My husband's parents came today and brought their granddaughter, (and our niece) Colleen, with them. Most of you have seen her before, here in this picture I doctored up from Christmas last year. And the picture in this post, unfortunately, needed doctoring up today.
I am not a great photographer, by any stretch of the imagination. My camera is too much for me sometimes and I like things simple. I tend to get lazy and use the automatic settings more than I should, and the original SOOC of this picture (see below) is a prime example. I took it on the auto dial with the landscape setting. It was a bit shy of light under the eves of the barn and I should have gone to manual and used a different aperture. But pictures happen too fast for me sometimes and I tend to do the easiest thing and correct it later.
To me, this says that I am not a photographer, but rather a manipulator of the digital image, which is a much lesser standing than a real photographer, in my opinion. So when people say, "oh, you're such a good photographer" I quietly disagree. I may have a good eye, I will admit that, but I am nowhere where I'd like to be.
And so, I'd like to share how I shamelessly manipulated this cute shot of my soon-to-be ten year old niece, using Photoshop. And speaking of my niece, do you remember what it was like to be ten years old? I'd like to know. Because I do remember. And when I first moved here, I saw a tree that looked like the perfect climbing tree. It's right next to the house, and my sister Charlotte, upon arrival to visit me for the first time, noticed the same thing. It surprised me~ Oh, but I digress.
So here's how I made the picture you see below, the original straight-out-of-camera (SOOC), into the picture at the top of this post.
I opened it up in Photoshop and duplicated the image. That's the image I'll work with. I ran an adjustment on it called "shadow/highlight" and set it to about 35%. It's looking better at this point.
Then I ran two actions on it. First, I ran Pioneer Woman's Soft & Faded and lowered the opacity to about 75%. After that, I ran Totally Rad Actions Super Fun Happy with the opacity set at about 70%. This gave it a creamy finish for the skin tone.
Then my husband brought me a glass of wine. So this next part may get a little fuzzy. The picture was looking good at this point, but was still a little dark. So I did PW's Slight Lighten, lowering the opacity to 85%. Then I lightened both her teeth and the whites of her eyes. These are accomplished by using the lasso tool and drawing around the area you need lightened. Then choose Select>Feather and go to about 2. This slightly rounds out the area you're going to whiten. Go to Image>Adjustments>Hue/Saturation. For the teeth, choose Yellow in the edit screen and slide the Saturation bar down some. Then go to the edit screen again and choose Master and slide the Lightness bar up some.
Am I talking too much? I hope not.
The next thing I did was to make her eyes sparkle. I used PW's trick, and if you have Photoshop, this is such a simple trick to remember and use when you want to make someone's eyes pop a little bit.
I flattened all the layers at this point and was just about to call it a day. In fact, I had finished the picture at this point and loaded it into this post and still, I thought it was too dark. So I ran PW's Slight Lighten on it one more time and lowered the opacity to about 30%. Which means I should have it at 100% the first time I ran it.
I hope I haven't gone too fast for all this. And if you have Photoshop and want to download some free actions, please stop by Pioneer Woman's site and do so. They're great and they're free. Totally Rad also also has free actions to try out, but you'll only get 3 of them, so check them out as well.
Ok. Here's another question for you: Do you know of anywhere else to pick up free Photoshop Actions? And please, don't forget to let me know the burning answer to the question: Do you remember being 10 years old?