June 16, 2010
Before & After: Motorcycle Baby
I honestly don’t know about this one. Care at The Exposed Mom, sent me the photo below  (from an impromptu photo session) with a request to add some texture. If this picture is any indication of his future, we better get this kid a helmet! 
Motorcycle Baby Before and After
My approach with this photo is much like any photo I work with (I hope you appreciate the consistency) – opened in ACR (didn’t do anything), brought it over to PSE and ran Squeaky Clean…typical workflow. 

The real work started when I went to eliminate the background and add texture. I’ve shared this process with you before. Use the quick selection tool to select your background (or select the motorcycle/baby and then inverse the selection). Then click control J to move that piece of the selection into it’s own layer. Create a blank layer. Use the eye dropper to choose the the wall color and pour it into your blank layer. Click control G to group the layers.

Now that I just said that, I think I had to screw around with it a lot more than usual because it kept looking funky. Don’t freak out if it doesn’t work the first time…even I don’t always get it right (followed by a series of frustrated grunts, closing the program out and starting over).

But yeah, once I got my background figured out, I started to apply some texture. There are texture applicators out there…I don’t use them. Salina at Twice as Many Moments, forwarded me MCP Actions’ Newsletter with a link to their free texture applicator. If you have used this applicator or others, let me know how you like it. Speaking of that newsletter…there is also a great link to 1000’s of free Photoshop Textures. I also include several sites under Inspiration. Anyways, back to the edit. Below you’ll find the textures I used (most from Shadowhouse Creations), the blending mode and opacity.
  • Cover Texture, Overlay, 100% 
  • Bookfront, Multiply, 70%
  • Background Copy, Hard Light, 18%
  • Difference Maker, Soft Light, 28%
  • Paint the Moon’s Timeworn Texture, Soft Light, 66%
I also adjusted my saturation (in particular my yellows and reds – I really need to calibrate my laptop) and adjusted my brightness contrast. Finally, I applied Paint the Moon’s Sugar Cookies (of course adjusting each of the layers to  my liking) and added a little border.  

So that’s today’s Before & After. I’m going to link this one up to Pixel Perfect’s Before and After weekly challenge because Faith suggested it (obviously this is not my photo, but a good example of how I transform photos using textures). If you have a Before & After editing challenge, feel free to send it my way. My turnaround is a little longer than it used to be (considering I still have a couple to work on in my inbox), but you guys know I love the challenge…and my friend ROO says she enjoys it too. Have a great day!