Photo Editing

Sometimes I like to play around a bit with photo editing.  Simple color adjustments only slightly touch the things you can do with Photoshop.  Everything from faux hi-def to recreating old photograph styles.  Being able to edit your photos is a big part of photography.  Rarely do we get a photo straight from the camera that is awe inspiring.  Though, there are a few that CAN do that… and I don’t think I can ever manipulate my camera to turn out photos like the masters.  So I have to fake it haha ;)


This is my lovely daughter, Carly.  She agreed to be my model for playing around with a bit of editing and filters.  While we were out around town, I took this photo with my Nikon camera.  I don’t have any special lenses or anything, so it is just a typical portrait shot using the factory default settings.

Now let’s do some playing!

First off, I wanted to mute the colors to try for a vintage style look.  This goes beyond the typical saturation. First, I duplicated the original layer and desaturated it.  I set the opacity to about 50% and merged down.  I duplicated the layer again and inverted the colors.  Then, I added a blur to inverted layer and set the blend mode to Soft Light.  After merging the layers, I sharpened it up a little by duplicating the layer again and using the High Pass filter.  I set that layer to soft light at an opacity of about 40%.  Then I just brought out the yellows a little more. 

Next, I wanted a black and white photo that didn’t just look like a desaturated image.  I used the Black and White adjustment layer. and used the settings to make it just right.  Then I removed some of the things in the photo that took the focus away from her face.

Now I wanted to punch the color a little more and soften the edges. First, I duplicated the layer and blurred it by about 10 pixels.  I set the blend mode to Color and merged the layers.  Again, I removed the things in the photo that took the focus away. I then added a new adjustment layer that brought up the vibrance of the photo and merged again.  The final touch was using the Smart Sharpen filter to bring out some of the edges.

There are so many other things you can do with photo editing.  These are just a couple of subtleties.

Author: René

I sharpen pencils for a living.

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