6 posts categorized "Before & After"

August 06, 2010

Before & After: Gwen and the colorful scarf

I found this pretty scarf on super duper mega sale at Ross and knew it would be a fun addition to the girls dress-up box.  Gwen was eager to let me photograph her with it.  She's been a very wiling model lately and, of course, my camera loves her almost as much as I do! 

I took this with my point and shoot camera since I accidentally left my SLR battery and charger in the hotel room in Pennsylvania. 

Gwen scarf-1583 edited

First, I enhanced her eyes and corrected the levels and color balance.  Then I applied my favorite Florabella action, Gypsy to this at 50% strength.  I upped the saturation in the scarf while masking out her face (so it didn't turn orange).  I love it!

Continue reading "Before & After: Gwen and the colorful scarf" »

June 02, 2010

Before & After: Gwendolyn

I loved the angle and the way Gwen's hair looked in the original photo.  The highlights almost looked blue!  I picked this photo for my "Before & After" blog post because I knew it would be challenging.    Boy was I right! 

IMG_6128 original
The photo was really cute but Gwen's face was totally out of focus and the whole thing really needed some serious work if it was to stay out of the recycle bin. 

I had several photos from this shoot and one of them was taken from a similar angle so I transplanted her face from that photo onto this one.  Then I did a bunch of edits using photoshop actions from MCP:

  • Magic Recovery
  • Magic Midtone LIfter
  • Magic Clarity
  • Magic Light
  • Magic Dark
  • Magic skin
  • Fake Blue Sky Illusion
  • Pot of Gold

When I was nearly finished, I added a warm texture from Florabella and a little bitty frame and was pretty happy with the end result.  I hope you like it too!

IMG_6128 fixed blog


More cool Before & After photos here:  Pixel Perfect

I took a bunch of photos today because I needed something to inspire me to play around in photoshop.  I hoped I'd get one or two crummy photos that needed editing but I ended up with a bunch of FANTASTIC photos that really didn't need any editing at all!  Funny how that never happens when I want it to!

Here are some of my favorite photos from this afternoon (all unedited):







May 25, 2010

Black & White Wednesday: Self Portrait (UGH!)

I'm one of a dozen or so contributors over on We Picture {This} (a Mamarazzi blog) and this month's theme is "Self Portraits". 

I didn't vote for that theme and I've been dreading it all month long and going back and forth over whether or not I'll participate this month.  But I'm trying hard to be a team player so I'm going to post something.  Even if I embarrass the heck out of myself (and that's almost a certainty).

My remote control died right after our Mother's Day photos so I had to resort to using the timer function on my camera.  I've tried taking photos in the mirror or holding the camera at arms length but, not surprisingly, those photos were all duds.  Funny even.  I'll share them later if we ever have a Blooper theme.

I took this photo this morning using the timer and a bar stool as a tripod.  I set everything up and set the timer then scurried around to the front and tried to strike a natural pose.  After the first dozen attempts, my kids thought it was a silly game and started laughing at me which, of course, made me laugh too and that's how this photo was born.

I'm reluctant to show you the original photo because I'm 48 years old and never post a photo unless I've slathered some "Photoshop anti-wrinkle cream on it first.  But I'll swallow my pride and do it -- just this once ;) 

But first, here's my Black and White version with the crazy flower/hair edit.  Yeah, I know it's totally over the top but I was on a roll.  I turned it black and white then layered on a texture then thought it needed a subtle little flower the threw subtle out the window then thought "Hey, what if I blended that flower right into my hair!"  See how easy it is to go too far with your editing?  But I like it anyway...

IMG_5454 hair bw

And here is the edited color version:

IMG_5454 with skin magic action

Okay, I reserve the right to delete this but here is the original photo -- straight out of the camera.
I don't really like what I see in this photo but this is the face my kids LOVE so I should love it too, right?

IMG_5454 original


For more Black & White Wednesday fun, check out The Long Road to China.
More of our Black & White Wednesday posts here:  Black & White Wednesday

More cool Before & After photos here:  Pixel Perfect

May 18, 2010

Daddy's Birthday Present (BW Wednesday & Before/After)

(roll your mouse over the image above to see the "before" image)

And here is the final color version of this photo?

Like before, just roll your mouse over the image to see the original version.

What I love most about participating in weekly themes like "Black and White Wednesday" and "Before and After" is that it forces me to explore new things and learn new tricks.  And there's the awesome added benefit of making (and trying to keep up with!) some very creative and talentedr Bloggy friends!

This week was my husband's birthday and I really liked the photo I took of our daughters holding his present but there were several problems with the original photo. 

First of all, the photo was flat and boring so it needed to be spiffed up; faces brightened, background made more interesting, debris removed from the grass and their faces, etc.  Then there was the issue of Gwen not looking at the camera so I had to 'Frankenstein' her head (from another photo taken during this mini photo shoot) onto this one.  Finally, I needed to add our iPad screen since I didn't remember to turn the darned thing on in the original photo (doh!).

None of this was difficult but creating the "mouse over" photo change was a brand new challenge and I'm excited about all of the ways I can use this.   I promise to share how to do it in future blog post so check back soon!

Other photos from our fun day:

Blog 20100517andrew daddy birthday5610

Daddy and his girls

Blog 20100517andrew daddy birthday5626

Daddy blows out the candle -- with some help from Gwenny because, apparently, Daddy is too old to have the lung capacity to manage one single candle.  :::rolling eyes:::

Blog 20100517andrew daddy birthday5630

Everyone wants Daddy to open their present first!  The kids wrapped these presents all by themselves.  It took an entire roll of wrap and half a roll of scotch tape and the task entertained them for nearly an hour. :)

Blog 20100517andrew daddy birthday5641

Of course, we know Daddy got an iPad but he also got an empty lens container stuffed full of homemade $20 bills from his daughters!  Almost enough cash to buy that special camera lens he's been admiring for several months! 

I gave the kids a xeroxed twenty dollar bill to use an example and a stack of paper pre-cut to the right size then walked away.  I LOVE what they produced!  Believe it or not, Amazon.com accepts this type of currency (as long as you confirm its authenticity with your credit card information).

May 06, 2010

Before & After: Bliss

Gwen florabella drop shadow

This is one of my favorite photos.  I took it on a warm day last Spring using my Canon 5D and my favorite portrait lens (EF85mm f/1.8).  I didn't know very much about editing photos so I was happy that this one looked pretty nice SOTC (strait out of the camera). 

Over the last few months, I've learned a lot about how to edit my photos and I've been eager to test my new skills on this photo.  I use Photoshop CS4 and Lightroom2.    One of the things I like best about photo editing is that I can fix most of the problems I encounter because of bad camera settings.  For some reason, I can't seem to totally figure out what all of those buttons on my camera mean.  I can fly a 3 million dollar helicopter but I can't figure out my camera.  Go figure.

Anyway, I took an online class from Lisa and she taught me a dozen simple tricks and even though the individual changes were very subtle, the final results were impressive.

Then I went a step further by layering on a texture from my sweet friend Shana. This time, it was "Florabella Champagne (warm)" and I used a blending mode of "soft light".  Lisa taught me how to do all of this and I tried many different styles and blending modes until I got just the right effect.  When I saw it, I knew it was perfect.  Really, it took my breath away!

Finally, I added a little bit of vignette and a drop shadow and was finished and pretty darn happy with the result.

Here's the original photo:

20090907gwen pose004

Check out the other Before & After photos on Pixel Perfect (click the button below)

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