Thursday, March 10, 2011

Week 9 good to WOW Edit Spring

I found this to be a lot harder than I expected.  I just do not know what makes a photo good or bad.  I know what I like, but...

So since this was the first time I participated and I didn't know what she meant by a clean edit, I went back to the tutorial for week one.  I opened my JPG in Elements Camera Raw and tried to edit the white balance, etc.  I played with different numbers.  The main changes I learned how to do was custom white balance (picking the white of the hat) and adding to the blacks to make the wheel barrow a true black.  I can see how knowing that will be very helpful, but after all the playing I really wasn't any happier with the image.  Granted, I do just like the picture for what it is worth.
I'm not sure this version isn't actually worse than the original.  So then I decided to just play with what I am already comfortable with.  I cropped and cloned away the tarp.  I added a warming filter which I thought looked good.  I added a soft light layer.  Once at 100% and once on top at about 30%.  I painted the watering can with a yellow paint/soft light mode.  I also tried an adjustment layer with the lighten mode of the blur tool? to take the eyes out of the shadows, plus a little add to the red/green/and magenta color adjustments because I like color.  Here is that resulting image:
I do like it a little better than the original--maybe?  Certainly glad to get rid of the tarp.  Then I decided to try what she said about sharpening.  I was a little skeptical, but the instructions were simple enough to follow.  I used the exact settings she did, because I really don't have any idea what would be better.  I'm pretty sure those are NOT the right settings for this image.  But I didn't know which settings to change to make it work.  I also did it on the other edit and I could see a difference, but not once I uploaded it here.  Unfortunately this photo has a lot of noise due to taking the picture (not exactly intentionally) on ISO 1600 so tossing pixels wasn't a great idea. At least I think that is why it was so bad.  The point is to learn, right? Right?
I'll add the other pictures edited to the post when/if I get a chance to play with editing them.  There is so much to learn and so little time!

Edited to Add:

I went back to work on sharpening again after Ashley's reminder to play with opacity and encouraging comments that the edits did do something.  I found out in the process of changing opacity that I had one of Ashley's settings WRONG.  She has .5 radius, and I have 5.0 radius.  Makes a really big difference!  Now I can see how it helps.  Thank you so much!  It is particularly noticeable in the knitting on the hat and in defining my sweet girl's face.
Though I did think my blog width was 780 and it clearly isn't.

Edited to add more for my benefit.  Other original:
Using Photoshop Camera Raw, Clean Edit--I wanted the kids lighter, but forgot to check out how it washed out the trees:
Additional edits of--soft light layer, 70% opacity; painting the water can; levels adjustment layer to make it darker again, but painted out where the kids were so they stayed light:
Here is the final edit with sharpening.  I really like how it helps the in-focus pine needles and her little fingers on the handle of the watering can.



Ashley Sisk said...

I really like what you've done with your first two edits. You may have over sharpened your photo in the last edit. Just be sure to lower that opacity.

Winn (aka Koreen) said...

I agree; your edits are subtle, but good. And you made the color pop, too. :)

jillconyers said...

Often subtle editing is all that is needed. That is the case with your photo. Looks great!

cooperl788 said...

Great job! It's definitely a learning process, and your edits look good. What a cutie!

Ashley Sisk said...

Awesome - your edit is perfect now after resharpening! Love it!

Adeena said...

Love that last edit now! :D Looks great after sharpening with a lower radius. :)