Shoot and Edit: Week 28 – Summer…EDIT
Welcome to the 28th 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 “Summer” 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 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.

This week, something exciting happened…I got my very own copy of Lightroom 3! I am still incredibly comfortable working in Photoshop and Adobe Camera Raw (ACR), but I’m looking forward to learning a new program…and of course sharing what I learn as I start using it. From the little bit I’ve seen so far, it has a lot of the same functionality as ACR (for Photoshop users – PSE’s version of ACR is very basic) with a few more advanced features.

More exciting…I’ve started a good to WOW {EDIT} Flickr Group for those of you that prefer to upload and visit that way.  When adding your photos to the group pool, be sure to include the Week #,  the Theme and EDIT in the description section. You may upload one photo per week. I also want to point out that we are all here to improve our editing skills. When offering constructive criticism (either on Flickr or within blog comment sections), be sure to point out at least one thing you really like about the edit before offering any advice for improvement.

Anyways, this week’s edit will be a little different than previous weeks. I really don’t have a new lesson for you, but I do have a new action to share with you. I’ll also be editing one of the photos from the pool…in fact, I’ll be editing one of Jill’s photos. But first, here’s my SOOC shot. 
What I loved about this shot was 1) the lighting – I really love that the center of the photo is illuminated leaving the edges a bit darker; 2) the natural framing. In all fairness, there’s nothing spectacular about this photo and it’s perfectly fine SOOC, but I wanted to clean it up just a bit. 

Take a look at my edit below. Can you identify a few of the changes I made outside of any actions I may have used? You can click on the Before and After below for a larger view to compare side-by-side.
IMG_6211 Final RS
I will tell you that I used a couple of actions to add character to a relatively boring shot (even if I do love the lighting and framing). Since I know you guys love a freebie action, here’s what I used: 
  • Vibrance by Mandy at A Sorta Fairytale – lately, I’ve been using this action in lieu of Perfect Portrait 3. If you’ve got a great SOOC shot, this action is just the ticket! Unfortunately, it can only be used in Photoshop.
  • Golden Backlight by Crystal at Momaziggy’s Photoshop for Fun (at 50% opacity). Ooops – I really didn’t mean to throw two non-compatible to PSE actions at you but I am in love with this action. If nothing else, take a look at her before and afters…be sure you have a hanky handy to wipe the drool away. And while this particular action is not PSE compatible, I do know that she does create them from time to time…like her PSE Jewel Tone Wash Action set (in fact, I decided to try out this set and I’ll use it in my edit below).
Like I said above, here’s my before and after. Just click on it to see a larger version of the images side-by-side. I’d love to know if you can spot my changes.
IMG_6211 Compare
As I mentioned earlier, while I may not be teaching anything significant these next couple of weeks, I don’t want that to limit my/our enthusiasm for editing. And since I now own a copy of Lightroom (LR), I’ve just opened up my editing options even further. I thought I’d practice using LR on one of Jill‘s photos. Here’s her SOOC shot:
IMG_6112 rs
While I was exploring Lightroom earlier this week, I decided to visit Scott Kelby’s site to see how significant Lightroom would be from what I already know in Adobe Camera Raw and Adobe CS5 Photoshop. I learned that “The Develop Module (in LR) is actually just Camera Raw on a darker gray background, but in Lightroom there are some features (including the Targeted Adjustment Tool) that just aren’t in Camera Raw.” So it would seem that once you learn Camera Raw, Lightroom should be an easy transition. I also found this site with 100 short LR video tutorials to help me get comfortable.

One thing I already love about Lightroom, that I did not have in Adobe Camera Raw (ACR), are the Before and After Previews. As you make adjustments to your photo, you can compare the results. I was also pleased to see preloaded presets…so many more options than ACR. Of course, I also went trolling for freebie Lightroom Presets and found Seim Effects. Since I know Jill typically likes a vibrant edit, I started with Super Hero preset and then adjusted to my taste.
Lightroom N-Before and After
I take it that LR didn’t like me taking a screen shot – ignore the quality.
I know that Jill prefers using one of her own presets, but I think my Lightroom edit below looks a lot like one of her edits. What do you think? Isn’t Jill’s youngest daughter just adorable?
IMG_6112 LR RS
Once I was done in Lightroom, I decided to export the image over to Photoshop. Since I got you all excited over my first edit and then realized that the action was not compatible with Photoshop Elements (that wasn’t very nice of me…I apologize), I decided to try Momaziggy’s Jewel Tone Wash Collection (compatible with Photoshop and Photoshop Elements) on this photo.

I love this collection because not only do you get six awesome jewel-toned actions in color, but Crystal also includes a black and white layer that makes for really beautiful black and white conversions. For this particular shot, I decided to use Amethyst Anyone? at 50% opacity. What do you think?
IMG_6112 Final RS
So, to recap our “lesson”, today I introduced you to a couple of new actions. I also opened the Lightroom door and explored using presets and the Before and After preview screen. Here’s a final look at the steps in my second edit. And, don’t forget to tell me what changes I made to my first edit.
IMG_6112 Compare
For your edit, I would love to see you continuing using the lessons we’ve covered in the past 27 weeks as well as apply today’s lesson or share something you’ve learned recently. I hope you all have a great Thursday and I look forward to seeing your edits. Next week’s theme is “Laughter.” Have a great Thursday!


    I love reading these. it is all new to me, i just shoot and upload, but every time I check in on your shoot and edit post I feel a little more confident around PS. Thank you!
    Also that playground scene is lovely.

    You did a wonderful job on your final lightroom edit. Great job.

    She looks adorable! If you start teaching in LR I’ll have to buy it for myself…right?

    I see a small tree in the middle right and the red and bright thing on the lower left gone, but I don’t notice anything else. Very nice edit/photo!

    Yay! This made me feel like a newbie even in a challenging way though. I just bought Elements 9 and I’m in the early stage of learning. It’s frustrating sometimes that I tend to go back to Picnik. My hubby asked me why I’m using Picnik when I already have the Elements (can’t blame him, he bought it for me).

    I’ll be joining this challenge because truly THIS is a challenge – but definitely on the positive note of improving one’s skill. And I want to know MORE. God bless you for sharing all you know.

    your edits look great! i am loving mandy’s “vibrance” action too :)

    the little pine tree thingy is gone (well, half of it) and a little red thing in the corner is gone, as well as a leaf on that same side.
    did i miss anything?

    Very nice edit. You’re right, the playset SOOC was pretty good as is, but I liked that you cropped the image – the tree trunks served as a good frame to the subject.

    Great job on the edits Ashley … what a cutie!

    Ashley – love love love the final edit on our youngest :-D Great job!

    You did awesome with your final edit in LR3 too. I can’t wait until you master it like you have with PS. Watch how easy it gets and your personal style comes out in every edit :-D

    And YES you edited to make it look how mine come out too – love it!

    OK, so I don’t have to edit – please send me your final – I’m going to print that one for her room! It is one of my favs of her this summer! LOL! Truly shows off her personality!

    Hugs and thanks for starting the EDIT group on flickr too!


    I think that action on Jill’s photo was a great final touch! Going to check out that set :)

    Looks great. I have been using open source photo editing systems that are great but I want to get my hands on light room!

    I love how you made the play set look like a magical fairytale kinds of place!

    Took me forever to get through this post because I was busy downloaded actions. Thanks for all the freebie links. In your first edit, the tones are different – almost a pinkish town in the edit now. I LOVE the edits of Jill’s daughter. I think I’m going to love those Lightroom actions. Still haven’t played too much there but now I can hardly wait!

    Love Jill’s photo that you edited! What a doll!!

    I see 2 things…the red thingy on the left and the branch by the basketball…..anything else? Love the freebies!!! people are zoo nice to offer those :)

    Love your edits! The treehouse one looks awesome! BOO, I wish the Mandy’s and the golden backlight were in PSE!!!

    Okay…without peeking at others responses…I noticed the little branch tree gone, by the ball. I am not sure if you cropped out the sides, or just darkened them…but the light on the outside of the trees is gone, as is the red loop on the left. What else???? Fun stuff.

    these are great. Love Jill`s girls editi. How nice and smooth the final result turned out to be.

    I really like that edit of that little girl!

    You took out a baby pine tree.

    I love the edits on Jill’s photo, so sweet!

    I always like seeing the before and after photos. :)

    Love the extra color – great edit

    Oh gosh you did a lot this week. I assumed you lightened and brightened the before and sharpened it. I really liked the after. I really liked the edits of the little girl but I almost leaned to the photoshop edit as apposed to the lightroom. One of these days I will have to bite the bullet and get an updated version of Photoshop. I have CS2. Great job Ashley. V

    I love your LR edits! Looks like a great program to work with.

    Jill’s daughter is adorable! And I love this photo of her!

    For your first edit, I noticed that the small slide looks redder and the small pine tree was removed from in front of the basketball. (And, no, I didn’t read anyone else’s comments before I typed mine). :)

    beautiful!!!Thanks for your lovely comment! Hughs Anja

    Beautiful edit! I never was a big fan of lightroom for editing. For workflow, it’s fantastic, but editing there isn’t my favorite. :)

    The colors def look brighter in your edited photo but the original had really nice lighting. Nice edit of Jill’s daughter, too. What a cutie.

    I enjoy the before and after — especially if there are just subtle changes. Great job!

    Thanks so much for these tutorials – they are so useful and allow me to learn more about photography. And I am so excited that you’re mastering Lightroom because that means I can learn from you :)

    This Good Life

    Wow! What a difference! I have never used lightroom. Well, or really any good photo processing software. I am too cheap to but them! I am stuck with Picasa for now. I suppose I should pony up though!

    Oddly enough I like the photoshop edit much better than the lightroom edit. It’s odd because I’m in love with Lightroom and have had it on my wish list for well over a year now! Haha :) I saw on Amazon around Thanksgiving or Christmas last year that it was on sale big time, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that’s the case this year :)

    Anyways, I like the skin tone and color the photoshop edit the best. They seem less shadowed. She is an adorable girl :)

    YAY for Lightroom!! :) You’re going to be rocking that quickly!!

    Yay for edit flickr group! :) Although I’ll still try to hit up both when I can.

    Hum. For your changes, you added a vignette, you used your high pass filter on some blending mode… AH HA! you cloned something red out of the lower left corner! And some bright yellow spot on the left tree. Your edit made it look more dreamy I think.

    And you rocked Jill’s girl’s pic! :) Love the lr edit! The amethyst one looks still a bit too pink in her hair to me, but hey… it’s just me!

    I’m just loving your blog and all your awesome lightroom links! I’m currently in love with LR and can’t wait to see you master it too!

    I´m not entering a linky,but I use lightroom too ( my favorite editing program) but I´m having trouble at times! Scot Kelby is my fave teacher! It was his books I fist read when I started in photography! But, I have to say…I didn´t think about even looking for his tutorials before :o
    i was always so focused in buying his book! haha! so thanks for he reminder!
    also! free presets, So fun to find more!!!
    i adore that photo of the girl.
    The lightroom edit is the best in my taste :)

    I love the gal in the tutu and the way you lightened that shot was perfect! Such a cute capture:) That is also a really creative view to the playground. It’s like peeking in between trees!

    Jill’s little one is so cute and I love how her face became even more alive with your edit.
    Your playground shot the color shift and the warmth really shows in the side by side.

    Hi Ashley ~ Lovley editing :-)

    As you might know I use LR3 about 95% of the time (cloning and healing are better done in PS/E though). I have yet to find a preset that is not ‘compatible’ with Photoshop. You do know you can easily transition between the two don’t you..?

    Open an image, right click and choose ‘edit in’ (choice PS/E) ~ you get another choice box ~ choose to edit with LR adjustments and it should open up right in Photoshop edit mode. When you save it it saves the a copy of the new edited version straight back into LR (leaving your original edit alone). You can choose to ‘stack’ the edits in LR if you wish – I don’t though.

    If you’d like any tips on LR just drop me a line, I know quite a few now!!


    Now you are talking my language, girlfriend! I’m so enthused to see LR edits here. Although, LR is going to be a cakewalk for you being you are so versed in PS…you’ll probably feel limited by LR too since you can’t use text in LR.

    I finally had a PS training class last week and am starting to tinker around there…maybe a PS edit will have to make it on my little ole blog soon.

    Great edit of the swingset and little Miss!

    Great set of edits!!!