Monday, May 30, 2011

Editing Newborn Skin Using Textures

Photoshop Actions seem to get all the glory when it comes to editing skin and color correction.
But I'm here to show ya today that textures can be just as effective as actions and are so simple to use for so many things other than just the funky stuff.  

You may recall that a few weeks ago I did a photo session with newborn Baby Zara.   Before I even started shooting I had a vision for *dreamy* *creamy* photos showcasing that super sweet newborn skin.  
But if you've ever photographed newborns, you know that typically their skin is blotchy and usually have strong yellow or red undertones.  Here's how I edited this newborn skin to achieve a creamy, consistent look to it:

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

Honestly her skin looks pretty darned good for a newborn but I wanted a much creamier look.  I started by overexposing all the images just a tad in-camera which I prefer for making skin look better and hiding flaws.

Next I cropped the photo in just a little tighter.  And although I'm singing the praises of textures today, I did use one layer of an action on these images!  I run Coffeeshop Baby Powder Room on *almost* every portrait to soften the skin, but you can also use a Gaussian Blur filter to achieve the same results.  I ran the Smooth Skin layer at 14% for just the tiniest bit of softening.

Then I decided I want to get rid of that wrinkle in the background so I used the color picker to choose the pink color from the blanket to paint over the wrinkles.

Check out the left corner where I just started "painting" over the wrinkles with the solid color.

Next I selected a soft grungy texture {Favorite Apron from Coffeeshop} with a bit of a purple/pink tone to it and placed it over my photo.  I used the Overlay option at 40%.

Just by adding this soft texture it tremendously evened out the skin tones and added that dreamy look I was wanting to convey.  But I wasn't quite done.....the skin still had a little too much red in it so I duplicated the layer {after flattening} and went to Adjust Color - Adjust Hue/Saturation then chose the Reds channel and moved the slider to a +9.  This took down the red quite a bit and got the skin right where I wanted it.  

Here's my final:

And here's another B&A using these same steps:

It's So Easy!
So give your textures a try the next time you're in need of some color correction!  You don't always need an arsenal full of actions to get Fabulous images!

And I'd love to hear how you use textures for editing other than the usual stuff....Share Your Wisdom!
Leave Some Awesome Comments!


Sarah Cox said...

Love it! I do the same thing! Love textures for getting the skin tone I want!

Butterbean Row said...

Beautiful work! I used to always do a Gaussian blur on all my portraits but you have turned me on Baby Powder and I love it!

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