Thursday, February 3, 2011

Good to Wow: Red Edition, Edited

So I've got the red lipstick on. I figured out the timer. I successfully took a picture of myself. It's been a great week.

Though I'm probably not brave enough to actually wear the red lipstick out anywere.

Anyway, here is the SOOC shot I posted on Monday:
SOOC Red Me


And here is the new and improved me:

Red Me


To edit, I took the following steps:
1. First I adjusted in RAW. I cropped the photo and then, since Ashley taught us about noise last week, I focused on noise reduction. To do so, I zoomed 100% in on the photo so I could properly see the effect of the action and get it just right. I had a difficult time with my hair. I reduced the noise, but then it made my hair blurry. Later, I sharpened my hair, created a layer mask, and brushed the sharpening off everything but my hair. That made my hair noisy again. Grr!! Anyway, I think I just messed with it too much; sometimes you should just leave stuff alone. Moving on...

2. Next I opened it up and ran a high pass filter and set it to a soft light blend mode, left at 100% opacity.

3. Last, I ran Coffeeshop's Perfect Portrait. I hid all layers but white whites (which I painted over the whites of my eyes), eye define, skin smoothing, and vignette.

That is how I edited it. Now I want to share some tips for using your timer for self-portraits. I got several comments on my SOOC shots concerning focus when using your timer. It is difficult to focus properly when you shoot self-portraits because, well, you aren't in front of the camera to set the focus!

(Disclaimer: This is amateur advice; there may be a far easier way to do this!)

The most important thing I can say is that you need to use manual focus. If your camera is like mine, you arm the timer by pushing down on the shutter. If you are using Auto-Focus, your camera will want to re-focus every single time you press the shutter to start the timer.

Secondly, you will need a stand-in to help with your focus. I used my daughter for part of the time because she is about my height, so I just sat her down where I knew I would be sitting, focused, armed the timer, and then shoved her out of the way (gently, of course). But I don't think I need to tell you that daughters tire of being stand-ins. So you need another option. We happen to have two tripods, which worked beautifully since I could adjust the height of the tripod and set it down right where I would be...Voila! A very skinny, metal me. Then I could just focus on the tripod and move it out of the way as I took my seat. Again, it is so much easier if you use manual focus because you don't have to keep re-positioning your stand-in so you can re-focus until you get the shot right.

One final tip: get a remote! My sweet husband ordered one from Amazon for me, and I just received it yesterday. Haven't used it yet with my timer, but I know it will make things so much easier. And it was cheap (I think he picked it up for somewhere around $5.00).

So, anyway, that's my editing, and those are my tips. And there I am for the whole world to see. Did I mention I hate pictures of me? I was fun to edit, however!



Photobucket

30 comments:

Mommy2Four said...

Thanks for the timer shot tips! Gonna go get my second tripod down!

What are you using to edit with? I edit in CS5, and can give you some tips with the hair.....it's VERY hard to get the hair perfect, but CS5 has some pretty nifty tools that help a ton! (I shoot with a green screen sometimes, so I give myself lots of practice! lol)

Beautiful shot though! You're so pretty!

Courtney said...

Love your edit! The crop is perfection!

Ashley Sisk said...

This is a fun edit and the crop is nice. I think you did a nice job but once we get to our week on self portraits or couples...I'll go into more detail on how to do stuff like skin, hair, etc. Nicely done.

AJ said...

Great edit...so glamorous!

Jill - FNA Photography said...

love the crop and your color pop...

have a blessed day!

Mrs Missy said...

I like your crop!

Christine said...

awwww, your edit is absolutely beautiful, just like you! i really admire you for being able to wear red lipstick, too fabulous!

Amy @ Cheeky Cocoa Beans said...

Beautiful! So glamorous. And, hey...it's the hat, isn't it? :)

The red lipstick looks good on you!

Brownie said...

Beautiful! I'm impressed.

and I so didn't understand a thing you said in your explanation.

Wow - this challenge is a real stretch for me!

Tiaras said...

GORGEOUS!!!
I used to love - LOVE - red lipstick on me - not so much anymore. I don't know what happened? I think I need a new shade of red!

Brooke said...

what a great shot - I love the edit!!!!

Jen said...

You look great with red lipstick!

Kristin said...

I love the edit - especially the crop! And you look great with the red lipstick!

Rosie@leavesnbloom said...

Thanks for the tips on manual focus - I rarely take a selfie! but atleast now I know alittle bit more of how to do it properly.

Great edit :)

Chic Homeschool Mama said...

Love both shots- the second really makes your hair look so shiny- wow.

Anne U said...

That red lipstick really pops.

@nnie said...

Awesomeness!!!

Tara said...

I love the crop and your hair is gorgeous!

SouthernSass said...

Great edit! You should wear the red lipstick out - you can pull it off well! :)

Mary @ A Simple Twist of Faith said...

COOL!

Lynda said...

Hooray for cheap remotes! My husband got me one too. You are rocking that lipstick and should totally wear it out and about!

Kimberly said...

Love your edit! I recently bought a remote. Had to break the manual out to figure out how to use it, but once I did, no problem. It is super easy!

julie said...

You look FAB in red lipstick!! Great edit!! :)

Michelle said...

Great job on this -- you really brightened it up!

And you're going to love that remote!! My sis got me one as soon as my dslr showed up and I *love* using it! It's so much easier! And if you have the 2sec response (click the remote, then have 2 sec before the pic is taken, you'll have time to hide the remote!

Melissa said...

Your hair is gorgeous! love the look of the red lipstick! You should venture out on date night with it sometime!

Sarah Halstead said...

Wonderful edit. Great job!

CrossView said...

Great editing. But never mind that... You. Are. Adorable! :O)

Dina @ 4 Lettre Words said...

Such a fun photo...and I love the edit. Great crop!

tsinclair said...

Wow! Beautiful!!!

jillconyers said...

Great idea for a red capture. The crop makes a big difference. And thanks for the self portrait tips.