Before & After
I’ve been meaning to edit this photo for Salina for nearly a month. So, as I watch America’s Got Talent…with a crick in my neck (can someone come over and rub my neck?), I thought I’d work on this photo in time to link up with Karli over at The Bonnie 5 for Touch Up Tuesday. Here is Salina’s original photo.
DSC_7821 Before and After
Don’t you just love her daughter with the firefighter’s hat? Well, Salina did too, but didn’t like the clutter in the background. I was going to have trouble completely removing it without looking too fake, but I think I’ve improved the look. Here’s my steps: 
  1. I started this photo in Adobe Camera Raw to correct the white balance and exposure. 
  2. I then opened the photo in Photoshop Elements 7 and ran Amy McMaster’s Squeaky Clean. I don’t think I did anything too special, but if you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you know that I usually pull up my levels to add a little more BRIGHT to my photos. 
  3. I cropped the photo to eliminate some of the mess on the left side of the photo. I did try to use other methods to eliminate the distractions, but it looked sloppy so I went with the crop instead. 
  4. From there, I created a duplicate layer (this is how I save my steps), merged my layers and then created two duplicates of my background copy (ctrl J). On the first layer, I used the dodge tool to brighten her face. One the second layer, I set the blending mode to soft light and lowered the opacity to 50%. I then opened a brightness/contrast adjustment layer to lower the brightness by -6 and add +12 contrast.
  5. Again, I duplicated the photo (just right click and duplicate photo). 
  6. And again, I created two duplicates of the background copy. On the first layer, I used a Gaussian blur filter (and I’m sorry, I didn’t write down the amount) and set the blending mode to soft light…the opacity to 20%. On the next layer, I set the blending mode to overlay at 20%. I then opened an adjustment layer to slightly adjust the layers. 
  7. On another duplicate of the photo (after merging of course – ctrl, shift, E), I opened up RVT Tan (a texture) by Shadowhouse Creations and laid it on top of the photo. I set the blending mode to multiply and the opacity to 74%. 
  8. Finally, on my final duplicate of the photo, I ran Pioneer Woman’s Seventies action (I secretly love this action…okay, it’s not a secret). I lowered the opacity to 40%. I then added a texture called GoodBook by Shadowhouse Creations, set the blending mode to Soft Light at 30% opacity and called it a day…I mean night.
A few things to remember about my editing steps: 
  • Lowering your opacity is key. I DO use actions, but I always adjust them because if you apply them straight on, they can often be too much. 
  • I also love using textures to enhance a photo. Remember to use layering masks to remove some of that texture from the face/body of your subjects.
So, do you love it…hate it…? What did I miss? Let me know if you have questions and I’ll do my best to answer them. Also, if you find yourself struggling with your post-processing or editing and would like me to help you (and teach you in the process), I am always accepting photo challenges. Just go to my Contact Me page and send me a message. You can even attach your photos (and if you’re having trouble, just send me an email, and we’ll make an exchange). Once I’m done with your edit, I’ll send you back the high-resolution file and then blog the results with steps.

Now with all that said, I’m going to bed. Do me a favor, click on the button below and visit my friend Karli! Have a great night!