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Blueprint – My Take on Sandi Bradshaw’s Senior Photography

Blueprint – My Take on Sandi Bradshaw’s Senior Photography

I just had to play.  Check out yesterday’s post for detailed step by step of how Sandi Bradshaw edited this photo.

Here are my plays.

MCP All in the Details: flashlight action – changed opacity to 100%
MCP All in the Details: extreme color action – used the extreme color painting on grass and tractor.  Used detail layer at 46%. Masked back skin and guitar at 100%.
MCP All in the Details: hide and seek action – Used “hide” on the background and seek on the skin
MCP Magic Skin: Magic Skin at 42% and Skin cast blast – bye bye mellow yellow and a second color correction curve
MCP Eye Doctor

After 1, 2 and 3 all are the same except that for 2 and 3 I added sky at the end.  I used the magic wand to select the sky. Then I added a new blank layer and used the gradient tool and made the sky.  I added a mask to clean up any areas that needed it.  I did this with a blue gradient in after 2.  Then on the sky layer I added a hue/saturation adjustment layer and clipped it to the sky.  I played with the hue until I ended up with after 3.

blueprint sandi

After looking this over, my critique is that I went too far with the sky.  I wish I lowered the opacity of the sky more so it was less obvious.  But it may just look obvious because I am looking at it next to the blown out sky.  Hmmm.  I also wish that her face did not look so flat. As I fixed exposure it lost detail.  And I could have tried going a little darker to retain detail.

I decided to do one more play.  Normally I love Color.  But this Pastel Looking play – well – I just liked it better.

For this one I used:

MCP All in the Details: flashlight and put opacity to 100%
MCP All in the Details: pastels – default – then masked off skin on detail layer
MCP All in the Details: dusty 35%
MCP Touch of light on the face and skin
MCP All in the Details: in stark contrast action at the default opacity

Then I resized for web and added a frame and border. As always I would love to know what you think…

ImageforJod after pastel2

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  1. jason woods
    June 19, 2009 at 9:12 am — Reply

    Hey Jodi,

    I think i like #2 the best, i think the blue sky makes her stand out. as always, great editing. How did you do at the Mac store the other day? You decide on a Mac yet?

  2. June 19, 2009 at 9:19 am — Reply

    After all is said and done, I think I like the Pastel the best. It just seems to fit the mood of the photo. And it’s funny because I don’t usually go for the pastel looks, but this worked. Thanks for sharing, Jodi!

  3. June 19, 2009 at 9:28 am — Reply

    I love after #3!!

  4. June 19, 2009 at 9:45 am — Reply

    I love the last one with the border! Any chance you’d consider doing a step by step tutorial explaining how to create that effect with the sky? Thanks. I love your blog.

  5. June 19, 2009 at 9:51 am — Reply

    I love the last one! The pastels are beautiful and very lovely with the image!!

  6. Darlean
    June 19, 2009 at 10:03 am — Reply

    I like number 1 the best with the white sky she really pops out in the photo – I did like 2 also but the blue sky against the green grass competes with her for my eye’s attention – it has a great overall effect but I love how she is the total focal point in the first photo. It’s a amazing what small changes make to the overall photo. As always wonderful work Jodi.

  7. June 19, 2009 at 10:20 am — Reply

    LOVE the pastel. thanks for sharing =)

  8. June 19, 2009 at 10:50 am — Reply

    I like number one as they are….but I think number two would probably jump up on my list if (as Jodi stated) the blue in the sky was toned back down. Good job Jodi

  9. michelle sparks
    June 19, 2009 at 10:53 am — Reply

    I LOVE the pastel one………love!

  10. June 19, 2009 at 10:54 am — Reply

    I like “after 2.” The blue sky and green grass seem to say, for me, “I’m home” 🙂 Beautiful job Jodi!

  11. Vanessa
    June 19, 2009 at 11:00 am — Reply

    I like the yellow sky surprisingly. I think if it was a little lighter, it would balance things out more. Nice!!

  12. MariaV
    June 19, 2009 at 11:12 am — Reply

    Ditto Martha. I love the pastel. It just fits. Thanks, Jodi.

  13. June 19, 2009 at 11:23 am — Reply

    The pastel look is one I’ve been seeing a lot lately, very popular and people seem to love it. Thanks for showing how you did it. Now I can try!

  14. June 19, 2009 at 11:31 am — Reply

    I like all the edits except for her skin/face. They look too washed out and her facial features practically disappear. I think if you take the unedited version and create a layer mask out of it, and place it under the edited layer, then using the eraser tool on about 40% opacity w/soft round brush and erase just her face and arms on the edited layer so that the unedited underlayer starts to show thru, that it looks better. I took a play with it on my computer and it looks better, to me, since she looks more tan and you can see her facial details better. Just my 2 cents. #2 and 3 are my faves, and I love the pastel.

  15. June 19, 2009 at 11:36 am — Reply

    I may need all of your actions now…slowly but surely!

  16. Peggy
    June 19, 2009 at 12:03 pm — Reply

    I love after 2 and the pastel … you make it look so easy Jodi

  17. June 19, 2009 at 12:17 pm — Reply

    i’m going to have to say the pastel on too! (although, i’d actually prefer it without the boarder)
    but i also love both the ones with the added sky. it makes such a difference!!

  18. June 19, 2009 at 12:54 pm — Reply

    this was an awesome step-through, jodi! thanks! i especially appreciate the tip on adding the sky–believe it or not, i had never thought of doing that before! =P thanks again!

  19. June 19, 2009 at 1:23 pm — Reply


    really like all of your plays on the image! i think my favorite is the pastel look because actions like that are so popular right now & i love how it brought the sky together with the rest of the image.

    i have a question about sandi’s tutorial that i was wondering if you can answer:
    i am seeing the terms “saturation brush” or “desaturation brush” and can’t figure out what this is supposed to be…i haven’t seen or heard you use that term in any of your tutorials. maybe i know what this is but haven’t heard this particular term?

    any help?
    thanks jodi!

  20. June 19, 2009 at 1:53 pm — Reply

    All three are great, but because of her face/skin, I think the pastel version is best. Her face did lose a lot of detail, but I like the blue sky much better than the white, and the golden sky looks good too. Often those colorized versions are not my thing, it’s only when you get the right image that I think it works. I guess this is the right image! Thanks for this. It’s interesting to see different plays and also to hear the various comments which are definitely not skewed in any particular direction! Go figure.

  21. June 19, 2009 at 2:16 pm — Reply

    I LOVE ‘after 2’….gorgeous!

  22. June 19, 2009 at 2:17 pm — Reply

    I think the face did lose too much detail. It needed to be a little darker. The blue sky is a little too overdone for my taste. I like #3 better. However, I think the pastel is great for this pic. I like lots of color normally, but the pastel just suits this pic so well. Thanks for all the options. Thanks for teh sky tip. I can’t wait to try it.

  23. honey
    June 19, 2009 at 2:39 pm — Reply

    #2 is my fave … the blue looks great! My second fave is the pastel … I think that would look great with some texture too!

  24. June 19, 2009 at 8:25 pm — Reply

    I kind of like the blue sky. Her skin looks almost too perfect. Maybe that is just a wierd thing I am thinking though. I love the picture. VERY cool!

  25. June 20, 2009 at 8:39 am — Reply

    I would have never thought pastels could look that good! I have really enjoyed using that extreme color action!

  26. June 23, 2009 at 8:58 am — Reply

    Just wondering if there is a good way to avoid the halo around her arms? She kinda looks like she is glowing. lol I get this sometime…do you have any advice?

  27. June 23, 2009 at 9:50 am — Reply

    Yes – you can if you take the time to zoom way in with a harder brush and mask back when the change occurs. There was actually a light halo in the original – but the fast editing I did made it more pronounced. I could have avoided it if I spent a lot more time at pixel level editing.

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Blueprint – My Take on Sandi Bradshaw’s Senior Photography