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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Anatomy of...Pretty Pretty Girl

Let me just say, when you have to look no further than your own family for the most beautiful, most fun, most striking models, that's a really good thing!


My 'nieces' were in town last week and I couldn't wait to do a photo shoot with them.  I tried some new props and they showed up with tons of great accessories...we had plenty of jewelry, fun clothing and even argyle socks~  Can't go wrong with argyle socks!


I've got lots of photos I'll be sharing from their shoot but here's one that I thought you may enjoy seeing my editing process...this one is of Beautiful Emily who is just a natural in front of the camera~


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

I loved her expression here but wanted to change the composition so I cropped the photo but wound up losing space on the left side.  My pic looked like this:

So I chose the Clone tool and cloned in some more of the weeds.  This background is pretty easy to clone but a more detailed background would have been tough~  My final cloning wasn't perfect but I knew I'd be adding some texture so I thought it was good enough...here's what it looked like:


Next I softened the skin in Baby PowderRoom and did a little "facial treatment" on just one little part of her eyebrow...I chose the Clone tool again and cleaned up her eyebrow so it was a finer line along the edge...just call it a pain-free waxing!  
This is what it looked like Before I waxed {cloned}....and you can check out the After on the final pic because I forgot to take a close up shot of it!

It's the fine, little details like that that can make all the difference in your images ~

Next I added a texture from the Supernatural collection...something soft and dreamy...
then added a layer mask and erased most of it off her body...


Next I wanted to increase that dreamy look so I ran the Orton action and reduced the opacity to 82%...


Then, because I just wasn't content with the feel of the photo, I duplicated the layer and ran a Gaussian Blur on the top layer and erased most of it off her face and shoulders...this really intensified the dreamy background...



If you'll notice the black part on the white layer mask you'll see some that's gray and some that's black...this is where I used a lower opacity brush on the edges and a higher opacity on the face.  This eases the transition from focus to blurred and makes it look more natural...or at least that was the plan!

Finally I wanted to brighten the photo just a bit so I ran Coffeeshop Vivid 2 and used the Soft layer at 38% and lightly erased the Vignette in the right corner...


Here's my final...


Isn't she lovely ~

More photos coming from this session including her sisters - Twins! - and argyle socks!










14 comments:

Traci said...

I so appreciate you sharing your steps and expertise! She's beautiful. Look forward to seeing more.

Sarah Cox said...

Wow! I LOVE this one! I still am a little confused on the cropping. How did you get the empty space to clone in? Or stretch the canvas after you had cropped to what you liked? This is where I struggle. I can make it the way I want it to look, but then it doesn't fit to normal printing sizes.

Sarah Cox said...

Wow! I LOVE this one! I still am a little confused on the cropping. How did you get the empty space to clone in? Or stretch the canvas after you had cropped to what you liked? This is where I struggle. I can make it the way I want it to look, but then it doesn't fit to normal printing sizes.

Sarah Cox said...

nevermind, I just figured it out! Thanks for the inspiration again!

way outnumbered said...

Sarah~
I should have explained better on the cropping...I created a new document, 7x5, and moved the photo to the new document and composed as I wanted. Not saying this is the proper technical way to create new items but this is how I did it!

Thanks for checking out my stuff!

Shonni said...

REALLY Beautiful!!!

Ashley Sisk said...

What a beautiful edit - I love how you really wrote out your steps. Great job.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this edit. The result is so beautiful!

Kim said...

Thanks for sharing! I wouldn't have noticed anything great in the original shot, but you made it look so gorgeous!

Rita said...

That is a simply gorgeous example of a before/after gone well! I love it!!!

carlotta said...

wow. she is stunning. gorgeous photo, and the edit made it even better!

OUR WILD ZOO! said...

Absolutely amazing. You take a beautiful picture and turn it into art portraiture! I hope to someday have half your knowledge with all of this. You have serious talent. Keep up the great work!

Jami said...

This is just lovely! I have one question for you. Do you do all your editing at one sitting? I have a hard time finding the balance between overworking and stopping too soon. Sometimes I want to take a look at it later, but like you, I have 4 kids and later doesn't always happen. :) Just curious how you do it. I need more practice. Thanks for sharing your steps!

way outnumbered said...

Jami~
I typically don't edit every photo that I choose from one session at the same time. It usually takes 2 -3 days depending on my family schedule. Since I use so many different "recipes" on my images I write down my steps on ones I'll want to recreate the same look for. Or, lately I've been taking screenshots and then just sorting out my desktop later to see what all I've done! Thanks for the great question!

 
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