For many, editing is either the easiest thing about a photo shoot or you sit for hours with coffee and an uncharged cellphone next to you while you trudge your way through the jungle of photos to get to the best ones…and then edit the best of those…and so on. It was a mix for me. Some photos needed very little retouching and just some adjustments in Lightroom 5. Others stole hours of my life that I would very much like back.
Right now, I’ll show you one of my first images in both Lightroom 5 and Photoshop CS5. This is not one of my “final” photos but it gives you an idea of an easier editing process.
In Lightroom 5, I rose the exposure only to +1.07 and the contrast to +40 since I didn’t want to blow out the photo. I lowered the blacks to -17 since I really wanted my eyeliner to pop. The color saturation was a matter of taste since I was actually wearing a black/blue eyeshadow and wanted a more purple color. I brought the tone curve down and cropped the image in scale.
I then exported my image in Photoshop CS5. I know there are a lot of great editing features in Lightroom but I am still getting to know it. He’s like a potential boyfriend and we’ve only had a couple of really awesome dates but we’re going slow before we commit. Photoshop and me on the other hand have been in a serious relationship since the summer of ’02! And there are still so many tricks I have yet to learn!
I first start with copying the main layer a few times in case I need to fall back a bit. Since this is just my eye I wanted to focus on covering up my scars (car accident and chicken pox) and smoothing out the rest of my skin. I wanted to try a new approach besides just going for the clone and patch tools with blur thrown in. I searched for a decent tutorial online and found a few that gave similar techniques.
After I made a copy of my main layer I went to filters and used the surface blur keeping the radius and threshold down. I duplicated that layer and created a mask layer and filled in black so that I could paint in what I wanted. With a brush tool, I lowered the opacity to about 50% and painted over the area on my skin making sure to avoid my eyes and crystals seeing as I want those sharper. If I felt the blur was too much I toned down the opacity. Also, do you see the little computer screen in my pupil? Removed with the power of the clone tool.
Then I went to my previous layer with the clone and patch tools for any touch ups. Since I do have green eyes and I “forgot” to make that easy adjustment in Lightroom (for those who want to know, go to the color tab and work with the color you want) I had to get my eye green again. I made a new transparent layer, with the brush tool I found a nice green, dropped the opacity down and changed the layer mode to Multiply. Voila!
My eye isn’t THAT green but I liked the effect so I went with it. I’m sorry. Is there anyone around to tell me I can’t? My main goal was to smooth out my skin and make the eye crystals pop without looking unnatural. You need to have a few lines on your eyes, you need the texture on your face or you’ll end up looking like a mannequin…creepy, soulless mannequin.