Something of a Fairy Tale - Before After Edits

August 09, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Sharing two before/after images to show the beautiful transformational power of skillful editing.  This post is not a tutorial, but I will highlight the important steps I take to achieve this look.  

fairy-tale-apple-blonde-curls-girlfairy-tale-apple-blonde-curls-girl

First, I isolate my subject using the quick select tool - then make a new layer of only the subject.  Then I fix up my subject - get her skin tone right and brighten eyes, lift shadows, etc etc.  These adjustments are not global - they are only applied to the subject.

Next I work on the background.  I duplicate my background layer and desaturate those neon greens, adding reds and yellows.  Duplicate it again and burn shadows, tweak the colors, then add a matte haze layer.   Duplicate it again and add a radial blur - then a gaussian blur.  Then add a radial gradient to highlight the light behind her head.

baby-girl-sitting-on-logbaby-girl-sitting-on-log

Then I do some masking work to make the stark difference between my subject and the background smoother and not such an obvious piece of photoshop work ;)

And, as you can see in the top image, her cute little empty hands looked like they needed something to hold - so I added an apple :)

The key to editing portraits is to separate subject from background - they each need their own special treatment.  Hope that helps! 

 


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