Love on a Golf Course
On Sunday, I met up with Tommy and Stacey for an engagement photo session. This was my second engagement session (the first being our friends Caroline and Jason), and I have to admit…I was a bit nervous. We had a beautiful day though and I took a number of shots that I think the couple will love – I’m actually in the process of editing those shots right now so I can do a more thorough sneak peak. They’re getting married at the same location next May. Anyways, I thought I’d share the shot below for a couple of reasons…I mean challenges:
  1. The Paper Heart Camera/Shoot-N-Tell challenge this week is “contemplate your shot.”
  2. Perceptive Perspective’s theme this week is: Landscape
When I saw the clouds in the sky and an empty golf course, I knew I had to get Tommy and Stacy out there for a photo. I thought it’d be neat to have them in the lower third of the frame with the sky drawing the eyes in. I also kinda like that the flag offers some additional height and the trees in the background are fairly non-distracting (although I did have to do a little bit of photoshop magic – see below). 

Ideally, this would have been a horizontal shot (to illustrate landscape), but something about this shot was extra special – so special that it could and should be blown up on canvas…or at least framed. These two are obviously head over heals for one another and I can’t wait to attend their wedding in the spring.
IMG_7043 RS
For more “contemplate your shot,” and “landscape” photos, go to: 
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While I’m here, I might as well share my processing steps. IMG_7043 Before and After RS
I started with some basic processing in Adobe Camera Raw. I then brought it over to Photoshop Elements 7. It looked pretty good with the exception of my background – yeah, I couldn’t very well avoid the houses being in my shot. 

I created a duplicate of the background and then used the quick selection tool (PSE Toolbar) to select a tree here and there (one at a time) in the duplicate layer. Once a tree was selected, I clicked ctrl T and either reversed the tree so it ended up on a different side, moved the tree to another location or stretched the tree to fill space. I used my healing tool to touch up any spots that looked off. I then straightened and cropped the photo at the same photo ratio.

From there, I adjusted the levels. I then adjusted the sky’s saturation by using the smart brush tool and selecting the blue skies option. I lowered this layer’s opacity to 40%. I then merged all of those layers and decided that they sky needed a little more definition so I used one of my favorite tricks…

Create a duplicate layer. Go to filter>other>high pass filter (play around with the amount). Then change the layer’s blending mode to soft light. I will typically use a layer mask so that I only apply the high pass filter/soft light to the actual clouds. This will create a little extra pop. 

Finally, I added my favorite action: Amy McMaster’s Berries N’ Cream for a slightly gentler color and light glow before re-sizing and sharpening. 

Did I lose you? If you have PSE, I encourage you to practice using some of the tools I described (and of course, you can email me any questions you may have too)…and for more Touch-Up Tuesday, go to:
Photography love...
Stay tuned for more engagement photos and have a great day!

***Edit: I’m adding this to Photo Freak’s “Heart” Search. I didn’t realize until after I’d posted this message that there was a heart in the clouds. How appropriate!