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Blueprint – MCP Fan Share of a Cute Little Boy

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One of my customers, of both my Photoshop actions and training, asked me if she could share a photo from when she was just starting out.  It was a favorite of hers and she wanted to see what she could do with it now that she knows more about Photoshop.

Why not? This shot was taken and edited by Silvina of Silvina B Photography. Her steps are listed below the before and after.

silvina-thumb Blueprint – MCP Fan Share of a Cute Little Boy Blueprints Photoshop Actions Photoshop Tips & Tutorials

Silvina’s Blueprint:

– Ran a custom curve adjustment layer to lift up the mid-tones (up 2 squares on grid)

– Ran a curves adjustment layer (using CMYK numbers in the info palette) and decreased the cyan so it was a bit less than a third of the magenta & ran a 2nd color correcting curve to add a pinch of blue which decreased the yellow (as taught in the color fixing and private classes taken by Jodi of MCP Actions)

– Ran the “eye doctor” from MCP Actions: sharp as a tack at 60% opacity, brighten whites at 22% opacity (default), brighten iris at 50% opacity, enhance catchlights at 30% opacity

– I still felt it needed to be brighter so I ran another custom curves adjustment layer and lifted mid-tones one more square on the grid

– Increased contrast to +6 using a Brightness/Contrast layer

– Ran “magic powder” from MCP Actions Magic Skin at 30% opacity

– Ran MCP’s edge sharpening (free from the MCP Actions blog)

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No Comments

  1. Cort on September 4, 2009 at 10:21 am

    The B&W has had some of the highlight detail replaced with flat tones with no detail and the blacks are very weak. This gives the image an overall muddy feel.

  2. Michelle on September 4, 2009 at 10:53 am

    I really like the color edit. So smooth and soft! Beautiful. I also like the B*W. Normally I up the contrast in my b/w’s but I think for a baby image the suble b/w is really nice. 🙂

  3. Ashley Larsen on September 4, 2009 at 11:01 am

    I also like this particular color edit. Great job.Jodi. I would love for you to do a post on photographer pettiness. Recently I have asked a couple different photographers some general questions regarding their work. One responded with “my lips are sealed” and the other said, “I hope I am not a meanie, but I don’t share.” But that is after all why I LOVE MCP Blog! Thanks for all you do.

  4. Terry Lee on September 4, 2009 at 11:35 am

    Love the softness and feel of the B&W….it’s like ice cream. xo

  5. Laura on September 4, 2009 at 11:41 am

    These are beautiful! The baby looks so tender because of the soft skin – I just want to cuddle him/her 🙂 I love the Vanilla Ice Cream tones – wish I had it!

  6. Carli Canata on September 4, 2009 at 11:53 am

    the color edit looks amazing! but i have such a love for b&w babies. i don’t really know what it is. but i always like it better.

  7. Tomara on September 4, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    Personally, I think the original is the best. I love to see the pink hues of a newborn baby. The color-edited one is beautiful but it looks so washed out to me that you can’t really see the baby. Newborns have such beautiful color and it should be accentuated. 😀

  8. honey on September 4, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    Just look at how much better the skin looks in the second shot! That is why I have to get in on one of your sessions!!! I do adjust the balance in camera raw but it’s not the same as curves. I think Cort’s monitor settings are off … the b&w is so soft and pretty. It seems you lowered the contrast purposely because Vanilla ice cream usually is very contrasty. You Rock!

  9. Janete on September 4, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    oh i really love the color edit!! so soft and beautiful

  10. apryl on September 4, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    i prefer the color with this image. the b/w on this one is too “bright & white” for me. i like some contrast in all my b/w’s, not too much on babies, but this one doesn’t have enough for me. adorable pose though!;)

  11. nicki smith on September 4, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    I love the color edit on this one! I got a kick out of Ashley’s request of a post about photographer’s pettiness. When I first got started (and even now), I would email photographers I admired and they really are so tight lipped. I have gotten to the point now that I don’t ask and when I do I am always expecting them to not share anything and pleasantly surprised if they do. However, keep trying, Ashley, as I have had a few who were very open with me. And Jodi, you are so great for sharing all that you do. Thank you!!!

  12. Tiffany on September 4, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    I love the color version, this baby is so soft and pink and rosy. The warmth of it can’t be matched, even in that beautiful classic creamy black and white.

  13. Carrie on September 4, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    I think the bw version is awesome! I really like the “dreaminess” of it!

  14. darlene on September 4, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    I really like how you ran the color edit. It gives baby a “cherub” feeling, evens out the picture and still lets your subject be the focus. Fantastic! The b&w edit on this shot seems a little blue and too bright.

  15. Rose on September 4, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    I like the color version better, I also like black and whites of babies but for me it totally depends on the photo!

  16. Dana on September 4, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    I really like the b&w best but I love babies in b&w. They are so timeless and beautiful. Awesome job on both!

  17. Pam on September 4, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    You are amazing. The color edit is gorgeous! I’ve got to sign up for your color correction class! Vanilla Ice Cream is my favorite b&w action and I use it all the time. Such a classic, timeless look. Nice job, Jodi!About those not-so-nice critiques. No matter what I think of a photo, and I’m asked often, I always find something that I really like about it and point it out to the photographer. We do this at my photo club for our “assignment” shots. Everyone always has room for improvement, but I also think that there is something nicely done in every piece of art. I wouldn’t ask those people again.

  18. MCP Actions on September 4, 2009 at 8:20 pm

    Those of you who expressed concern about a few “not nice” comments… I so appreciate your concern, but unless malicious (or spam) I approve all comments. The reason is that there is something to be learned from everyone. As for my opinions, and everyones, they are just that, opinions. As for black and whites, those who know me know that most of mine are super contrasty, as is my color for that matter. I was playing and took a different approach here. It is actually not at all my taste or style, but nonetheless was fun to play with a different style. I also agree that when I am asked to give critique that I usually start with something good, then give something constructive that could use improvement, and then if more – repeat again with other thoughts. Not everyone is educated in how to critique either. I never take this stuff personally. Then again – I am usually my harshest critic.

  19. David Akesson on September 4, 2009 at 11:53 pm

    Look I love both the colour and the BW end results. Both pics fabulous. I could find a place for both on the wall in different rooms if the bub was mine. The only thing I would do would remove the dark piece of blanket showing at upper left. Other than that a superb pic and beautifully finished.David A

  20. Deirdre Malfatto on September 5, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    Interesting. This looks so much better here than on Facebook. I’m so glad I checked it out here as well. On FB the looked too light for me.I like them both. My father was into photography when I was a baby, and he mostly used black & white film, because it was cheaper, so black & white baby photos are familiar to me in a very personal way. But color is super sweet.

  21. Annmarie on September 6, 2009 at 9:12 am

    I vote for the color version-there is a richness and depth to it that seems washed out in this particular B&W. Beautiful!

  22. Cort on September 7, 2009 at 10:06 am

    I admit I do not have a calibrated monitor, I have a laptop and calibrating the screen on it is a waste of time due to the narrow viewing angle and changing ambient light. What I have and use regularly is a tool that displays the RGB values in an image in specific areas as I mouse over them. This gives me a much more accurate picture of what is going on in an image. About my critiques, I learned how to do them in college where we sat in a group and discussed the images openly and honestly, face to face. We were adults there to learn and we did not feel a need to sugar coat each comment. I made comments about an area I know well based on my experience.

  23. MCP Actions on September 7, 2009 at 10:10 am

    Cort, No need to defend yourself. As I said, opinions are welcome.I would say that I disagree with your comment about calibration. I have a desktop and laptop. Calibrating my laptop made a HUGE difference in how things looked and getting them closer to print. Something you may want to consider…Anyway, thank you for your contributions.Jodi

  24. Cort on September 7, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    Thanks for the suggestion on calibrating my laptop, I have found going by the numbers to be much more accurate and consistent especially when it comes to critical color or my B&W. There are far too many variables involved with visual color correct to even consider doing it on my laptop where the colors and density shift visibly if I move my head a few inches.

  25. MCP Actions on September 7, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    Cort, fair enough… I prefer calibrate and use numbers from the info palette as a guide.I just took a look at your work – and I love your black and white work.My taste and preference is actually contrasty black and whites – though I tried something different here.If you ever want to do a post about keeping contrast in black and whites while getting a large dynamic range, I am sure my readers would love to hear from you and your vast experiences. I will say that when I do black and whites and do them as contrasty as I prefer, I do tend to lose some of the detail in the midtones often times. You seem to retain that quite nicely.Thanks!Jodi

  26. Carrie on September 10, 2009 at 10:00 am

    Jodi – What do you use to calibrate your screens? I know I need to do this and am curious what you recommend. Thanks!

  27. Allie Miller on December 10, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    Love Black and Whites! They are clean and simple… 🙂

  28. sara b on July 12, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    I’m with Carrie, I’d also love to know what you would suggest for calibrating (specifically a laptop. I use both but find myself on my laptop more often as it is so handy. I just want to make sure what I see is what comes out in the end! I agree it can be difficult, depending on how it is tilted it can look very different. I wish I knew what you guys meant by putting your mouse over it and seeing the rgb values! That would SURE come in handy! Maybe a post about that!!!! 🙂

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