June 11, 2010
Before & After
Melissa D. over at 4 Ladies and a Patient Man… sent me a couple of photos that needed a little “Before & After” attention. I’ve decided to break them into two postings (so stay tuned for the second photo – she tells me it’s a mess). 

Anyways, as you can tell, it looks like the photo is full of exposure and white balance issues. Once you uncover those, there are also shadow and color cast issues. It was fun…but you all know that I love a challenge. How’d I do it?
DSC_0480 Before and After
I started in ACR – adjusted the white balance a touch using the eye dropper and adjusted the exposure, fill light, brightness and contrast until I felt good about it enough to move to PSE7. 

In PSE7, I took one look at it and realized that I needed NOISEWARE. Unfortunately, the noiseware I use is a separate program from PSE7, so I had to switch gears for just a moment (saved as a new file and brought it back into PSE). I then ran Squeaky Clean as I normally would (adjusted the levels, added deeper shadows, and pulled down some of the red). 

From there, I created a few layers to work on her little face. 
  • Duplicate Layer to remove the color cast (enhance, color, remove color cast, selected white and ta da). 
  • Blank layer using a 30% opacity paint brush to even out her skin tone just a bit.
  • Duplicate Layer set to Multiply to darken some of the bright spots on the left side (also used on body). 
  • Duplicate Layer set to Screen to lighten some of the shadows on the right side (also used on body). 
  • Duplicate Layer, High Pass Filter inversed and set to soft light to soften her skin just a touch. 
  • Adjustment layer to pull down some of the reds and yellows (since I’m not yet calibrated). 
  • I spent some time working on the shadow in the top right corner of her face – I needed to remove the blue tent and brighten it up a bit. I think I even went back over with the paint brush lightly to blend in a little. I repeated these steps another time to really tone down that shadow a bit. 
Finally, I resized and sharpened for the web. I’m thinking I may want a button for these Before & Afters – I could do it but it might take a while…anyone interested in doing one for me? Happy Friday!