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!