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High Key Backdrops: How to Get a White Backdrop Using Photoshop Actions

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This Photoshop Actions Blueprint was sent in from Karen of Smile-Play-Love Photography. Thank for you sharing how you edit your photos with all of us.

  1. Ran MCP’s Studio White Bright Spell. This Photoshop action from the Bag of Tricks set turns light white and grayish backdrops into high key white backdrops.  I used this at about 80% to get a bright white backdrop, often referred to as High Key White  (I use a white backdrop and natural light for most of my portrait photography work so I LOVE THIS ACTION and use it on every single photo!)
  2. Ran Portraiture at default settings at 100% opacity
  3. Did a “Defog” unsharp mask (14-40-0)
  4. Used MCP’s “Eye Doctor” Photoshop action: catchlights layer and sharpen eyes layer at default settings
  5. Used MCP’s Powder Your Nose photoshop action from “Magic Skin” at default opacity – brushed on skin under eyes, across forehead, cheeks and chin (I use this on every photo I edit as it helps with under eye circles, blemishes, scars, wrinkles, and even double chins without looking unnatural)
  6. I did a curves layer with a very slight s-curve set to luminosty and then another curves layer lifting the midtones slightly
  7. I used MCP’s Free Photoshop action Touch of Light at about 30% on the slight shadow her right side of face and MCP’s Touch of Dark at about 20% on her hair on her left side of head as it was a bit too bright
  8. My final step to present proofs to my clients is to brand it with my logo.  I set up a ‘branding bar’ to match all of my new stationary about 2 weeks before MCP’s new “Finish It” action set came out.  I wish I would have waited, as it would have saved me a lot of time and headache!  Jodi inspired me to add some curved corners.  I run this final step as an action that allows me to save it both for web (sharpening and resizing) and for print (as a 4×6 and sharpened for printing) since a number of my clients like to order a proof album rather than just view their photos online.

That is my process for every photo I edit.  I have combined all of these steps into a big batch action that I run on every photo. MCP Actions seriously changed the way I post-process, and helped me turn my photography from a hobby into a business.  Thanks Jodi!

Karen Gunton

Here is before editing and getting a high key white backdrop:

kareng-unedited High Key Backdrops: How to Get a White Backdrop Using Photoshop Actions Blueprints Photoshop Actions Photoshop Tips & Tutorials

Here is after editing – shown with the high key white backdrop and tones:

kareng-edited High Key Backdrops: How to Get a White Backdrop Using Photoshop Actions Blueprints Photoshop Actions Photoshop Tips & Tutorials

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No Comments

  1. Patti on May 22, 2009 at 9:30 am

    What a save Jodi! Beautiful.

  2. Kathy on May 22, 2009 at 9:33 am

    She looks so much better! Amazing what actions can do!! That bluish background is throwing me a little. It does something with her hair to me. But it’s such a great improvement any way.

  3. Alisha Shaw on May 22, 2009 at 9:51 am

    Awesome!! Might play with the color/exposure at her part-otherwise looks so great!

  4. alex whitman on May 22, 2009 at 9:53 am

    that is an AWESOME save!!

  5. Kim on May 22, 2009 at 9:54 am

    Gorgeous after photo! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Dawn on May 22, 2009 at 9:55 am

    You’re a miracle worker! That lady is gorgeous….nicely done!

  7. Silvina on May 22, 2009 at 10:04 am

    That was a great save Jodi!

  8. Jill R. on May 22, 2009 at 10:07 am

    I think that’s an awesome save, Jodi! The only other thing I can see is that there is too much cyan…especially noticeable in in her hair. I would use selective color and pull about 30-35% of the cyans out of the neutrals. I might mask back on the background and her eyes… I use selective color a lot when I feel most of the color is right and I don’t want to play with the entire red, green, or blue channels in curves and then mask back.

  9. Deena on May 22, 2009 at 10:23 am

    I think this looks fantastic! Way better than the original, that just looks flat!

  10. Sheila Carson Photography on May 22, 2009 at 10:29 am

    Very nice Jodi!

  11. Nicki on May 22, 2009 at 10:30 am

    What an amazing save!

  12. Lori M. on May 22, 2009 at 10:38 am

    WOW!

  13. Beth @ Pages of Our Life on May 22, 2009 at 10:39 am

    Jodi,I am really lovin your blueprints. I just bought the Quickie Collection and the blueprints are so helpful, helping me to work better with an already great action set.Thanks,Beth

  14. Jennifer Fernandez on May 22, 2009 at 10:51 am

    Wow Jodi! That’s amazing! I probably would have just deleted that photo and assumed that it couldn’t be saved. Beautiful work! 🙂

  15. Melinda on May 22, 2009 at 10:54 am

    Nice!

  16. Gayle on May 22, 2009 at 10:58 am

    Ummm, WOW!!!! Enough said.

  17. Sarah on May 22, 2009 at 11:11 am

    Wow, thank you so much for all these Tuts! They really help me better understand what I can do with the MCP actions.

  18. Dawn McCarthy on May 22, 2009 at 11:16 am

    Beautiful save Jodi!!

  19. robin on May 22, 2009 at 11:20 am

    Wow! I am really impressed–nice save!

  20. Jackie Beale on May 22, 2009 at 11:34 am

    beautiful after picture. It’s amazing how you got it so sharp.

  21. Peggy on May 22, 2009 at 11:55 am

    Awesome. I love the blue-print posts the best. It really helps me understand how to use the MCP actions to its fullest potential. More blue-print posts – it’s such a visual learning tool. Thanks Jodi.

  22. Danielle on May 22, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    W. O . W!! good save.

  23. Staci on May 22, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    Jodi-that is an awesome save. It looks beautiful! 🙂 I really, really enjoy using your actions. My absolute fav. The magic skin is great!

  24. Shelly on May 22, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    Wow! What a great job. Once again, I love seeing your recipes. I use your actions all the time.

  25. Catlin on May 22, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    OMG, you just went up like 5,000 notches on the Awesome scale!

  26. Christin Beaurline on May 22, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    Great save! I really cannot believe the improvement….it is that great! Nice work!

  27. Laraine Davis on May 22, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    Jodi – this is amazing. Thanks for sharing these, I have almost all your actions and I love them, and I couldn’t live without them. This helps me alot to see the power of it all. Have a great Memorial Day weekend.

  28. Rose on May 23, 2009 at 2:57 am

    Beautiful! I’ll bet she’s glad she sent you the photo! Your actions are on my wish list 🙂

  29. gina armfield on May 23, 2009 at 10:53 am

    amazing what can be done post production – this looks great

  30. Jennifer on May 23, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    Wow! Unbelievable save! You Rock!!!

  31. Emily Murdock on May 23, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    I have to say that your Skin Cast Blast is my FAVORITE and probably my most-used MCP action. So many times, I have been able to make a good photo GREAT by using it to adjust the color cast on a photo. Sometimes I use it and I’m amazed at how much better the image becomes—even though I hardly noticed the color cast in the first place! (although with this one, the color cast was totally noticeable, haha)Keep these blue-print posts coming, Jodi. They are very informative but also showcase how amazing your actions are!!!

  32. Patty Plucker on May 23, 2009 at 5:17 pm

    Oh my goodness! I had no idea such a “save” was possible, just incredible. Thanks so much for sharing…I’m hooked!

  33. Nikki Romero on May 24, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    YUCK!!! I had one like this before but it was dark yellow/orange, hard, hard, to fix… The outcome is absolutely amazing… I feel, red and yellow are the hardest things to correct. Blonde hair is hard to play with, it tends to get a gray/blue tint to it… Great composure, nice angle, overall great save!!!! As always Jodi, your actions are a life saver…..

  34. Sara on May 24, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    I’ve been reading your blog only for a short time now, but this post is the only one that made me want to comment because WOW!!! You did an amazing job

  35. Valerie Smith on February 12, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    Wow…what a great save. Thanks for the blueprint. Love your actions.

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