Shoot and Edit: Week 28 – Summer…EDIT
Welcome to the 28th 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 “Summer” 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 a simple/basic or advanced Photoshop/Photoshop Elements tutorial. You can then try my tutorial 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.

This week, something exciting happened…I got my very own copy of Lightroom 3! I am still incredibly comfortable working in Photoshop and Adobe Camera Raw (ACR), but I’m looking forward to learning a new program…and of course sharing what I learn as I start using it. From the little bit I’ve seen so far, it has a lot of the same functionality as ACR (for Photoshop users – PSE’s version of ACR is very basic) with a few more advanced features.

More exciting…I’ve started a good to WOW {EDIT} Flickr Group for those of you that prefer to upload and visit that way.  When adding your photos to the group pool, be sure to include the Week #,  the Theme and EDIT in the description section. You may upload one photo per week. I also want to point out that we are all here to improve our editing skills. When offering constructive criticism (either on Flickr or within blog comment sections), be sure to point out at least one thing you really like about the edit before offering any advice for improvement.

Anyways, this week’s edit will be a little different than previous weeks. I really don’t have a new lesson for you, but I do have a new action to share with you. I’ll also be editing one of the photos from the pool…in fact, I’ll be editing one of Jill’s photos. But first, here’s my SOOC shot. 
What I loved about this shot was 1) the lighting – I really love that the center of the photo is illuminated leaving the edges a bit darker; 2) the natural framing. In all fairness, there’s nothing spectacular about this photo and it’s perfectly fine SOOC, but I wanted to clean it up just a bit. 

Take a look at my edit below. Can you identify a few of the changes I made outside of any actions I may have used? You can click on the Before and After below for a larger view to compare side-by-side.
IMG_6211 Final RS
I will tell you that I used a couple of actions to add character to a relatively boring shot (even if I do love the lighting and framing). Since I know you guys love a freebie action, here’s what I used: 
  • Vibrance by Mandy at A Sorta Fairytale – lately, I’ve been using this action in lieu of Perfect Portrait 3. If you’ve got a great SOOC shot, this action is just the ticket! Unfortunately, it can only be used in Photoshop.
  • Golden Backlight by Crystal at Momaziggy’s Photoshop for Fun (at 50% opacity). Ooops – I really didn’t mean to throw two non-compatible to PSE actions at you but I am in love with this action. If nothing else, take a look at her before and afters…be sure you have a hanky handy to wipe the drool away. And while this particular action is not PSE compatible, I do know that she does create them from time to time…like her PSE Jewel Tone Wash Action set (in fact, I decided to try out this set and I’ll use it in my edit below).
Like I said above, here’s my before and after. Just click on it to see a larger version of the images side-by-side. I’d love to know if you can spot my changes.
IMG_6211 Compare
As I mentioned earlier, while I may not be teaching anything significant these next couple of weeks, I don’t want that to limit my/our enthusiasm for editing. And since I now own a copy of Lightroom (LR), I’ve just opened up my editing options even further. I thought I’d practice using LR on one of Jill‘s photos. Here’s her SOOC shot:
IMG_6112 rs
While I was exploring Lightroom earlier this week, I decided to visit Scott Kelby’s site to see how significant Lightroom would be from what I already know in Adobe Camera Raw and Adobe CS5 Photoshop. I learned that “The Develop Module (in LR) is actually just Camera Raw on a darker gray background, but in Lightroom there are some features (including the Targeted Adjustment Tool) that just aren’t in Camera Raw.” So it would seem that once you learn Camera Raw, Lightroom should be an easy transition. I also found this site with 100 short LR video tutorials to help me get comfortable.

One thing I already love about Lightroom, that I did not have in Adobe Camera Raw (ACR), are the Before and After Previews. As you make adjustments to your photo, you can compare the results. I was also pleased to see preloaded presets…so many more options than ACR. Of course, I also went trolling for freebie Lightroom Presets and found Seim Effects. Since I know Jill typically likes a vibrant edit, I started with Super Hero preset and then adjusted to my taste.
Lightroom N-Before and After
I take it that LR didn’t like me taking a screen shot – ignore the quality.
I know that Jill prefers using one of her own presets, but I think my Lightroom edit below looks a lot like one of her edits. What do you think? Isn’t Jill’s youngest daughter just adorable?
IMG_6112 LR RS
Once I was done in Lightroom, I decided to export the image over to Photoshop. Since I got you all excited over my first edit and then realized that the action was not compatible with Photoshop Elements (that wasn’t very nice of me…I apologize), I decided to try Momaziggy’s Jewel Tone Wash Collection (compatible with Photoshop and Photoshop Elements) on this photo.

I love this collection because not only do you get six awesome jewel-toned actions in color, but Crystal also includes a black and white layer that makes for really beautiful black and white conversions. For this particular shot, I decided to use Amethyst Anyone? at 50% opacity. What do you think?
IMG_6112 Final RS
So, to recap our “lesson”, today I introduced you to a couple of new actions. I also opened the Lightroom door and explored using presets and the Before and After preview screen. Here’s a final look at the steps in my second edit. And, don’t forget to tell me what changes I made to my first edit.
IMG_6112 Compare
For your edit, I would love to see you continuing using the lessons we’ve covered in the past 27 weeks as well as apply today’s lesson or share something you’ve learned recently. I hope you all have a great Thursday and I look forward to seeing your edits. Next week’s theme is “Laughter.” Have a great Thursday!