Saturday, June 4, 2011

Picture Edit Tutorial #1

Spring over at Kraftygang sent me this adorable picture of her son and asked me to edit it in my style.  As I told her, I want to emphasize to all of you that editing is all about preference. Editing is an art and each person gets to edit according to their own style and create their own art. It's so fun to take a basic picture and then play around with the color, tone etc.! The picture that she sent me (first picture shown below) is actually a great exposure as is.  Even when using the manual settings on your camera this may very well be what the camera considers a correct exposure and it really is!  A good exposure should leave all of your detail in tact and your whites should be visible.  In my edit below (second picture shown) I purposely over brightened the picture because I like that look at feel of pictures right now.  My edit would actually be considered an over exposure by both my camera and by many photographers.  Again, to each his own.  As I told Spring, my editing style right now is light skin, soft and bright color pops but, a few years down the line I might go more for soft color and dark skin edits.  It's all about what makes you smile when you look at a picture.  I wrote down each step as I edited this picture for Spring.  I also told her what a treat it was to edit a picture of a sweet faced little boy with such bright blue eyes.   It is highly unlikely that we will ever have a blue eyed, fair skinned kiddo....shoot, we may never have a boy, so this was all around a treat!

First step: Ran 2 Lighten Actions from the Pioneer Woman set (I like my pics bright!)
Second Step: Ran an Unsharp Mask at Radius 0.9 and amount 137% (all about preference)
(I sharpen some shots much more or much less depending on how sharp they are to begin with)
Third Step: Ran Bring on the Eyes action by Pioneer Woman at 37%
Fourth Step: Ran a Boost Action by Pioneer woman at 30% zip 55% zing and Crispness off
Fifth Step: Used a brush set to black and brushed the Boost action off his skin and hair
(The boost action often creates an orange tone on skin which I don't really care for but, it brightens clothes which looks great.  I just recently realized that I need to brush the action off the face to keep the soft, natural skin tones but, boost the colors around the person.  Big difference!)
Sixth step:  Ran a final Lighten action from Pioneer Woman set at 43% opacity 45%
I could have not added that last lighten action as you can see it is very light now but, I just liked how his beautiful blue eyes really popped against his porcelin skin. 
Honestly, I edit every single picture differently.  Similar but, definitely different depending on how it looks when I load it on my computer.  Some I hardly edit at all if I like the SOOC (straight out of camera) feel of them and others I go crazy on just for fun.  I use Photoshop CS5 but, any editing program offers plenty of tools to fiddle around with your pictures.  I appreciate all of the different styles I see around the blog world.  The vintage, retro, sepia, chic styles are all so beautiful and I'd love to learn to expand my style even more! 
If any of you have any questions for me about photography please leave me a comment now or any time in the future. I'd love to answer them in a how to blog post! 

Hope you are all having a great weekend! xo



  1. Cool edit! Great job with the picture Casey!

  2. Beautiful job Casey-

    I had written this longer comment about how ones perspective on the shot changes over time & how I also believe it is a personal preference when it comes to editing. Somehow when I clicked post- it disappeared. Anyhow= shortened version- I completely agree!

  3. This is gorgeous!! I love how his eyes pop!!

  4. Oh, and to answer your question about how the wedding went, it was much easier and more fun than I thought! I thought the ceremony would stress me out but it was so easy, I would definatly want to do it again! (i'm quite the bossy photographer though) lol

  5. I love how you immediately brought the photo to life. It was already properly exposed, so you just made it even better!

  6. I LOVE it! I love pumping the exposure up and brightening the skin tone, makes all the colors pop. This is beautiful and a great tutorial!

  7. VERY cute edit! I do love the way his blue eyes pop against his porcelain skin. Like you, I prefer some of my shots a little on the overexposed side. I love it!

  8. that is a really good edit!!! he has amazing eyes.x

  9. Casey! I love your style. This picture {both of them} offers a lot of differences but both very cute! Did you take an editing class or do you just try and see what works for you? I love photography and editing but I don't do it as much because I get a little hesitant for giving my "style" and doing it wrong...

    You take amazing pictures! I love looking at them. I think your pictures offer pureness.


  10. I really love how you edited this--his eyes just pop right out of the photo! :D


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