New type of posting, new section. Welcome to Kayotic Darkroom. No worries, nothing shady or illegal going on here; just a category where I’ll share a few photoshop editing tips and tricks.
Been receiving so many emails with questions about my editing, I figured this might be a fun thing to add. I’ll take requests! If there’s a technique you want to know more about/learn, just let me know and I’ll see what I can do.
Now I know actions are fun. Lots of fun. But unfortunately most commercial actions are also quite costly. I have to be honest; I’d rather invest in a good lens than a bunch of actions. Actions are fun to play around with, I know, but when you use actions, do realize that you’re merely using someone else’s style. Actions can make you lazy, so to speak, plus they don’t teach you proper editing techniques.
How about learning some basic editing and invent your own style in stead? This way making your own actions will be child’s play. Do you know how to record your own actions? If you don’t; let me know and I’ll squeeze in a quick how to later this week.
Since a lot of you have kids, I’ll start with a technique I often use on outdoor photos—especially on photos of my son. Why? Because you want the photos of your kids to sparkle! They have to look fresh and sunny. This will not only sharpen your photo, it also creates depth, brings out the shadows, lights it up and gives it a beautiful sun-kissed glow. The best part? You can do all this with just a few easy clicks of your mouse.
* Note that I seldom do extreme editing to my photos; I want to bring out their natural beauty without overdoing it.
Sunlight Touch Up:
This is the SOOC (straight out of camera) photo. It’s not a bad photo, not a bad photo at all, if I say so myself. But… there’s always a but; it can use a little extra something. A little boost, if you will. So why don’t we give it just that!
Now click Ctrl J (Cmd+J for Mac) to duplicate your background layer. You can also do this via the menu at the top of your screen. Just click on the layer tab and choose duplicate layer from the drop down menu, as shown below.
Double click the layer 1 text to rename your layer. I named it sunlight touch up. How surprising!
Now let’s bring out the details a little. This is a technique you probably know already; unsharp mask. It’s an amazing filter, when used wisely. Most people tend to overdo it, though, resulting in very unnatural effects. Especially when working on eyes, this filter requires some caution. What it does is simply exaggerate the light-dark contrast making the details appear sharper.
From your top menu choose Filter – Sharpen – Unsharp Mask.
Here are the settings I’ve used to get the boost I want.
Radius: 50 pixels
Treshold: 0 levels
See what it did to my photo? Instant gratification! Things are definitely perking up.
Now let’s get some sun in there. Click on the 1st color square in the toolbar on the left side of your screen.
This brings up your color picker. Choose a sunny yellow/orange shade. Not too dark; stay in the left top corner of the color picker.
Now make sure you’ve selected the layer we did the editing on; in my case that’s the layer I’ve called sunlight touch up.
We’re going to add the color you’ve chosen to the photo. From the top menu choose Edit – Fill.
This will bring up your Fill box. We have some settings to adjust or you’ll end up with a color layer in stead of a photo. Make sure the top pull-down menu is set to Foreground Color.
The second pull-down menu is your blending mode. We’ll set this to mode to Overlay.
Set the overlay opacity to 25%. This should be enough to perk things up.
This will have instantly given your photo a fresh, light and summery look without making it seem like you’ve edited the heck out of it. Easy, no?
Before & After.