Some photos start out looking like snapshots, even if they were meant to be a portrait. If the lighting and feel of the photo is strong, you can transform them using various techniques and Photoshop actions. This photo, submitted during a private training class, was taken by Maggie Ford.
The image had so much potential but due to the soft focus, centered composition, and slightly inaccurate colors, I would consider the straight out of camera more of a snapshot. I wanted to help enhance the photo, turning it into a photo she would be proud showing.
Here is the before and after – plus a list of what I did to get there.
Here were the steps we took:
- I wanted to really enhance this one and add some drama. I started by using the Crackle Photoshop action (similar to defogging) which is part of the Quickie Collection.
- What an amazing face! I just knew I wanted to make her eyes the focal point. Using the Eye Doctor eye enhancing Photoshop action, I enhanced the catchlights and sharpening the eyes.
- Then I lightly smoothed her skin using Powder Your Nose from the Magic Skin skin smoothing Photoshop action at the default opacity. I just painted the smoothing on where needed.
- Her face had some shiny areas near her nose, and I used the Shiny Skin Vanisher from the Bag of Tricks action set.
- I decided that I wanted the image in black and white. I used my favorite black and white conversion, Vanilla Ice Cream, from the Quickie Collection.
- And for the finishing touch… I used the Free Photoshop action – Touch of Light/Touch of Darkness. I used the Light layer on her face with a 30% opacity brush.
- And lastly, and for this image, probably the most important, I cropped it. In Photoshop CS5 there is a rule of thirds guide and I placed the eyes at the top 1/3 mark and placed her off center for a most more desirable crop.