I often use many of my black and white actions from the Creative HeART Collection to process my color images. In each black and white action from that set is the ability to turn off the desaturation layer, which leaves a nice base color edit with many adjustable layers inside the black and white action to adjust for a gorgeous color photo. For this image, I used only two actions to edit the entire photo from start to finish—Flawless Face (from HeART & Soul) and Heirloom (from the black and white set within the Creative HeART Collection).
Let the editing begin!
I began by using the patch tool to remove the blue spot on her hand.
Next, I used the patch tool to clean up small spots on the face and to lessen the dark circles under her eyes. This gave me a clean starting point with which to embellish the color.
Just cleaning skin and smoothing with Flawless Face left the image perfectly nice, as the out of camera image was so lovely to begin with. However, I took it one step further to polish it by using the action Heirloom. Notice that I often use the layer masks in the action groups’ individual layers to add creative effects just where wanted and to keep them out of where I don’t want them. (That’s what I’m referring to when I write “painted in” or masked off”.) Don’t forget that you can invert the color of the layer masks (white reveals, black conceals) by selecting the mask in hitting cmd/ctrl +i. Always paint on a layer mask with the opposite color. (black mask, white brush, ect.)
In the next image I changed up the Heirloom layers a bit to create more of a soft hazy look. The following photo has only 2 layers in the Heirloom action turned on and the “fade” layer simply duplicated to intensify the haze.
Finally, here is how Heirloom looks as a creamy, warm black and white.
Heirloom in particular, is one black and white action that often plays beautifully with the default settings. However, as we’ve seen in the previous images, breaking into actions to adjust the internal layers to taste and using the layer masks to paint certain layer effects just where you want them, is key for creating a custom look, unique to you.
This photo is courtesy of Melody White Studios in Santa Rosa, CA. Thank you, Mel!