So, I thought I would share some discoveries I have made while fiddling with photos during the editing process of Lindsey’s Headshots. Lindsey happens to be gorgeous, but let’s make her look in the picture more like she does in real life. I will show you the before and after at the end using Lightroom and Photoshop to edit. Keep in mind that this is just what I did. Not what is best.
1. Okay, this one is straight out of the camera.
2. I like the white balance as shot, so I will just leave that as is. I do like a warm image. Okay the exposure is alright to my eye. But, I find her skin is a little dull. So I boost the exposure by +.18. Are there other ways to do this? Yes. But I find this is suitable and I like to keep my life easy. Then I move the fill light bar up to 8. I also like a contrasty image. So I bump that one up to 54 (from 25 as shot). Okay great. I find her skin is pretty. Now I will add little vignette. Done. Here is what we have:
3. The change from 2 to 3 here is subtle. And it could be dramatic, but I don’t know how to make a dramatic adjustment without it looking psychotic. Still in Lightroom, I simply use the adjustment brush tool at 100 % feather and 100 % flow and boost the exposure bar to +.17. I bring down the clarity by 17. I then zoom in to Lindsey’s eyes and gently sweep under her eyes to lighten the darkness. See Lindsey has two twin babies and two kiddos – so she gets tired – regardless of that, she still looks amazing. Okay great. Is it perfect, nope. But I don’t want Lindsey to look like she is 14 again and I like to keep it real. Now let’s open the image in photoshop.
4. Welcome to photoshop. I’m using Cs2. It’s retro, my friends. But, I don’t do much with it, so that’s fine with me! I’m going ot keep it simple here. I want to clean up her skin a little. It’s great, obviously, but for business shots, I like a creamier feel. Warning: This isn’t the best way to do it, I have no idea what is, but I found it worked well for Lindsey’s images and made my life easy. So, I open the noise filter and move the bars until it looks smoother. I used a strength of 9. Pretty high. I didn’t move the other sliders, they are at 0. The change is small, look closely.
5. Now let’s sharpen it up. I used magic sharp. Yay! What a difference.
Here is the before and after – I think Magic Sharp is the biggest difference! Small changes can really add up!P.S. Here is my black and white version. I did all of the same stuff in photoshop that i just shared. But I changed it to black and white in lightroom after I lightened under the eyes. How? I hit “greyscale”. I then moved the exposure up (I like a bright black and white) to +.62. I then move the contrast up to 71. I moved up the blacks to 11. Done. Send it to photoshop for a skin clean and a sharpen.