My new BLOG!

I am so excited to announce my new blog! The wonderful Rita created it for me :)
Thank you, you are AWESOME!

I am in the process of getting it all sorted away into categories, but I will continue to post as normal while I am finishing up.

What do you think?!

Idle Chatter: A great shopping day

Today I went to get some plywood to go under some "wood floor" paper I have. I figured it wouldn't hurt to ask if they had any laminate or snap together wood floors at a discount or that they were throwing out. The fabulous thing happened that they had thrown out 18 boxes worth of hardwood planks! :O

The man led me to the aisle with the hard wood floors and said "I can part with this, the box is open." This was a $70 box full of hard wood flooring! He gave it to me just because the plastic holding the planks in was open. The floor is in perfect condition and FREE!

So my fellow photogs, if you want that beautiful hardwood floor look for props go up or call your local home improvement store and see if they are throwing any out. I suggest you call first thing in the A.M. to get dibs.


Idle Chatter: PW actions for PSE are out!

I am uber excited! You can find the downloads here. I used define & sharpen, boost, and warmer.

I have been playing all day! I can't wait for a model shoot I have scheduled for next weekend so I can really put these new fun actions to use :)

Tutorial: Glossy lips

Let's say your model comes and doesn't have gloss, so when you photograph her, her lips are flat or matte. Or even say you're outdoors and you don't want your model's hair sticking to her lips, you can fix the "gloss" problem in post. It is so easy, even a caveman can do it :)

I know, bad joke haha.

Ok first you start with your edited image that you want to add the glossy lips to. Then duplicate.

Then you want to get out your dodge tool.Set on highlights. Set your exposure around 20. You can see where the light reflects on her lips, run your brush over it a few times to bring up the highlights.

Next you set it to midtones, and keep the exposure low. Then paint over the entire lips.

Then you bring the opacity of the top layer down to where you think it looks right or believable.

There are times also when your model needs a bit more color to her lips, the sponge tool is perfect for that! Duplicate the top layer and set it to saturate and paint over them to get the desired amount of color.

So here is the comparison, from the normal to glossy to added color and gloss.

Tutorial: Creating a watermark

A wonderful tool for photographers is to make a watermark and use it! When I put up images on an on-line gallery, my website, or facebook page they have my watermark on them, that way anyone who sees the image knows it was produced by me :)

I make my watermark on my own (shown in this tutorial) and I use Rita's Watermark Action Kit to websize and apply my watermark to my images as well as add frames, rounded edges, drop shadows or just plain jane.

The first step in making your watermark is to open a new blank file. You do this by going to file>new>blank file. The size of the file depends on your watermark size.

I selected white for my background color because I like the "bar" across the image holding my watermark. You can select any color you like.

Next I use my text box to create a spot I want to add my just so silly of a name. You can select any font, size and color by using the menu at the top (as shown).

Add your font and place, and re-size as necessary. I set the dingbat layer to 75% opacity.

On a new text layer add your name as well as any overlying text.

Once I have finished adding my text I adjust the bottom layer (background) by double clicking and adjusting the opacity to 50%.

I save it as a .png file so that the layer opacity stays the same as I apply it on images.

Next when you apply the watermark (if you don't use an action). Open your image and go to file>place and select your .png watermark.

Then you adjust the size and location of your watermark and save :)

Final watermarked image:

Have a great time experimenting and making your own watermark!

Idle Chatter: The smart brush tool (F)

I ♥ this tool! It can do so much, like make the sky more blue, the grass more green, add lipstick, whiten teeth and more. It is so much fun to experiment with new tools!


Idle Chatter: Comments

Oops :)
I was informed someone couldn't leave a comment....problem fixed.

I look forward to reading them.

Comment away!

Tutorial: Story boards and templates

I had a request today to show how to use a story board or template. I used a CoffeeShop template. I open up the .psd template, then you file>place and select the image you want to place on your template.

Once you have the image ON TOP of the part of the layer with the square you want to cover you
  to group it with that particular layer.

You do that for each part of the template.

Just remember to put the image on top of the part you want to cover. Resize the image and Ctrl+G.

Finished template.


Idle Chatter: My little diva

I ♥ her!
My little girl is growing up so fast.

Session: Just a few from this weekend

Trying out an exclusion layer

Narnia-esque with the light pole in the middle of nothing


Tutorial: Non-human subject :)

I have been itching to take pictures of hubby's new bike, so yesterday he finally cleaned it up really nice and moved it out back just before sunset so I could get some shots. I am loving them! He told me he wanted just one "normal" shot (because I like getting different, more abstract shots of inanimate objects).

I was asked to make tutorial on how to edit this particular shot.

SOOC shot

I utilized the RAW menu as follows.
Next I run CoffeeShop Perfect Portrait...because it's awesome! I bring the vignette down to about 25% opacity.

*For images that show the paint I paint over it with my brush on the soft skin layer to make it have the waxed look, gaussian blur and adjust opacity as well*

Then I use the eye define layer (Changed the blending mode to see where I brushed) and gaussian blurred to make it blend well.

Flatten and make 2 duplicate layers. Set the blending mode to multiply on the top layer and bring the opacity down to about 50%.

Set the middle layer to screen and keep at 100% opacity.

Duplicate layer.

Set the blending mode to soft light for the top layer and run a high pass filter set at about 5.

Run a reduce noise filter on the bottom layer.

Before and after shots


Molly {Newborn} | Killeen newborn photographer

I had an adorable family in studio this weekend.


Tutorial: Editing a newborn

I get asked if I have any tips for editing newborns quite a bit, so here is what I do to make those adorable little ones into a beautiful portrait :)

First I will have to say that for newborn pictures it is all about the lighting, even lighting will give you a more even skin tone and you will have less editing to do. Also shooting in RAW is a must! At this session this adorable little girl gave a smile, just 1 smile.....and my strobe, camera left didn't fire so the lighting is not at all what I wanted.

This image is straight out of my camera in RAW format.

When I open up the RAW image in PSE I bring up my exposure and fill light until it is brighter and more evenly lit.

Of course next I run CoffeeShop baby powder room :) It is fantastic!
I don't use the red skin layer, so I start with the soft skin layer (I changed the blend mode so you can see where I brushed) I avoid the detail areas.

Then I use the gaussian blur at a pretty high amount so that it is nice and even.

The result from the soft skin layer after adjusting the opacity.

Next the lighten skin layer, you can see the areas I brushed over, avoiding the detail spots again.

Gaussian blur just as with the soft skin layer, and bring down the opacity.

Result after adjusting the opacity.

Next is the skin glow layer, I cover every inch of skin (changed blend mode to show where I brushed). Gaussian blur just like the previous 2 layers.

Result from skin glow after adjusting opacity

Then we have the eye define layer, I brush over the eyes and little detail areas I want to showcase.

Gaussian blur less this time, just enough to spread out the brush line to a more natural look.

Flatten the image

Now to remove the red tint from the skin. Add an adjustment layer and select hue/saturation.

Once you come to the adjustment layer menu, use your drop down menu to select reds. Use your dropper and select a red area of the newborns skin.

You want to increase the hue, which will turn the skin more yellow. Decrease the saturation thus decreasing the amount of yellow. Lighten a little bit too so that it makes the skin more creamy. These numbers are not the same for other photos, adjust them as much as you need to get the desired look.

Next duplicate the layer 2 times.

With the top layer set the blending mode to multiply, this will add more contrast to your image.

Adjust the opacity down, where it is a little dark but not too much.

With the middle layer set the blending mode to screen, this will brighten the image.

Adjust the opacity down so that the skin is nice and creamy and you still have good details.

Flatten the image

Duplicate the image

Run a high pass filter on the top layer.

Set the top layer to soft light, this keeps your details sharp.

Finally you want to run a reduce noise filter on the bottom layer.

Again the numbers are not concrete, it is completely adjustable to your taste.

Then you flatten and you are done!

Final image :) Isn't she adorable!?

Lastly you can compare the image straight out of the camera with the final image.



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