Tuesday, April 24, 2012

BBL 2011-2012 | Take a Photoshop Class


Why did I include this on my Bucket List?

I included this because everything I know about Photoshop, I have learned from reading books or watching tutorials online. I wanted to see if I could pick up any tips about new and/or easier ways to do things from a real, live instructor. Also, I wanted to see if I could learn about some of the features of photoshop that I don't currently use.

Was the experience what I had hoped it would be?

I feel like the class covered a lot of great material, but it was at such a fast pace that a lot of it didn't really sink in. So, when I went back to use it, I couldn't remember how to do some of the things I had learned.

The details...

I actually took this class a month ago! The fact that I'm just now posting about it is a tribute to how crazy busy this past month has been for me. I decided to take the class because it showed up in my inbox from Groupon for a ridiculously good price. It was a beginner class, so I expected it to be a mix of review of things I already knew how to do and an introduction to some new things.  It was interesting to see that the instructor had a completely different way of doing a lot of the edits that I routinely do on photos. I'm looking forward to trying some of his ways of doing the edits on some up coming photo sessions to see if I like them better.

Just for fun, (and because I didn't feel right about not posting any photos) I thought I'd share a handful of different edits I did in Photoshop on one of Elle's photos when I was finishing up editing her session a few days ago.

When I edit photos, I edit each one individually to best enhance each photo.  Sometimes, I will try a handful of different edits before deciding on the one for the final image.  Yes, this does make it more time consuming to edit the photos!  But, I am a bit of a perfectionist and I feel better knowing that I took the time to view and edit each photo to make it the best it can be.

If you've never seen Photoshop in action before, get ready to be shocked by what it can do! So many of the things that look so amazing in photos these days are actually edited in using photoshop.

OK, so here is the original photo, which, if we are going to be honest, isn't all that exciting.  But I felt like it had potential so I decide to work with it a bit and see if I came up with anything I liked...

Here it is after desaturating the colors, which helps, but it's still not quite right....

From the moment I saw it, I really felt like this photo would be best in black and white...

The above photo is the one that I presented to Elle with her final images because it is a bit more of a "classic" photo. But, from a personal stand point I wasn't quite satisfied with it yet and decided to keep working with it. I'm usually not a fan of grainy photos, but this one just called out to me for more of a gritty feel, so I decided to give it a try...

I tried different amounts of grain on the above photo, but never really found the perfect amount. Since I don't use it all that often, I will be the first to admit that I don't have a real good feel for the perfect combination of the settings. However, no matter how much grain I put on the photo, I felt like it didn't work with the bright white of the pearls. So on this next photo, I decided to add some blur to the photo to take some of the focus off of the necklace and add to the gritty feel of the photo. I knew I wasn't going to do anything with this photo other than amuse myself and perhaps add it to this post, so it isn't a perfect edit. The blurring is perhaps a bit too much, but I think it gets my point across of the endless ways each individual photo can be edited in Photoshop...

So, which photo is your favorite? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Do you want to see my entire 2011-2012 Bucket List? You can find it here.

Michele Whitacre is a portrait photographer serving Phoenix, Arizona and the surrounding area. Visit Michele's website at michelewhitacrephotography.com. Become a fan of Michele's work on Facebook. Follow Michele's updates on Twitter.

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