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{a little pp} – Round Rock photography

{a little pp} – Round Rock photography

February 23, 2012

For those that have never heard it, “pp” is post processing : )

I’ve gotten quite a few questions on an image I posted to my fb fan page, so I told everyone I would do a before/after with steps, so here it is, hope you can learn something new, cause that is always fun : )

I set up the flower vase on a file cabinet I have in my office, because it has the shiny top, and I wanted the reflection, and I moved it in front of the window, because I wanted that bright look, so that part was simple!  I opened up the blinds, set my camera to 1/320 @f/2.8 and ISO 1000, then I bounced my flash of the ceiling for fill, since it was much darker inside than out, and I already knew that setting would blow the light coming in.

So, I snapped, and this is what I got.  This first photo is completely straight out of camera, I didn’t even touch it in ACR, and then next to it is with my RAW edits, I adjusted the temp a little, it was a tad warm, then I added sharpening, and removed the lens vignette…

I opened the image in CS5, and the first thing I did was run an action from Kevin called “Daily Multivitamin”  (It is one of my faves, it’s just a little curves, to darken your darks, and lighten your lights)

Then I spot cleaned the bit of window you can see in the middle with the clone stamp.

Then, since the bg is white, I can easily clone stamp out the sides of the wall against the window, and the sides of the file cabinet from where I like the brightness.  I used 100% opacity for my brush, with a soft edge of around 20% hardness.  (grab from close by, because the color from top to bottom of your pic may vary slightly)

I did that for both sides, all the way down to the file cabinet, and then it looked like this,

Then I wanted the image landscape, but it was shot portrait, so again, it’s really easy with white, but you can do this with all kind of backgrounds.  Go to image – canvas size – and then use whatever measurements you want, I typically do percent, then use the arrow box to make your bg extension go where you want.  In this case I wanted it to the right and up, and then make sure your fill color is the opposite of what your bg is, so you can see it against your bg really well :)

Now you should have a big black area, and you need to extend your image.  Use your rectangular marquee tool, set to normal, and grab an area that you want to use for fill

Then choose Edit – Content Aware Scale, and drag your selected area up to the top

Then click the check mark at the top right to say ok to your change.  Then do that again for the side

I didn’t need to do the bottom here because I am just going to crop it, but I easily could have done it the same way.   So, I cropped where I wanted it, then sharpened using Unsharp Mask (36, 3.0, 3)  And here is where I saved the white version.

But, then I wanted to give the image a more romantic soft feel, so I added a little more pp.  To give it this look, go to Layer – New Layer, then take your paint bucket and fill that layer with

a golden orange color, and set the layer blend mode to “pin light” opacity 24% or so, then duplicate that orange layer (ctrl J) and change that layer blend mode to “overlay” and about 6% or so.  Then make another new layer, and fill that layer with a turquoise color, and set the blend mode for it to “exclusion” and around 10% opacity.

Then I ran dmv again, and saved : )

It seems like a lot when you write it out, haha, but really only takes about a minute or two, if you know your way around photoshop : )

The steps I use to extend the background are great steps to know too!  I use them all the time, especially with newborns, with blankets and what-not.  When you have the blanket in the bg and it is too small, just do those steps with the content aware scale from a smooth area of blanket, and touch up any lines you might create with the clone tool.  Really easy!

Anyway, hope that helps some people, ask away in the comments if you need to!



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  1. Mary McConville

    January 24th, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    Wow! This was so kind and helpful of you to offer your time to all of us. It does sound like a lot when you write it out but it looks like it was worth it.
    I am really grateful to you for sharing your ideas and talent with all us newbies! :-)

  2. Kylene

    January 24th, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    Thanks for sharing! A great excuse to hint for some fresh flowers tomorrow. :)

  3. Kathryn

    January 25th, 2011 at 9:10 am

    Thanks for sharing your steps! :)

  4. Claire

    January 31st, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    This is great, really helpful Thanks

  5. Claire

    January 31st, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    This is great, really helpful!


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