What I saw with my eye… the vibrant rich color layered majestically feather by feather, was unfortunately not what my camera captured. Do you sometimes feel that way when you look at your straight out of camera photos that you know looked so different and so much better in person? Lighting conditions, white balance, and other factors can foil the outcome of your potentially gorgeous photos. I used Photoshop actions from the HeARTy Bundle to bring out the vibrant color that was being stifled by the less than perfect shooting conditions at the Denver Zoo. By darkening and warming the background, the beauty of the parrot bursts forth, as the colors pop and the details are enhanced with selective sharpening.
Photo Editing Blueprint.
1. Dark All Over 100%. To darken the background, but keep the bird light. Carefully masked this effect off the parrot.
2. Sumptuous Smolder 100%. Tuned off the lighten layer. Inverted the layer mask to darken and smooth entire photo, then again, masked it off the bird.
3. Color Jolt 100%. Masked in over bird to saturate the color. Changed blending mode to normal.
4. Flawless Face 100%. To smooth background. Layer mask inverted to soften entire photo, then carefully masked off the bird to bring back sharp detail.
5. Zing! 100%. Masked to just the eye and beak area to increase facial detail.
6. Sparkle 100%. Masked over bird to enhance sharpness. Ran twice and masked over just the face to really bring out the eye detail.
7. Light & Shade. Painted with low opacity white brush over bird non-destructively dodge the highlights and bring out detail and dimension. Dimension is created when highlights are lighter and shadows are increased. Shadow and highlights are a key element to creating HDR photos.
8. Rosy Dusk. Painted with 30% opacity brush over entire photo to tone down the green and add warmth and 100% on bird to brighten color.
9. Brown Sugar 35%. Over entire photo to add more matte finish warm tones.