Sometimes Photoshop adjustment layers and Photoshop actions can make a huge difference in taking images from good to great. In a recent Photoshop online training class, I was working with Heather of HGJ Photography. Her straight out of camera image was really good. The lighting was pretty and the composition pleasing. I decided to show her how a few clicks in Photoshop could liven up the image – especially using some selective editing.
Here are the steps we took:
- To enrich the color of the grass, I started by pulling up a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer. I dropped down and worked on the yellow and then the green channels. With the yellow channel selected, I changed my settings to: hue +26, saturation +24, lightness -21. Then on the green, I altered my settings to: hue +7, saturation +47, lightness stayed the same. I liked the color much better of the grass now, but this will be a personal preference, and will vary based on what you colors you have to start.
- Used the FREE Photoshop action, Touch of Light/Touch of Darkness, with a brush set to 30% opacity. I used the touch of light layer and lightened the chair and legs and arms of the girl. Her face was already bright. Then I used the touch of dark layer and darkened and deepened the background.
- To add a more intense color on the chair and the grass, I used the Quickie Collection’s Selective Color Pop Photoshop action called Finger Paint Medium.
- The color was a bit off so I ran the Color Correction Photoshop action, Magic See-Saw, from the Bag of Tricks. I added warmth by using the yellow up and magenta up layers.
- I noticed bruises on the little girl’s legs and also deep lines under her eyes. I selected the background layer, made a duplicate copy, and used the patch tools to remove them. I brought the layer opacity to 72% so that the changes would look natural.
- Lastly I used the Eye Doctor – eye pop Photoshop action – and just activated the sharp as a tack layer to selectively sharpen the eyes. This way the rest of the image remained softer and dreamier.
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