Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Now, I won’t lie, this was a tough one to bring you because a.) This is one of my biggest secrets to my photo editing and b.) While it’s not hard at all to do, it was pretty tough to try to explain, lol. I’ve been bugging a few of my friends for a few weeks now getting them to help me fine-tune this by making sure things were understandable. So I really hope this works. :o) Also, though I hate to admit it, I have yet to find a way to do this in PSE. The whole trick is based around being able to use layer masks, which as far as I know, PSE does not support. One last thing (then I promise to start explaining things, lol) all edits are done by going to Layers>New Adjustment Layer – this is necessary to do the selective editing.
What, I’m sure you’re asking, is selective editing?? Selective editing is where you apply edits to just parts of your photo, not the entire photo. This is really helpful when you have just bits and pieces of your photo that need a little extra correction. Say the color on most of your photo is correct, but the skin is still wrong. Or say you have (as my example does) a high contrast photo and you want to edit it without blowing out other parts of the photos. I use this in editing about 99% of my photos in one way or another, even when it’s not to do something dramatic, but just a sort of fine tuning.
NOW… onto the tutorial!!
Here is my straight out of camera photo:
Color-wise, I really just want to edit the red tone on the legs, all of the other colors are about 100% accurate already, but the red in the wood floor and curtain give her legs a red cast. While doing the edit, I am not going to worry about what the edit does to anything except the legs. It can make the rest as funky as be but I don’t care. After doing my edit, I’m going to set my foreground color to black.
Go over to your layers, select the color balance edit layer, and click ONE time on the white box. Select your paint fill tool, go to your picture and click it like you want to fill it black. Your edit should no longer be visible, BUT your picture should not be all black either. If it is, undo, go back to your layer palate and click the white box ONE time again, then go back to your picture and click it as if you were filling the layer black. The white box in your layers should now be black.
Go to your brushes and select a soft brush and then set your foreground color as white. Again go to layers and click the black box. I’m going to go back to my picture and brush over all the skin in my picture. The color balance that we did should now show up only where we go over with the brush.
Next, I want to darken the shadows and slightly increase the brightness of the light spots, but I don’t want to overdo it so that I lose detail in certain spots. I do, however, want to get rid of the detail in the background. I’m going to do this by first adjusting the lighting curves. Once I get those how I want them, I’m going to select the white box on the curves level, then set my foreground color to black and select a soft brush. Last time we painted white onto the black box to make the edit come back. This time by painting the black onto the white we remove parts of the edit. First, I’m going to erase it over the window to bring back some of the detail. Next, I’m going to paint over the curtain and the toy. The curtain, because I still want to be able to have the slight see-thoroughness of it, and the toy so that it brings back the detail to it. Lastly, I’m going to paint over some of the shadow on her leg and shirt, again to bring back details.
Lastly, I’m going to edit the contrast of the photo. I still want the background darker and I want to try to lower the amount of glare from the window. After I do it the way I want it, I’m going to use a black brush to brush out bits of it again. I’m going to go over all of the same spots I did last time.
That’s it! Really, it’s not that hard to do. I promise, lol. And here is a comparison of the photo if I had left the full layer edits that I did, and then my final version using just selective editing:
Tomorrow, SP will be here to bring you the latest Template Challenge – we are already up to number TEN…can you believe it! :o)