July 07, 2011
Shoot and Edit: Week 26 – Red, White and Blue…EDIT
Welcome to the 26th week of Shoot and Edit: Part 2. Click HERE for all the details and upcoming prompts/themes (also including previous editing tutorials). This week’s theme or prompt was to show us one “Red, White and Blue” SOOC shot (this was just a suggestion, you can show us any SOOC shot). I clearly did not follow the rules, but hopefully you linked up with Jill’s blog earlier this week.

Each Thursday, I will take my SOOC shot and provide a simple/basic or advanced Photoshop/Photoshop Elements tutorial. You can then try my tutorial on your own photos and link up here – linky will now open EARLY on Thursdays and 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.

When I posted my SOOC shot on Monday, I really had no idea where I would go with this week’s tutorial. I then realized that since my “x-ray” photo last week, I’ve been experimenting with the invert tool a lot. Today, I thought I might see what that tool could do for a previously uninspired shot. I’ll share a few other tricks that I have up my sleeve, so be sure you pay attention. Here’s the SOOC shot I shared earlier this week:
For the past 25 weeks, we’ve started in Adobe Camera Raw (ACR). This week was no different. If you’ve missed any of my previous Good to Wow PS/PSE tutorials, click HERE. By starting in ACR, I was able to make adjustments to my white balance, add fill light, adjust my curves and saturation. These elements can also be done in Photoshop or Elements, but I prefer working in ACR first.
Once I moved into Photoshop (CS5), I immediately knew that I wanted to get rid of the partial North Carolina flag you see below the American Flag. I originally was trying to capture both, but the NC flag got wrapped around the flag pole. Unfortunately, I had a hard time getting screen captures of my activity, but hopefully you’ll be able to follow. 
  • First, create a duplicate of your image and then create a duplicate layer. 
  • Use your MARQUEE TOOL to create a small box around the area you want to extend (in this case, I wanted it to appear as if there was a longer pole – much easier than cloning). 
  • Once the box has been selected, click CTRL+T to free transform. Then use your mouse to pull the bottom of the box down. 
At that point, I decided I wanted more canvas so I went into IMAGE>CANVAS SIZE and added more. I re-used my marquee tool to stretch the canvas. I then used the measurements from my original image to crop the photo to size. I hope that makes sense.

Beyond that, I applied Perfect Portrait 3 by The Coffeeshop Blog.
Flag PP3 RS
Perfect Portrait 3
If you’re a photography purist, you’ll probably like the above edit the best – it’s nice and clean, but I think the sky looks rather bland. Truth be told, I took my photo sometime between 1-2 pm on Monday afternoon…we all know that I could have chosen a much more ideal time of day to do my shooting. HOWEVER, at 6 pm, the bottom dropped so I guess it’s a good thing I did go ahead and take a photo.

There are a number of ways to darken/enrich a light blue sky such as the one in my photo. One of those ways is to create an INVERT layer using a SUBTRACT blending mode. Feel free to experiment with other blending modes while using the invert tool – just be sure to lower your opacity if you want your image to still look fairly natural. I lowered mine to 60%. I then used a layer mask to remove the effect (black brush) from the flag. You can further enhance the sky by tinkering with color balance.
Flag invert RS
Invert Tool
Once again, I could have left the photo alone at this point…but, I’m really digging the Vintage Film Effect by fallout75 (free action if you haven’t already downloaded it – applied at 70% opacity). I also decided to render a sunflare (as discussed in this tutorial)  and apply a light layer of bokeh (soft light blending mode at 40% opacity). Here’s my final edit…what do you think?
Flag Vintage RS
Final Edit using Vintage Action
So, to recap our lesson, today we discussed stretching the canvas again – with a partial approach. We also discussed using the invert tool to deepen the color of the sky. For your edit, I would love to see you continuing using the lessons we’ve covered in the past 25 weeks as well as apply today’s lesson or share something you’ve learned recently.

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.
Flag Compare
By the way, you might have noticed that I did not edit my other photo – I may share it later, but I was pretty satisfied with my SOOC shot (that and this post was getting a bit long/crowded). I hope you all have a great Thursday and I look forward to seeing your edits. Next week’s theme is “Skies the Limit.”