A Sad Excuse for a Tutorial-Photo Editing

I have so many people loving my photos that I publish for Weekly Winners and A Thousand Words Thursday, and for that, thank you. I love shooting anything and everything. My camera is not too shabby, Canon Power Shot S5IS, but it isn't top of the line by ANY means.

I've said it before, I owe all my talent to Photoshop, and Pioneer Woman's Actions. I'm not good at tutorials and screenshots and such. I so want to take over the keyboard for all of you virtually to literally SHOW you how to work PS...but I'll give a general explanation of what I do. If you know PS or Elements, you'll get me, if not, just know there's more to my photos than just the camera.

For example, my recent ATWT entry. Here's what it looks like SOOC (straight out of the camera)...

Then after touching it up in PS...


1.I first crop the shot. K's big hair and the toy and the fence...all that stuff isn't the point of my photo, so I try to center the bubble and her puckered mouth.

2.Next I size the photo to it fits in my blog space from the original size, usually 520 pixels wide. (The orgininal size is about 3200 pixels wide).

3.Now I can work with it in photoshop a bit easier. I sharpened the whole shot once, then highlight just the bubble with the magnetic lasso tool.

4.Next, I go to Image>adjustments>levels. I change the input to about 66 and the output to about 93, for this particular shot. I HAVE NO IDEA what any of this means. It's all stuff that i've learned to play with in my PS experience. But, it brightens the over all shot and makes the color pop a bit more. Each pic I use will have diff input/output number.

5.Pioneer Woman has a set of "actions" that she created to enhance her own photos. She offers them free on her blog and I loaded those to my PS. For this shot I used her "BOOST" action. This created the extra burst of color to the overall picture. The grass is greener with some fabulous light hitting it, the bubble wand in pinker and more vibrant. It brightens and warms the photo, it's my fave of all her actions!

If I don't work the boost action, I go to Image>adjustments>brightness/contrast and play with that a little, for depth.

6.Finally for this shot, I used the rectangular marquee tool with the 'feather' set at 40px and make a shape around the outer edge of the photo. Select inverse and then using the color black I hit 'delete' and it adds an dark edge burn around the photo. Select inverse again and then I brighten the main section of the shot once more with levels from #4.

Ouila! I add my watermark last in text and lower the opacity and then i'm done.

Clear as mud?!

21 supporters in group:

  1. the RaMbLeR said...

    AWESOME job!! I have PS,Elements and Lightroom... I've seen her actions but just have not taken the time to 'play' with a pic. That also takes a pretty good eye for what is attractive. either way....K is adorable!

  2. Ter said...

    I'm new here.... we have the same kinda camera. :) I am still confused by PS though. I'll figure it out someday!

  3. numberonesistah said...

    I'm totally getting camera envy and photoshop envy and all that other stuff envy. I'm just a point and click picture taker and I'm really thinking I need to change that.

    I drool over good photos..does that count for anything?

  4. He And Me + 3 said...

    I am just learning PSElements and i need to download some of her actions...it would sure help me out alot...gotta figure out how to do that now.

  5. Mel @ ShimmerMeBlue said...

    Thanks for sharing! I always retouch my jewelry shots, but never even considered retouching real life pictures. DUH! Well, now I know. Thanks again :)

  6. Martha said...

    Thanks for sharing. I had as S2-IS, and I LOVED that camera, that is until it died on NYE. I recently tried to have it repaired as a backup or camera for Tara and it was not repairable, and I was sad. I have always thought no matter the camera, you still have to have a good eye, which you certainly do. I need to get better with people photos, but Tara is at the age where she no longer wants to be the subject of too many, and I need to respect that!

    I need to work more with editing, most of my pics are straight from the camera. Now that I'm retired... well I will be as of 5pm today, maybe I will find more time to practice!

  7. Brittany said...

    I cannot wait to try this. I will have to hunt down her actions. THANK YOU!!!

  8. Faith - That's Just Freaking Lovely said...

    Thanks for sharing this! I just got a new camera and am determined to take better pictures. Of course I have NO idea how to work 99% of the stuff on the new camera but whatever, lol. I am pretty handy with the photo editing software though, so I will have to try some of these tricks!

  9. Gena said...

    I love it! K is gorgeous!

  10. Mrs. Schmitty said...

    One of these days I have to learn Photoshop. I use Adobe PhotoDeluxe to do all of my work...it's basic and obsolete...but I KNOW it.

    That picture is gorgeous!

  11. Don't Lick The Ferrets! said...

    You do great work! The picture is amazing!

  12. jill jill bo bill said...

    HUH?


    I would be just giddy to get the first shot. My photography skills are only a step above my tech skills. So, pretty much I am screwed.

  13. Kelly said...

    do you have a link for the actions? i love playing with actions!!!

  14. TentCamper said...

    Thanks for the post....but can I just send you my photos to fix up? There are only about 1,000.

    Let me know.

    :)

  15. Michelle said...

    Wow that really makes a difference. I need to play around with photoshop and figure things out. I would probably be much happier with my pictures.

  16. Leslie said...

    I know how to do a few things in PS, but it's still Greek to me...I would love to take a class.

  17. Semi-Slacker Mom said...

    I love all your photos. I do a little editing in my Kodak program, but I really should use Photoshop.

  18. Wendy said...

    Wow, nice before and after. I love those!

  19. wife.mom.nurse said...

    That is so cool! I love the vivid colors.

    I cannot wait to delve into photography like this!

    ")

  20. Mighty M said...

    Turned out great!

  21. Jill said...

    It's photos like these that totally prove I need to purchase Photoshop one of these days. Seriously!

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