Less Is More | Teach Me Tuesdays

I’ve been asked a few times to teach here and there…especially in the world of photoshop:)Now I am by NO means a PS guru, but I do know my way around pretty well. I love the post processing of images so I wanted to start this new little project out with a basic photo edit. For the most part, I’ve always been a ‘less is more’ kinda girl. That doesn’t mean that I haven’t gone through those stages where I edit the tar out of a photo only to look at it the a few months down the road and have to get up and walk away from the computer.:)But we all learn from our mistakes, right?!

Anyways…here is my first before & after! The MOST IMPORTANT aspect to a good photo is to have good exposure right from the start. Don’t ever take a photo and chimp at your LCD and say to yourself “I can fix that in Photoshop!” Not good, not good at all!
This is a gorgeous senior from Denver that I photographed while I was working with the awesome awesome Andrea Janke. Now, I like the photo, she is a tad under-exposed but not much at all. Here are the steps I took to take it from the before to the after:)

I bumped the exposure using a curves layer-eyeballing it until I liked the exposure of her skin, then masked back in the sky/building/car/street. Don’t know what masking is? Go here to see a tutorial.
Next I increased the contrast to +50 (which is more then I usually do, but this photo was pretty flat from the sun still being so high in the sky). This time masking out the senior’s skin.
Then I duplicated the layer and changed the blending mode to ‘multiply’ …again, masking out the senior.  This helped darken the background to bring out more detail in the sky & buildings.
Lastly, I adjusted the yellows to -8 in the color balance palette.

Pretty easy, right?  That is only 4 steps total and you have a nice clean & crisp edit.:)

This was shot with my 5d MarkII w/ an 85mm 1.8 lens.  Shot in manual at SS: 1/3200,  f/2.5, ISO 250.

edited to add: I’d love some feedback!  Leave me a comment:)Anything specific you want me to touch on in the future?


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  • August 31, 2011 - 4:06 am

    Deanna - Beautiful edit!ReplyCancel

  • August 31, 2011 - 5:28 am

    Leah Davis - Hey cute girl…loved the tutorial…I have never masked. I watched the tutorial and I only have CS4…can I still mask like the guy showed? I think I just found where the mask is..off to play. And is masking like Erasing? Keep your awesomeness coming!
    Do you use any skin softener?
    Sorry for the novel:)

  • August 31, 2011 - 2:53 pm

    admin - Hey Leah! :) Yup…you can definitely still mask! Have you figured it out? Masking is pretty much erasing, I love it! I don’t use a whole ton of skin softening, but it really depends on the image…but I love the curves tool, I use that to help make the skin creamy, I think I’ll post on that next :)ReplyCancel

  • August 31, 2011 - 6:43 pm

    Jenn - Love your edit! It makes everything pop in the image… especially your subject!ReplyCancel

  • September 2, 2011 - 10:46 pm

    Tiffaney - Perfect edit… just the right touches. I love the fact that you gave a step by step of what you did. Great job!ReplyCancel

  • September 7, 2011 - 3:11 am

    Sarah Meneely - Nice, Lora! This is a great idea… I’ll definitely be checking in :)ReplyCancel

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