This guy wanted a hip, fun senior photograph. And thanks to Dan Treviño of Shooting Star Photography, he is getting one.
Unfortunately the lighting was less than ideal and the original photo was kind of gray (the water, the sky, and the subject). When he sent this in, I knew just the blueprint formula to try on it.
Step 1: Ran Extreme Fill Flash from the MCP Quickie Collection – masked back parts of the water and 80% and sky at 30%. Then duplicated the Extreme Fill Flash layer a second time.
Step 2: Ran Noiseware (which can be found here).
Step 3: Ran Touch of Light/Touch of Darkness Action – painted Light on the white waves, Darkness on the blue water.
Step 4: Ran Crackle from the Quickie Collection at the default opacity.
Step 5: Ran Color Explosion to find the hidden colors in the water and sky.
Step 6: Flattened – then duplicated background and used the patch tool to get out sensor dust spots. I am not sure if you can see them on the original but they were very noticeable when viewed at 100%.
Step 7: Made a New Blank layer and added gradient sky (see sky tutorial here). The sky was not blown but it needed a little lift as it was still a little gray. Adding a blue gradient was the perfect enhancement.
Step 8: Wanted a different crop with more room to the right. So I stretched the canvas as explained in this video.
There was only one thing I did not love about this edit. The photo still has some grain since it started out underexposed and since I did so much with the color and brightening it. But as I look at it I think it still can work since many times photographers add texture to achieve this very effect. What do you think of this extreme before and after play? I would love your thoughts.