Blueprint: A Girl and Her Umbrella

This adorable photo is from Kara Roberts Photography. She wrote, “I have tried and tried to post process this one but they all turn out ICK. She’s just surrounded by green, and even when I do a levels and curves adjustment it just makes the green worse.”

So I decided to play with Kara’s photo and here is what I came up with (shown as a before and then after).  All editing was done using the MCP Bag of Tricks photoshop action set.

Ran Magical Contrast (left on default)

Ran Magical Clarity – lowered to 18%

Ran Magical Color Finder Brush and painted on background using 100% brush – and on her skirt and umbrella with 30% brush.  Increased the opacity of the layer to 85%.

Ran Bleach Pen – and used it on her tank top to get rid of color cast on the white.

Ran Magic Light and painted on her foot with 50% opacity brush so it would blend with the rest of her skin. And used a 30% opacity brush on the rest of her skin to brighten.

Ran Magic Dark and painted the entire background darker using a 30% brush (which made it much richer) Changed layer opacity to 88%.


*** As always I would love to hear your feedback, comments and thoughts on the edit.  What do you like about the edit – and what do you not like? What would you do differently if it were your photo?


Jodi Friedman, MCP Actions

Jodi Friedman is the founder of MCP Actions. She designs popular Photoshop actions and Lightroom presets that make editing faster, easier and more fun.

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  1. 6


    I love the edit…it focuses on the little girl and makes her pop out of the scene…very nice!
    This is just being very pickey, but I may have not done the skirt so bright although I didn’t see it at 30%.
    Wow…the new set of actions looks like a real time saver and fun to use.
    I waaaaaaant it! :)
    How are they different from your other sets and are some of them used in place of the old ones or do
    they just compliment each other? Please explain the differences? Thanks! xo

  2. 7

    Kathy says

    Wow, what a great edit!!! It sure makes all the colors just pop! Great shot too by the way, Kara! I have some “girl by a pond shots” that I need to try this on!

  3. 8


    Terry, they are quite different in almost every way. The only part that is a little similar are a few of the exposure things. But the rest are all specialty actions unique to this set.

  4. 12


    I always love to see the blueprints. Lately I’ve really been working the tools you taught me in class and the actions. I love them. I only wish you had a crop action. That is where I struggle.

  5. 14


    I really like the edit – wow!

    I have a question: [Ran Magical Color Finder Brush and painted on background using 100% brush – and on her skirt and umbrella with 30% brush. Increased the opacity of the layer to 85%.]
    Can you please explain just a little about what Color Finder Brush does – I don’t quite get it. Thanks.

  6. 18


    Aimee – I thought about cloning that but left it as it was there in the original – and was a reflection of light (not quite a rainbow but contrasted in the original too).

  7. 21


    Beautiful girl and I love what the edits did for her skin and the vividness of her accessories, but in terms of the update, the water really “stole the show” for me. The glassiness of the water’s surface, the enhanced colors of water and trees in reflection–wow! I’m a first-time visitor to your site and I can’t wait to come back for more photoshop tips. ~K

  8. 22

    Karen Drake says

    Are you kidding me???? This is a tremendous tool for photographers.
    Love this sooo much. Great before and after!!!


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