Here is the basic edit I did for the I Heart Faces editing challenge today. It didn't seem to have any major problems, so it only took a few steps...
I also did a black and white version. Here are the easy steps (in Photoshop Elements):
First, I ALWAYS make a duplicate layer (Ctrl J). That way I can always get rid of anything I don't want and start over!
First thing? I cloned the black in the background (cat?) with some nearby hay. Easy peasy, since the hay is a pretty random pattern anyway.
The original photo looks too cool to me, so I tried a warming filter layer. But I decided that the Pioneer Woman's Warming action looked more natural than mine. (It is a free download, if you would like to try it.) I merged that layer down to my background copy.
I still wanted to tweak it just a bit, so I added a hue adjustment layer. (Clicked the black and white circle over the layers and chose "Hue/Saturation.) From the master drop down, I chose 'magenta' and moved the 'hue' slider to the right just a bit, which made the magentas a little closer to red. Then I turned up the saturation just a touch (+5.) I also added just a little saturation to the 'cyan' for his eyes (+9.)
I did a normal levels adjustment layer, pulling the end sliders slightly to the middle, and adjusting the middle slider to taste. (my final numbers were 13, 1.26, 252)
To sharpen it up, I made another copy of my Background 2, and clicked on the filter menu > other > high pass. I chose about a 12, which gives you a grayish layer with outlines mostly. Changing the blending mode on that layer to 'overlay' gives it a nice sharp look. But, the straw and his face seemed too much. I added a layer mask ( you could also just use the eraser,) and removed the parts of the background and on his skin that seemed too sharp. I also lowered the opacity to 75%.
Finally, I did a quick burn on the edges (with another free Pioneer Woman action)and lowered the opacity to 17%. You could do that a million other ways, including the manual burn tool, but I just took the easy way out :)
I took that image and flattened it, and saved. Then I chose the black/white circle again for an adjustment layer, and clicked on gradient map. I had some crazy colors on my palette just then, so it was all wonky. I just clicked on the drop down and chose 'black and white.'
That looked pretty good already, but I tweaked the levels a tiny bit. The white on his shirt and knees seemed too bright to me, so I burned the highlights there. I also dodged the mid-range and shadows of the background and edges to undo the vignetting a bit.
So, that's about all I have on this one. I can't wait to see what others have done to their edits. I haven't looked yet, so I can see what other people saw that I missed. Join me over at I heart Faces to see what you can learn, too.
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Mother of four. Wife to Steve. On an amazing journey through life, and taking photos along the way.