Hello!! I am so excited and so honored to be posting on Paper Heart Camera! This is my first time posting, so I am just a little nervous. :)
Today I wanted to share a quick tutorial on a simple and clean edit for your beautiful photos. I usually do this to almost every photo when I edit and then I play around with other actions and textures to enhance my photos even more.
This is a photo of my oldest on his last day of preschool. I took it indoors facing our open windows so I could get the catch light in his eyes. It wasn't the most perfect lighting but hey... I got him both looking and smiling at the camera!
So first off, I open my image up in Photoshop and adjust my white balance since I can tell that I am a little off.
I am sure there are many simple and other ways but I like to go to Layers --> New Adjustment Layers --> Levels and adjust it to my liking. This way it lightens up the image a little and corrects the exposure some.
Then I like to adjust the brightness and contrast. So again I make a new adjustment layer by going to Layer --> New Adjustment Layer --> brightness and contrast. I adjust it ever so lightly so that that it gives the image just a little depth but not so drastic that it looks weird. So for this image I set the brightness to 7 and the contrast to 6.
Also, for this image I wanted to smooth out his skin some and clean up around his mouth just a little bit. I should note that there are a lot of amazing actions that are made for smoothing and softening skin, but for this quick exercise I am going to show you a quick and simple way I do it sometimes.
I take the eye dropper tool in the tool bar and select the almost lightest part of his skin, in this case right under his eye on his cheek bone. I then take a soft white brush with the opacity set to 11% and softly paint along his face and around the mouth. Since his face is slightly darker on the other side I used the eye dropper tool and selected again on the opposite cheekbone to paint along that side.
I should note that before I begin painting I like to copy my background and paint on the copy layer. That way if I overdue it or it looks too fake I can just toss that layer without ruining the previous work.
Once I am finished with my clean edit I like to sharpen it a little. I go to Filter --> Sharpen --> Unsharp Mask and adjust Amount: 120% Radius: 2 pixels Threshold 0 levels.
Hope you enjoyed this tutorial. You can check out more of my images over at k.c.captured if you like!