Happy New Year everyone! I write this on the eve of 2011. It’s mind blowing to realize that an entire year has slipped into the past and we face a new year full of changes, new adventures and uncertainties. There will be a lot of restructuring or me personally and professionally in 2011. I’m nervous, excited and thrilled at the same time that my husband will be staying home more, while I dedicate more time and energy to my businesses. I never would have anticipated a few years ago when I first jumped into photography that it would lead to such incredible opportunities, valuable friendships and diversify into photo editing mentoring and selling actions for photographers. It’s been a lot of hard work and sacrifice to get to this point, but I pray and trust the Lord that He is leading me where He desires, making my path straight, while He opens and closes the right doors. I pray the same for each of you.
I wanted to share one last editing blueprint for you in 2010. As you’ve come to expect, this was edited using only actions from my soon to be released action set.
…. Which by the way, if you hope over to EW Couture, I’m gifting 2 complete action set pre-releases to Elena’s readers! Giveaway ends January 6th.
SOOC – unedited
About the Edit.
This image started out in Lightroom, as all my images do, and I actually made no changes whatsoever. The exposure, white balance and shadows looked right. From there, it went straight into PS, where I ran the combinations of actions you see listed on the blueprint.
I wrote these actions with a few things in mind. One, I wanted them to be versatile. Not everyone is going to edit deep, dark and rich. Some prefer a more basic lighter look, while others enjoy faded and airy. These actions give you that flexibility. The possibilities are really endless, as you layer actions, change opacities and mask areas of the actions on and off. My personal style that I’ve become most known for is the deep, rich, vibrant, saturated look. It’s urban and edgy, without being too harsh or overly sharp or overdone. I’m a big advocate of nice, bright, natural skin. It’s easy to have skin that is too smooth, shadows that are too dark, contrast that is too thick and clunky. It’s also easy to get caught up in trends that will cause your images to look dated overtime. I know I’ve fallen prey to trends… it happens. But in my humble opinion, I believe you can edit rich and vibrant without crossing over the line, pigeon holing an image into an era of days gone by. ….. There’s a bit of my editing outlook and philosophy. 😉
In this image, the goal was to create that richness, while maintaining a sense of realism. Her skin still looks like…well… skin. It isn’t glowing. The brick is played up, but it isn’t so overly sharp with obscene clarity that it detracts from the image. The darks maintain detail… something that if you’ve mentored with me, you know I harp on repetitiously! And the color… well, the color is bright, but why not? If you can achieve bright color while maintaining the integrity of the skin and shadows, then by all means, saturate away!
I hope you enjoy these before + afters and the blueprints. My goal is to keep posting these for inspiration, not only to demonstrate what you can expect with the actions, but to show you exactly the actions I employ to get the desired look. Once the actions are available for purchase in late January, you can refer back to the blueprints for inspiration and guidance on how to combine them for different looks.