August 03, 2011
Categories: Lightroom, Photoshop Tags:
Edit Me!
Earlier today, Faith posted an image of her and her new son, Eli. After about 25 minutes of trying to edit the image herself, she thought it might be better to let her readers give it a try. Well I have happy to oblige…especially since I’d already planned to do a little editing for Branson’s Edit Me challenge later today (and my post for good to WOW is already complete). Here’s what I came up with:
Faith and Eli Blog
So, there’s a couple of directions I think this photo could go: a soft clean color edit or timeless black and white. I started both edits in Lightroom 3 and finished in Photoshop. 

I initially thought I’d like black and white a little more, but I think I like the color edit a bit more. And I just noticed that while I cloned out the little hand on the left side of the photo in the color edit, I completely forgot to do the same on the BW edit…oops! Either way, which is your favorite? By the way, here’s the original photo (to the right – you can click to make larger):

Next up…Branson’s Edit Me Challenge. This week’s guest judge is Carrie from Page’s Memories, and Carrie has presented quite a challenge. Her original image is on the left and my edited version is on the right.
To be completely honest with you, I did not write down all of my steps (or rather the details of each step), but I did write down the major components of my edit. 
  • Starting in Lightroom, I created a virtual copy of the photo and used a pretty extreme preset to add a little more drama to the sky. On the original, I just ran some clean processing. I opened both versions in Photoshop.
  • In Photoshop, I merged my two photos into one (you’ll see me use this same effect in tomorrow’s edit) so that I could capture the dramatic sky and a clean edit. For whatever reason, I really prefer working in layers with layer masks. 
  • At this point, I decided to straighten my horizon. Not that there is anything wrong with a slanted photo, but it kind of appeared as if the world is flat and they are falling off of it. 
  • By straightening the image, I was left with a lot of white space. Based on some of the other edits I’ve seen, I think this is where most people just went for a close square crop. I decided to take a different direction (because apparently I wanted a headache)…you got it…CLONING! I must have had 10 different layers of clone work going on – I must be nuts! However, now that it’s done…I love the way it turned out. 
  • I then gave the image a vertical crop with a little more room on each side (by the way, I love a fill-the-frame shot as good as anyone, but if you plan on printing your images, try to leave a little room around the edges in case the printer gets a little crazy with the cropper – I had to learn this one the hard way).
  • Now it’s time to style this photo…starting with Sun-Kissed by The Coffeeshop Blog. I think I actually grouped the layers and turned down the effect to 70% opacity. On top of sun-kissed, I made a few color balance adjustments, followed by a gradient map layer (I think I used red/green on soft light at 14% opacity), and finally a BLUE photo filter layer at 18% opacity. I used layer masks to remove a lot of the crazy colors from their skin.

I actually wrote down more steps than I originally thought – wow. So, what do you think? Be sure to check out some of the other edits (for Faith and Branson) by going to: 
My Reflection of Something
Happy Wednesday!

    WOW! You did do a lot of work. Great job Ashley!

    I like how you straightened it out and I love the color too, good job!

    You know me. It’s always b&w. Love the blending. And look at you on LR! Fab.

    wow! You are just so great at editing. Lovely job!

    I enjoy the color version better.

    And WOW do I love the ocean edit! Great job!!

    you are my editing hero! i would have given up on the cloning, no doubt. i am literally amazed at this edit. so gorgeous!

    Love both of these edits, but the second one is really great. Good job.

    Marla @

    yowza. ;) I LOVE your beach edit. It’s great!

    what amazing editing…it’s hard to believe it’s the same photo…

    Oooooh, I love the beach edit! That turned out very well. Great job, Ashley!

    Wow! The edits are amazing! That beach one is beautiful with the color you added! Great Job!

    WOW!! Such great edits! Your edit for Branson’s Edit me is just AMAZING!! I also love your soft B&W edit of my shot :) Thanks so much for linking up!

    Oh my goodness, your cloning work is brilliant! I love the pink tones you added too :)
    Both your edits for Faith are pretty, I can’t pick a favourite!

    Faith’s photo is unbelievably sweet. The black and white makes it timeless.

    For that second one, my first thought was, “how in the world DOES SHE DO THAT!?” You, my friend, are incredibly talented. Ridiculously. Amazingly. That went from a tosser to a gallery piece. Great job!

    I think I like your first edit of the baby – the softness and tones. Beautiful. I’m impressed with your Edit Me edit as well because I’ve been staring at that shot for a good while now and can’t figure out what to do with it. I love the drama you created. Nicely done!

    Both photos were amazing to start with – but wow – your edits are amazing.

    This is all so out of my league. Really a bit red faced that you would see my little marshmallow texture…actually I feel quite silly. But it was kind of you to drop a note. What you are doing is totally beyond my scope of understanding…so it is a real treat to see photographs reworked to become gorgeous works of art. I first chose the B/W then switched to the color.Wouldn’t we all love a complexion like that! The ocean image shows complete mastery of your editing programs. I love the way the father’s suit blends into the ocean, pushing the focus to the baby/red. Which then takes you up to the pinkish sky. Truly beautiful. I will keep visiting your site, but PLEASE do not feel like you have to reciprocate. I am very much a fledgling. Have a lovely evening, dreaming of tomorrow’s work you will do. Smiles: Sharon

    Great edits. Very well done.

    Gorgeous edits. Such a lovely original. My favourite is the coloured version of Mommy and baby as it is so soft. I really like the beach scene too and I do like that you straightened the horizon but the colourations you adopted to use just make it spectacular. When I need editing I know who to ask. LOL. V

    wow! you are absolutely amazing! you do just beautiful edits! they all turned out so stunning!! so amazing!!

    What an amazing job I’m blown away!

    Your edit for the challenge this week is a winner in my book. It’s AWESOME!!!!!

    I’m in awe! Great edits!

    WOW Ashley, stunning edits as always!!

    You constatnly amaze me! Love the style of all of these!

    Girl, you always edit everything so well! I love seeing what you do with pictures!

    Amazing work! Love the colors in the beach one.

    Girl you are crazy for doing all that cloning, LOL! But it looks fantastic! Love the rosy hue as well =)

    Ashley – thanks so much for tonight’s visit and lovely comment! I’m so glad that you like my blog and I hope you continue to visit me and leave such thoughtful comments. I’m glad you “found” me, so that I now can follow your blog as well!

    One question for you – can you tell me how you installed your social media buttons at the bottom of your blog? Today, I was just looking into putting something similar on my blog.

    Ashley – thanks so much for tonight’s visit and lovely comment! I’m so glad that you like my blog and I hope you continue to visit me and leave such thoughtful comments. I’m glad you “found” me, so that I now can follow your blog as well!

    One question for you – can you tell me how you installed your social media buttons at the bottom of your blog? Today, I was just looking into putting something similar on my blog.

    Cool edits! I love that beach photo! so cuteeeee ♥

    Your edits are so beautiful!! I hope one day I’ll be able to edit pictures like that….. love them!

    I love your editing. It looks really good :))

    Your b&w is very nice and soft! Love it.

    Okay, so I LOVE those edits!

    Seriously you ROCK editing! You should get paid to edit. :-D

    Great job on both photos!

    xoxo Jill

    Hi Ashley, i love your edits…especially the color in the second shot!

    Zowie! These are fantastic Ashely! LOVE what you did for the Branson Edit Me Challenge. Gorgeous.

    Love the sky in the edit me picture. I tried to get it to darken a bit more, but didnt get the same effect yours had, so I went another direction. Both beautiful edits!

    wow ashley you outdid some of my expectations on this edit! I like the color of the sky.

    Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful- I have been messing with this image for an hour now- Can’t get it where I want it to be- Maybe I can come back with a fresh mind & try again later. :)

    That baby photo made me want to go dig up Narelle’s infant pics too! [wipe tears from face]

    I love the softness of your edits. Both of your edits fits the mood of the photo perfectly.

    WOW, I love your edits! The beach one is fantastic.

    I really like the ocean photo edit – I need to try some of those merge shots.

    Your editing is absolutely beautiful on both pictures. I love the warmth in your black and white – it’s always really hard for me to acheive that in my own photos. Great job!

    it is beautiful!

    Oh gosh – that last photo needs to be in a frame! I love the processing!

    Wow. Your edited photo for Branson’s challenge needs to be hanging on a wall in a really nice room. :)

    It’s perfect!

    Girl… I know how long this Edit Me had to have taken you! You deserve some kind of medal for editing endurance! ;) It turned out FANTASTIC!

    Beautiful edit…love the soft tones!

    I love the BW of Faith and the Edit Me. WOW!!!!! Stunning.