June 02, 2011
Shoot and Edit: Week 21 – Looking Up…EDIT
Welcome to the 21st 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 “Looking Up” 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.

Each Thursday, I will take my SOOC shot and provide some basic editing tips. 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. 

Before we get into my edit, I thought I’d share a few secrets about my makeup. In the event that you’re jealous over my eye lashes…they are completely fake and so easy to apply. I believe that you can get either a strip or individual lashes (which I think are harder to apply) at any store that sells makeup. If I can get my act together, maybe I’ll even do a tutorial…no promises. I’ve also been asked about my lipstick. I rarely wear lipstick but on the occasion that I need a little something on my lips I will apply some random cheap brand that I bought some time ago. For this particular effect, I applied my lipstick, a little bit of gloss and then lightly brushed gold eye shadow over my lips.

Today we’ll discuss vignettes, but first…here’s my SOOC again. 
So, building on what we’ve learned in the past 20 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, Week 14: Edit, Week 15: Edit, Week 16: Edit, Week 17: Edit, Week 18: Edit, Week 19: Edit, and Week 20: Edit) I started my edit by opening my photo in Adobe Camera Raw and running a nice clean edit.
Adobe Camera Raw Edit
Before we go any further, what is a vignette? This artistic effect is simply a lightening or darkening of the edges of a photograph. The effect helps draws the viewer into the photo. And, although I could have created a vignette within Adobe Camera Raw (ACR), I decided to wait until I was in Photoshop….which leads me to the first video tutorial. In this video, he will describe several ways to vignette your photo starting in ACR. 
What’d ya think? Anything you can use? I actually watched the above video AFTER watching this next video that demonstrates yet another way to achieve the vignette effect. This particular tutorial uses curves and the Gaussian blur. I personally think this method is simpler, but I would add that after using the marquee tool that you right click and feather. Furthermore, after you’ve applied the vignette, you might change the blending mode to OVERLAY and then lower your opacity (I tend to apply vignettes at 25%) – I hope that makes sense.
If you have the time, I encourage you to watch both tutorials and practice using the vignette options. The image below uses the second technique following the Coffeeshop Blog’s Perfect Portrait 3 action (with some tweaks). If you mouse over the image, you can see it without a vignette.

I’ll also point out that in addition to the ways described above, there are a number of free actions that will quickly apply a vignette to your image. In the past, I’ve used the Coffeeshop Blog’s Vignette Action, but I believe that the Pioneer Woman also has a free action that basically does the same thing.
Finally, because I’m such a big fan of Florabella’s Lux II Action Set, I decided to apply LOVE at 25% opacity. At some point, I’d love to unpack a few of the “Florabella” secrets…but I’ll save it for another time.
IMG_4728 Love 25 RS
Florabella Lux II – LOVE @ 25%

So, to recap our lesson, we discussed vignettes. For your edit, I would love to see you continuing using the lessons we’ve covered in the past 20 weeks. You might even consider using a vignette on your photo. Here’s a final look at my SOOC, ACR, Perfect Portrait and Final Edit (using Lux II – Love). IMG_4728 Compare
I hope you found today’s lesson useful and I hope you have a great Thursday! If you have any questions or need more explanation, don’t hesitate to contact me. Next week’s theme is “bubbles.”