Friday, May 8, 2009

Constructive Feedback Friday

Instead of Fix-It Friday, this week is Constructive Feedback Friday. I am asking all the other people out there that I better than me on Photoshop Elements to give me some suggestions on how to make this photo better.

Here is a recent photo. I like the photo because of her smile. Here is my problems with it. First I don't like the background distraction (foot and leg). I tried crop on the photo and this is the best I could do to remove the other body parts. If there are other problems, I would appreciate being told and be given suggestions on how to fix those too.

ISO 400 (which I should have had set lower)
WB - Fluorescent (was set wrong & corrected the RAW image - gotta love RAW


drewmark19 said...

Hi, Lindsay! Just wanted to drop by and let you know I'll be back later to give you some of my thoughts on the photo. My son's birthday is today, so I probably won't find time until later tonight or tomorrow. I love this capture of your daughter. It would be a shame to scrap it just because of the background. The challenge is to get rid of those distracting elements. Hopefully I can come up with some ideas by the time I return. ;)

AJ said...

Can you crop in even closer? To just below her shoulder, I think. That would solve the foot problem and the leg would look like background. I'd say clone, but going around her cute little curls would be hard!

Her skin tone is a little pink. I think just decreasing the reds a tad in hue/saturation would do the trick.

She is a cutie! I'm sure you'll be able to save this one :).


drewmark19 said...

Back again! I did a lot of fiddling with this so I hope I can remember everything.

First I opened the photo in Raw and did some adjustments. I then opened it in Elements. The first thing I did was select around your daughter and then copy that selection into a new layer. I then went to the original layer and clone stamped out many of the distracting elements. By having your daughter in a new layer, she's not affected by the changes I make and I can actually clone stamp anywhere on the photo below. I cloned away everything but the leg. I then flattened the layers back together.

I then duplicated the layer. On the top layer, I did a hue adjustment layer choosing the magenta channel. I always use the eyedropper to click into the magenta. I then click the -eye dropper on the best part of the skin. After that I slide the hue/lightness bars until I like what I see. You might notice that the lips start turning a funky color. This is why I did a duplicate layer.

I then make a layer mask (Coffeeshop actions has a free action for this.) on the top layer. I use my black brush at a reduced opacity on the lips to bring back in some of the pink. Flatten the layers.

Another area that bothered me was the really pronounced shadow under her chin. To take care of this, I selected the shadow and lightened it. I then used the clone stamp to take away the edges of the shadow.

I wouldn't normally do this to a child, but there was quite a bit of purple under her eyes. I took the clone stamp and really lightened under the eyes.

Next I reduced the noise. After that I fiddled with the levels a bit, cropped and then called it a day. :)

You can check out my changes at:

iHeartFaces said...

Hi Lindsey!

I was just wondering if you had the full size, uncropped, unedited version of this photo still. I'd love to play with it a bit because then I'd know better how to help you.

You can email it to me at iheartfaces AT hotmail DOT com if you'd like.

She's so cute!

co-founder of iHeartFaces

Heasleye said...

What a little dolly! :) I think I would crop closer to at least cut out the two extra bits of shoes poking in from the right. Drew did a great job of cloning out the extra leg! :) Another idea I had was to apply some sort of texture overlay to disguise the leg's presence. I see you shot in raw and were able to adjust the WB. Maybe even try to lower the exposure/use recovery tool just a bit as her face has some hot/nearly blown spots, and raw could help out with that, too. As someone else noted, her skin tones are a bit pink/magenta, so perhaps warming it up a bit would look nice. Using a shallower depth of field (smaller f/stop number) would help blur those backgrounds even more.
Have fun capturing your sweet little one!