Tuesday, 26 May 2009

I'm Getting All Profesh With The PS, Like

Since discovering Pioneer Woman and her FAB Photoshop tips last week, I've been all excited about fiddling around with Actions and Masks, something I've never done before. Usually when I alter a photo, I'll just adjust the Curves to make it lighter overall, up the Contrast to make the shadows a bit more interesting, then Sharpen if it needs it. I took some photos of the lovely Sam modelling my aprons yesterday (which will be up in my Etsy/Folksy shops ASAP) and spent a couple of hours experimenting with all these new ideas last night. Although I know it's only start and I still have plenty to learn, I'm quite chuffed with my first attempts. Here's what I did to make one photo more interesting:

Here is my original photo straight out the camera:


Perfectly nice, but not all that exciting.

First of all, I upped the Curves and Contrast as I usually do to make it lighter overall, and the shadows darker:


Here comes the fun part. I duplicated the photo so there were two copies of the same thing, just on different layers on top of each other. Then I put the Gaussian Blur filter on the top copy, like so:


Then, using a Mask on this top, fuzzy layer, I "rubbed out" the blur on Sam herself, leaving the un-blurry layer underneath showing through:


Blurry background, sharp foreground. I then Flattened that so it was all one layer again, then added Pioneer Woman's "Warmer" Action and adjusted the Opacity down 30% or so so it wasn't quite so obvious:


I then lightened the whole thing up again a little:


As the "Warmer" actions makes things yellow-tinged, I used the Lasso tool on Sam's teeth, then upped the Brightness on them a little to whiten them back up to their natural state, then used Unsharp Mask on the whole thing:


Et Voila. To summarise,



And After:


Cool, huh? Simple, yet effective. By the last few photos I had my working methods down pat, so hopefully I can make this a quicker process from now on. Not that I think I'll do it on all my photos - I'd be there forever! - but for special ones I think it will make a difference.

Now, just have to measure up my finished aprons and they'll be up in my Etsy/Folksy shops in no time!

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