Sunday, December 27, 2009

Anatomy of...Cute Boys Face.

Whew!  We've done 4 days straight of festivities!
I've barely touched my computer in days so it's time to get back to *normal* with a little blogging action:)

A few weeks ago I mentioned a great tip for removing the texture from a face without removing the color enhancement.  I use textures on almost all my portrait shots but it's usually not a good idea to have weird texturey stuff all over your subject's pretty face...

...unless, of course, you're like me and just can't settle for "normal" in a photo!

I've found myself intentionally adding a bit of texture lately to some pretty cute faces just to see what happens.

I started out kind of subtle...just a little extra texture on the hair and chin area...

...then I went straight to very non-subtle!  why not???

It's amazing how easy it is to add some drama to these portraits with just layer masks and a little creative erasing.

Here's a little Anatomy Lesson of my Cute Boys Face.  This is back to the subtle category of edits! 

1.  I opened my original in Photoshop Elements 6 for Mac:

2.  Next I softened the skin with Coffeeshop Powder Room 2 then Duplicated my Background Layer, ran a Gaussian Blur filter on the duplicate then erased most of the blur expect for the left eye and part of his lips.  (This is my hacker version of faking depth of field, you can check out my Faking It technique here!_
Here's what my layers palette looked like with the duplicate layer blurred then erased:

3.  Next I added my lovely textures...
     Dark Dream (Kaleidoscope) @ 81%
     Vintage warm (Flora Bella Collection) @ 35%
     then I erased part of the textures off his face without erasing them completely.  I left just a hint of texture on the side of his face.  Here's my layers palette showing my textures and layer masks.  The black parts are showing where I erased with a soft black brush on the layer mask.

4.  After I got my texture just where I wanted it I brightened up the colors a bit with Coffeeshop Color Pop 2 at 39%.  Here's my finished portrait:

I think without that unexpected touch of texture this photo would have been a little too "pretty" for this cool boy.    

Every photograph doesn't have to be normal...Right?!?!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Girl In The White Dress

Wanna know how I turned this photo...

...into this?

Then head over to TexasChicksBlogsandPics where I've revealed all my editing secrets!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Attitude Adjustment

Don't even get me started.

I had visions of the perfect family photo for our Christmas cards this year.
Unfortunately I forgot to factor in that I don't have the perfect family.

I'll save the gory details of Family Picture Day for another post. I'm still trying to recover.
Today I'll show you my quick little Attitude Adjustment...the photoshop way!

Princess, who's usually my major camera hog, was giving major attitudes while trying to snap our family photo.  Here's the best one of the bunch...

As you can see, it's not quite 'Christmas Card' worthy!

Event though Elements has a photomerge feature in it, there weren't any good ones that merged easily so I had to rig it up on my own.

I liked this shot I got of her later when she finally decided to chill out...

So I selected my Quick Selection tool and just selected her head and upper part of her shirt.
Here's my screenshot showing the 'marching ants' around my selection...

Then I dragged my selection onto my family portrait and resized my floating head over the 'attitude' head.  Here's my creepy screenshot with 2 heads on my portrait!

I resized the good head over the bad head and it fit pretty well.  I cloned the bushes behind her to make everything blend in.

TaDa!!  My new Perfect Family!

If only it were that easy in real life!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Anatomy of...Brown Haired Girl

I've got a little mini-tutorial for you today on my Brown Haired Girl.

In an effort to be creative and witty I tried to think of a title other than "Tutorial".  
Obviously that plan didn't work out too well and "Anatomy" is the best I could come up with ~ enjoy!

I say 'mini' due to the fact that I'm not giving screen shots or exact instructions on every single step.  
I've said it before and I'll say it again...I'm a hacker when it comes to editing...a little of this...a little of that...maybe see what happens when I click get my point?  

Which means my Anatomy Lessons will primarily be about how I've used textures or actions to enhance a photo.  I'm a texture junkie and can't live without Rita's actions so you'll be seeing LOTS of those here!

So here's my unbelievably gorgeous Brown Haired Girl...

Obviously she is perfect without any assistance from me but if I stopped now this would be a boring post!

1. I opened my original pic in photoshop elements 6 (mac version...there's nothing better!)  and cropped in a little closer.  

2. I used Coffeeshop Powder Room 2 to soften her skin just a bit and whiten her eyes a little. I use this action on almost EVERY SINGLE portrait I edit!  It's amazing how just a touch of whitening to the eyes really make them shine:)

3. After touching up the face I ran Erin's Defog action to give an overall boost to the pic. This action is great for lifting that "haze" that is so often on photos that you may not even recognize until after you've defogged!

4. Then I started adding my comes the fun!  All textures are from the Kaleidoscope collections.
     A.  Golden Sun @69% - added layer mask and erased lightly off the face
     B.  Dream Sequence @ 74% - added layer mask and erased lightly off the face
           lassoed face - gaussian blur to take the texture off the face (screenshot below)
     C.  Bokeh Bunch Warm @ 82%  - added layer mask and erased lightly off the face

When using textures on faces, it's usually not a good idea to have a bunch of weird texturey stuff on the face of your subject.  In order to keep the color enhancement that the texture adds but delete the actual texture itself just do this:
        A.  Select your Lasso Tool in your toolbar. Make sure your texture layer is highlighted.
        B.  Lasso the area you want the texture to be gone from (faces, arms, etc.)
        C.  Select Filter - Blur - Gaussian Blur then choose the amount of pixels that blurs the texture 
              enough for your liking.  
Here's a screenshot for you of what it looked like when I lassoed her face to take off the texture.  

Now that I have all my textures on the photo here's a screenshot of my layers palette showing each texture and it's layer mask showing how I just erased some of the texture off the face.
A layer mask just attaches itself to the 'layer' and allows you to make adjustments to that layer specifically.  You can grab a free Layer Mask Action here along with great instructions on how to use it.

Those black/gray places on the white masks show where I chose my Brush - set foreground color to Black - then brushed on the area where I wanted to 'erase' part of that texture.

5. Now it's time for some action!  I wanted a dreamy effect on this so I ran the Orton  action then flattened my layers.

6.  Then I changed my mind and decided I didn't want quite so dreamy so ran the Vivid 2 action
     and chose the Urban selection.  Love Love the Urban look! 
     Take a look at how I erased the Urban action (layer mask automatically attaches with the action)
     just from the area around her face.  Here's my screenshot showing the action choices in the layers 

7.  I lowered the opacity of the Urban layer to 85% and also darkened just a little around the edges then flattened my image and called it a day!

Again, here's the lovely portrait we started with...

...and here's the finished product.  Not necessarily better, just enhanced!

I hope this helps to encourage you to give those textures and actions a try!  I usually just layer them up and see what happens...there's no right or wrong...gotta love that!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Winner of Custom Photo Necklace Plus 15% Off for Everyone!

If you're this person:'re the lucky winner of 1 Custom Photo Necklace from Memory Round My Neck !

Here's my random screenshot that chose comment #6:

Contact and tell her which necklace you would like and she'll fill in all the fun details!

But ~ of course ~ I've got a little somethin somethin for everyone else!

Everyone who entered with a comment will receive 15% OFF their first order from Memory Round My Neck.  Just mention "outnumbered" when placing your order and save a few bucks:)

And don't forget...I've got some Anatomy lessons coming soon!  If you like textures then you're in the right place cause I've used tons of them and can't wait to share with you how I layer them up!

Stay tuned~

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Win a Custom Photo Necklace !

If you hate fighting the crowds for your Christmas shopping, I've got the perfect solution for you!
If you like free stuff, I've got the perfect solution for you!

Memory Round My Neck, my newest obsession, has generously offered 1 FREE Custom Photo Necklace to a very lucky wayoutnumbered reader.

I'm generally not obsessive by nature but this combination of cherished photos plus fabulous jewelry has just captured my attention!  Mary Sue has always been known for her flair for jewels so when she started making her own jewelry from the family photos I took, things just went crazy:)  Everywhere she went people were asking "Where did you get that and how can I get one?".

Of course I did a little creative bartering and was able to get a few of her first designs for myself.  Here's a few of my favorites...

This Silver Pendant is classic, no frills and shows off my favorite things in the world.  The large pendant sizes really help when you've got a lot of stuff you're wanting to squeeze into one picture!

This Black Princess Rope is great for casual dress and it's pretty funky~cool.

What I absolutely love about all of these necklaces is the clasps.  Even the clasps are ornamental which is perfect if you have short hair like I do and the backs are always showing.  

Here's the best of you lucky photo fanatics is going to have your choice of one of those necklaces to custom design with YOUR favorite photo!

Just as a's a few of her pieces that are still on my wishlist...

I love love love these little charms she has with sayings on them such as "hope" ~ "friends" and "inspire"...

And this chunky chain is so cool...please Santa...please!

But I will tease you no longer:)  I'll turn you loose to check out Memory Round My Neck and choose all your favorite pieces for loved ones, friends, babysitters, the list is endless of people who will cherish the gift of memories.

Here's all you need to do to enter the contest to win 1 Free Custom Photo Necklace:

~ check out and browse thru her designs.
~ come back here and leave a comment telling the world if you would give this necklace as 
   a gift or hold onto it as a "Merry Christmas To Me".

Winner will be announced early next week (I'm non-committal today) and there may even be a little somethin-somethin for those that don't win.  Contest ends Saturday night at 9pm eastern time.

Stay tuned...there's lots more comin your way!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Kaleidoscope Winners! Plus 30% Off for Everyone!

I'll get straight to the good stuff ~ if you are one of these 5 people you have won the ENTIRE Kaleidoscope Texture Collection!!

#28 Curt and Sarah        I think the Dream Collection is my favorite. But, seriously, they are all gorgeous! Impressive!

#37 Jensen Family       These are amazing!!!! i would love to work with the light set. I would have never guessed textures could do this. Awesome.

#57 Lisa      I definitely love the Gallery collection and the Light Set collection! Super cool!

#99  danmelkel     I have been drooling over these collections the past few weeks. I think my favorite is the light set.
#102 Kim       Wow, Wow, Wow - I just love them! I would love to try the new Gallery collection...simply fantastic! Thank you!

If you're one of the 5 winners please email: and let her know you're a winner from wayoutnumbered.  She will email you all her collections...WoW!!  
But wait, the good news ain't over yet!  EVERYONE receives 30% OFF any of the Kaleidoscope Collections!!  Simply use the code: outnumbered when checking out.  This discount code is good until December 8th, 2009 so shop shop shop!
Here's my super technical way of randomly choosing the was used to generate 2 of the numbers...

...and my 3 rowdy boys were told to write down their random # on a sheet of paper to choose the final 3 numbers. They were so excited to help choose the winners!  (by the way, I'm sure you're all impressed with that huge bicep my son is flexing for the camera!)

And if you like free stuff then stay tuned, I've got more contests in the works!  My newest obsession, Memory Round My Neck,  will be giving 1 lucky photo fanatic a Custom Photo Necklace just in time for Christmas!  Mary Sue has created some of the most beautiful photo jewelry and she'll be offering the winner a choice between one of these Black Rope Necklaces made with your favorite photo...

... or one of these Silver Pendant necklaces, also with your favorite photo to show off everywhere you go.

I've also got a few Anatomy lessons coming your first will be 
Anatomy of... a Brown Haired Girl.

Although this little beauty needed no improvement...

...I'll show you how I added a bit of drama with Kaleidoscope textures and Coffeeshop actions to create this portrait.

Whew!  That's a whole lotta info in this post!

Now here's your assignment ~ for everyone who wins or purchases the Kaleidoscope collections, please please please leave a comment here on my blog soon linking to the fabulous creations you make with her textures.  We all want to learn and be inspired so share the love with us!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Win the Entire Kaleidoscope Texture Collection!

You may not have known it when you woke up this morning, but this is your Lucky Day!

The fabulous Patti Brown has given wayoutnumbered
5 Complete Sets of the Kaleidoscope Collection to give away to 5 lucky photo fanatics!

I'm a Texture Junkie and I use Kaleidoscope creations on almost every photo I edit...typically I use 2 or 3 at a time and just layer them up and see what happens:)  Textures are wonderful for so many reasons...

  1. No actions to install or run. Just download and open like a regular photo.
  2. Compatible with all versions of photoshop AND elements! 
  3. Simply lay over your photo and completely adjust to your desired look.
If you're new to using textures, there's no better collection you could win!  If you love using textures, there's no better collection you could win!

I just can't even describe how awesome this giveaway'll be getting the ENTIRE Kaleidoscope collection...

The Dream Collection
    ~ 24 Fine Art Textures
I used the Dream Collection to create this portrait of a rowdy young man in a not-so-rowdy moment.
(of course I've posted Before & Afters because I'm also a B&A freak)

Don't you love the grungy effect on the edges and the background...

The Lite Flare Collection
 ~ 20 overlays to fabulously flare out your photos.
I used Lite Flare to add a little sunshine to this beauty.

It looks like the sun is shining down just for her!

The Light Set Collection
~ Over 30 translucent overlays inspired by light.
I used the Light Set to seriously add some background enhancement to this dreamy little girl.

See that great background twinkle on the left?  That's Alien name and cool effect!

The Gallery Collection - The newest collection just released on Monday!
~ over 80 textures and 9 artistic edges.
I've got a mini-tutorial for you on these textures:

Here is my original photo.  I love the content expression but I wanted to bump up the intensity a bit...

I cropped the photo, softened her skin with coffeeshop powder-room 2 then added 3 Gallery textures and 1 Artistic Edge...

  1. Smoke @ 84% opacity
  2. Watercolor @ 100% opacity
  3. Dust clouds @ 100% opacity
  4. Abstract Edge 1 @ 71%
After I placed each texture over the photo I added a layer mask to that layer.  Then I lightly erased the texture away from her face until I got the desired color.

Here's a screenshot of what my Layer Palette looked like with all 3 textures, 1 artistic edge and their layer masks...

Here's the finished portrait...I love how the textures really brought out the warm colors!

I could post for days about the wonderment of the Kaleidoscope Collection...but instead I'm going to give you your chance to win over 160 incredible textures and overlays!
Here's all you have to do to receive an entry:

  1. Check out the Kaleidoscope site then leave a comment here saying which Collection you're most excited to work with.
  2. For an extra entry post a link on your facebook page to this giveaway post and leave a comment here with your facebook ID.
The contest starts NOW and will close at 9pm Eastern time on Friday, November 20th.

I'll post the 5 WINNERS on Monday, November 23rd.  

Good Luck!

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