April 21, 2011
Shoot and Edit: Week 15 – Easter…EDIT
Welcome to the 15th week of Shoot and Edit: Part 2. Click HERE for all the details and upcoming prompts/themes (also including previous editing tutorials). 

This week’s theme or prompt was to show us one “Easter” SOOC shot (this was just a suggestion, you can show us any SOOC shot). Hopefully you linked up with Jill’s blog earlier this week. Today I will talk about selective color and calibration.

Each Thursday, I will take my SOOC shot and provide some basic editing tips (I will try to keep it basic and work my way up). You can then try these tips on your own photos and link up here – linky will now open EARLY on Thursdays and be open THROUGH SUNDAY. If you’d prefer, can simply share your own edit and show us what you did to achieve the look. We want this challenge to be a learning experience, so feel free to teach us something new too! Also, it does not matter what editing program you use. Although I tend to work within Adobe CS5 (Photoshop), Photoshop Elements and Adobe Camera Raw…it does not mean that you have to use the exact same program. I hope you’ll be able to take the concepts and apply them in the program you feel most comfortable using.

Once again, here is my SOOC shot:
Overall, I had a pretty nicely exposed image. However, for consistency purposes and building on what we’ve learned in the past 14 weeks (Week 1: Edit, Week 2: Edit, Week 3A, Week 3B, Week 4: Edit, Week 5: Edit, Week 6: Edit, Week 7: Edit,  Week 8: Edit, Week 9: Edit, Week 10: Edit, Week 11: Edit, Week 12: Edit, Week 13: Edit, and Week 14: Edit) I started this edit in Adobe Camera Raw (ACR). I then moved the image over to Photoshop and ran my Nice & Easy action for a clean edit (I think I may have also used the grass trick we learned in Week 12). 
IMG_3918 Clean RS
From that point, I thought this week’s photo might be interesting with selective coloring. To be completely honest with you, I am not generally a fan of selective coloring especially when it’s used on eyes or baby portraits (this would be my plea to you to NOT use selective coloring for those purposes). However, when used appropriately, selective color can provide visual depth. 

There are a couple of ways to achieve this look…the easiest of which is by using layer masks. At this point, I imagine that by saying “layer masks,” you no longer need a video tutorial…but I’ve included one anyways. I just like this guy’s accent.
In case you’re curious, here’s my recipe (bottom to top): 
  1. High Pass Filter (28 pixel radius) on Soft Light blending mode. Used layer mask to paint on the effect over the cross only.
  2. Hue/Saturation Layer – completely desaturated image. Added a layer mask. Used QUICK SELECTION tool to select purple drape and then painted that space black.
  3. Sepia photo filter at 40% density. Again, used a layer mask…painted over drape in black to remove effect.
  4. Levels adjustment layer: 28, 1.11, 244
  5. Brightness (-8)/Contrast (+5)  adjustment layer
  6. Applied Kim Klassen’s Bent Edges texture on a Screen blending mode at 35% opacity.
  7. Added scripture – Old English Text MT font.
What do you think?
IMG_3918 Selective Color_Scripture_Final RS
If you really like selective color, be sure to check out Color Splash Sunday.
texture thursday

You may have noticed that I did not post a spiritual post this week (thus the reason, I wanted to include scripture here). The story of Jesus’ final hours is absolutely incredible – so incredible that each time I sat down to write, I felt I was falling short of the word. Rather than attempt to interpret scripture that I am still working so hard to understand, I thought I’d share links to the story. Click here to read the scripture: John 15-17. I’m also including links to two of my church’s past messages: Branded for Commitment (speaks to the benefits of living in obedience and walking in the fruit of the spirit) and Designs for Unity (the final hours of Jesus’ life). This weekend, we will continue to play out the story of Jesus’ death…but more importantly, his resurrection. I can’t wait!

So, to recap our lesson, we learned how to apply selective coloring.  I also made a point to incorporate many of our other lessons into this edit (grass, texture, text, adjustment layers, etc.) For your edit, I would love to see you continuing using the lessons we’ve covered in the past 14 weeks. I also encourage you to give this lesson a try. 

With that said, here’s a final look at my SOOC, Clean Edit and Final image. I hope you found today’s lesson useful. If you have any questions or need more explanation, don’t hesitate to contact me.
IMG_3918 Compare
On a completely different note, let’s talk about calibration. In order to see images the way they were intended to be seen, your monitor might need to be calibrated. If you’re planning on taking your photography to the next level (aka “going pro) or you’re a graphic designer, etc., this is especially important. You don’t want to spend hours choosing the perfect subtle color scheme/adjust skin tones only to see a mis-matched mess on someone else’s monitor or coming out of a printer. Taken a step further, AmyLee wrote a tutorial recently on consistency in color among different web browsers – CLICK HERE.

A couple of weeks ago, I took one more step into the world of professional photography. Although I don’t know that I’ll ever be a full-time professional portrait photographer…whenever I do do portrait work or sell my photographs, I would like to know that I am delivering a high quality image. Therefore, I signed up for MPix Pro. Through this process, I submitted five 8×10 300 dpi images to their print lab in order to test the color quality of the images I see on my screen with their printers. Unfortunately, I was more than disappointed with my color prints. MPix suggested that if my color was off (and for these purposes, no color correction was done) to calibrate my monitor. They recommended X-Rite i1Display 2. Buy.com had the software on sale and included a $25 mail-in rebate making it a bit more competitive with a less expensive product I’ve also considered:  Spyder 3 Pro (or even Spyder 3 Express). 

After calibrating my monitor, I resubmitted my test prints and was much more satisfied with the outcome. I thought I’d share the results – even if your monitor is not calibrated, you should notice a difference between the two images. On the left, my photo before calibration. On the right, my photo after calibration. And yes…I re-edited after calibration and my crop is a little different.
Show Me the Camera-2 8x10 Calibration
On screen, the differences may be subtle…but in print, there is a definite difference. For what it’s worth, I also found this “simple” calibration process via Wiki-How (you can’t see my face right now, but I’m not sure I would trust this process over a software solution, but for those of you that are interested in a free option, it’s worth considering): Click HERE. This is one area where I’m slightly out of my area of expertise so while you can certainly ask me questions…I’m still new at this. With that said, are you calibrated? 

I hope you all have a great Thursday and I look forward to seeing your edits!