An Unhealthy Love of Photoshop

23 Oct
We got our professional wedding photographs on Sunday.  Per our agreement with the photographer, most of them came to us in their raw form.  Most people would see this as a disappointment.  Me?  I’m more than up to the challenge.  I adore working with Photoshop.  In fact, you could say I’m quite the Photoshop geek!

I’ve been spending countless hours – lunchtimes, breaks, after dinner when Hubby’s watching TV, times when I can’t get to sleep – staring at these photos.  And I have to say I’m pretty proud of the results.  I’m by no means finished with them, but I’ve edited about three dozen (of approximately 300 decent shots).  Many of them need only a little cropping, or some simple color correction.  Others need a bit more.

So today’s blog is all about sharing my geekiness with the world!  I’m not trying to brag here – Lord knows I’m no professional – but I am having way too much fun and I’m way too proud of myself to keep it all under wraps…  The other thing is that I think our photographer Beverley did an amazing job.  Every photographer crops, color corrects, and switches and smoothes things out – we just don’t usually get to see it!

The first photo just needed a good cropping.  It was a fun photograph, of the bridesmaids being goofy, but it lacked focus.

Original Photo

Original Photo

 Now, the cropped (and slightly color corrected) version:

Cropped photo

Cropped photo

In the next photograph, I noticed that the dark circles under my eyes were prominent.  I’m sensitive about them (they’re hereditary and despite my trying every single product I can get my hands on, they never quite go away), and even though I’m sure no one else would ever notice, I wanted to brighten them up.

Original photo

Original photo

It’s already a great photo, but just a little tweak and:
Photo with minor undereye brightening

Photo with minor undereye brightening

Then there’s the matter of taking out unwanted blotches.  I’m too vain to show the closeup of my face that was corrected by our photographer, but let’s just say that this sort of thing is a really common fix.  In this closeup of my back, I could see a couple of nasty little pimples…
Original photo

Original photo

To make the photo as gorgeous as possible, I took them out!  See?  Niiiice and smooth…  Now if only I could do that on the real-life back as well!
Photo with back smoothing

Photo with back smoothing

The next photo was a bit of a challenge.  My photographer had already worked hard to get it corrected.  The room where we took the picture was very dark and the original photo was very grainy.  But I wasn’t 100% crazy about her correction, because I felt like I looked a little like an oompa loompa.

Original photo

Original photo

I played around with my new friend, the Curve, until I got just the right color balance.  It’s still not the clearest picture (I think she used a soft light filter), but my skin color is far more true-to-life.

Color-corrected photo

Color-corrected photo

My next challenge was to correct a photograph of our neice.  In the original, she was washed out because she was so close to the camera. 

Original photo

Original photo

So my solution was to pump up her color and fade and blur the background.  Then I used Curves to ensure that her beautiful blue eyes stayed blue! 

Photo with color corrected and background blurred

Photo with color corrected and background blurred

 And some more playing with contrast, and cropping, in this photo of us in the limo on the way to the reception:

Original photo

Original photo

With a little contast correction and some cropping:

Photo with contrast corrected

Photo with contrast corrected

Now, of course, one of my favorite tricks in Photoshop is to switch out closed eyes and weird-shaped mouths.  In photographs with a lot of people in them, you’ll always have someone making a funny face.  The trick is to take lots of photos in succession and pick out the one with the least strange faces and work with that!  So, here’s a photo of us with our bridal party:

Original photo

Original photo

But, as you can see, I’m closing my eyes.  Several other members of the bridal party are making strange faces as well.  But if this is the one photo I’m going to have in our album, I want everyone to be looking at the camera and smiling.  So I went back to the other photographs taken at the time and copied and pasted eyes and mouths as necessary…

Photo with eyes and mouths corrected

Photo with eyes and mouths corrected

 

Now for the hard stuff…  In this photo, Hubby is unsuccessfully hiding his chapstick in his right hand.  But it’s a beautiful shot, of the wedding gift I gave him (engraved cufflinks).
Original photo

Original photo

So I had to use the clone stamp and pray.  It turned out pretty well…
Photo with the chapstick removed

Photo with the chapstick removed

The last photo is one that I’m really proud of.  It took all sorts of different techniques and skills.  First of all, here’s the original:

Original photo

Original photo

It’s a nice shot but it’s a little flat, quite overexposed, and shows a lot of the sidewalk.

For this correction, I had to take each piece individually.  I fixed the contrast on the car separate from the contrast in my dress, and faded and blurred out the background so that it would allow us and the car to be the focus of the photo.  I then saturated the colors in the focal points of the picture and cropped the whole thing.  I love the results!

 

Photo with color and contrast correction, background blurring, and cropping

Photo with color and contrast correction, background blurring, and cropping

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2 Responses to “An Unhealthy Love of Photoshop”

  1. Michelle October 23, 2008 at 11:53 pm #

    Wow…I’m loving the edits. I could never make edits look this good.

  2. cort2378 October 24, 2008 at 3:46 am #

    Holy crap! You are a Photoshop genius! I had no idea it could do all that stuff. Definitely need to get my hands on that software.

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