Subtle but Powerful Portrait Editing with Photoshop Actions
A few weeks ago, I shared an edit I did in a private Photoshop mentoring with Tammy Miller, who lives near me in Michigan. Her daughter is gorgeous and I wanted to share some more step-by-step Blueprint edits with you. Tammy is not a professional photographer but wants to take and edit better images of her daughter as well as friends and relatives. So I am here to help.
This particular photo is so sweet and classic. I love the serious expression, her eyes and the overall feel of the image. With a photo like this, less is more. I have to restrain myself from over-editing.
I started by using MCP Fusion Photoshop actions. I only ran Color Fusion Mix and Match, which allows me to combine any of the color actions from the entire set by running one action. I chose Lemonade Stand at 19%, Passion at 55%, and Peachy at 57% opacity. I loved the subtle toning and contrast. Her skin looked so smooth and creamy after using these Photoshop actions, even though no skin smoothing actions were used.
At this point, I wanted to bring attention to her eyes, so I played the Eye Doctor action. This Photoshop action is the best way to enhance eyes by adding light and sharpening. It is important not to over-do the eyes. You want to enhance them but want to avoid “alien eyes.” I used the Catchlight, Sharp as a Tack, and Iris layers all at the default opacity, but skipped the other layers in the action.
I was very pleased with the results of this edit. I hope this helped you see how I approach editing an image using actions. If you are interested in seeing how I edit your images using MCP products, consider taking our Watch Me Work group class or a one-on-one Photoshop training class.
And here is one more edit from this session. Again, I started with Color Fusion Mix and Match. This time I mixed Summer Camp at 84%, Crave at 23%, Peachy at 68%, Vanilla Cream at 50%, and Urban Revival at 50%. It’s so fun playing and layering the actions in just one click. Lastly I used Dodge Ball and painted the effect on her face with a low opacity brush to lighten the shadows. I did not process her eyes in this one, as I wanted emphasis to be on her mouth and hands. Lastly I picked a better crop so that she was not facing out of the frame.
I was very pleased with the results of these subtle yet powerful Photoshop edits. I hope this helped you see how I approach editing an image using actions. If you are interested in seeing how I edit your images using MCP products, consider taking our Watch Me Work group class or a one-on-one Photoshop training class.