorgeous.

    This is really a very pretty shot Ashley!

    FAbulous edit! I like the final with the crop, so we can’t see up your dress.

    You are gorgeous, but I love love the SOOC. The other two are completely blown (levels over 240) and won’t print well (your legs/arms will be completely white with no detail).

    This is where editing gets confusing for me. I like all the different crops! ha. Love your simple edits, it’s a lovely picture!

    This is where editing gets confusing for me. I like all the different crops! ha. Love your simple edits, it’s a lovely picture!

    Lovely photo I think I actually like the uncropped version best for some reason!

    i love the final edit and crop. happy birthday Ashley. I’m sure it’s a great one!

    I LOVE the final edit! It’s a beautiful shot of you….I totally didn’t notice your dress-issue until you said something….

    I love the edit & crop u did. Great picture.

    awesome shot, love the final close up!

    Awesome edit. You are gorgeous! How did I miss this post?!