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how do you edit?

it's time for another round of how do you edit!
yay!! i get such great feedback on these! i'm so happy you love them and find them helpful!

thank you again to all the amazing photographers who are participating and sharing some of your tips, tricks and secrets :)

this first photo is from jodi of mcp actions


Sometimes it is not practice to carry an SLR. This shot of my daughter Ellie was taken with a Canon G11. It is a true snapshot. We were leaving a restaurant and I saw this metal garage door and asked her to stand a few feet from it. It was freezing and I knew at most, I'd get two shots. The lighting was not great but I loved the photo anyway. The mismatched orange Detroit Tigers hat, with a puffy North Face coat and clunky snow boots... just "shouted" winter!

To edit this shot, I used the Color Fusion Mix and Match action from the upcoming MCP Photoshop Action Set, MCP Fusion. These actions will be available March 1st. The Color Fusion action allows you to combine color variations from the the entire set. I activated the Urban Revival and Crave folders at the default 50% opacity each. Then I used the Surrounded action to add a burnt edge effect, and I reduced the opacity to 41%. I finished this edit with the Build It Color Block action, which resizes, sharpens, adds your logo and prepares your images for the web.


this next photo is from jessica of jessica drossin photography and
jessica drossin textures


Image steps:

1) Added "Destitute" texture from Texture Pack 2. Overlay mode = 100%.

2) Painted a medium light beige color tone from the texture itself on top of the texture itself to eliminate texture "blobs" in the skin tones areas. (The texture itself has a highlight in the center and vignettes at the edges. I liked how the brighter center in the texture popped the skin tones so I kept the color there but lost the texture details).

3) Adjusted overall curves layer (below the texture layer, above the photo layer) to add contrast and darken blacks.

4) Adjusted RGB curves to create a more bluish/green cast to give the photo a slightly cross-processed look.

5) Added a slight blur around the background to focus the detail on the model.

6) Slight adjustment to saturate color.


next up is andrea of crave photography


*Open in Photoshop
*Skin and eyes with coffee shop "powder room 2" action
*defog the photo with Florabella "sharpen/defog" action
*Selective dodging and burning
*Brightness and contrast adjustment Layer
*Florabella "soft urban" action
*final sharpen


and last but not least melody of melody white studios


First I did basic adjustments in Lightroom, looking to get a flat photo mostly for skin tones and exposure, then I imported it into Photoshop for the main editing.
I have been one of the lucky ones of try out Michelle Kane's upcoming actions, and since receiving them, I've pretty much been editing exclusively with them. I can't say enough about how diverse and customizable they are.

In Photoshop:
1. Fixed general skin issues and took away under eye shadows with the patch tool on a duplicated background layer and lowered the layer opacity to 77%
2. Sparkle 100% over eyes, hair accessory and yellow flowers
3.Bland to Brilliant @ 100% for a slight pop and clarity
4. Posh for saturation @ 70% masked off of the face
5. Eye-Citement on the eyes for a slight pop
6. Sapphire @ 80% for coolong effect on the background and masked off of the skin
7. Peach Sorbet @ 30% masked onto just the skin for a creamy peachy tone
8. Zing @ 12% for a tiny bit of contrast
9. Ran Flawless Face in inverted the layer mask to show the softening on the entire photo, masking back in clarity on the skin and hair. It works awesome for reducing noise and giving creamy backgrounds as well as softening skin.
10. Ran basic sharpening to complete the look.

thanks again everyone!! be sure to leave them some love for sharing and feel free to post any questions you may have!!


  1. Amanda2/08/2011

    I can't tell you how much I love these. I really like that you give different options with different actions to, or no actions at all.
    Really great. Thank you for sharing!

  2. thank you ladies for sharing your brilliance!! xo

  3. Anonymous2/08/2011

    WOW! Jessica the transformation on your photo is mind blowing. I am in awe!

  4. I have a set of Jessica Drossin's Textures... and that totally helped me to hear how she did an edit with one of her textures! I love that. :) And I've loved my textures for the entire year I've had them. I seriously always use them. Off to play, and see how to make them work for me even better!


  5. Cindee R.2/08/2011

    I'm pretty new to photography and the editing scares me a bit, but I really love the pretty simple yet beautiful edit of Andrea's edit. Off to check out Florabella! LOL!

  6. Great post. Melody White, you're my hero. Thanks for doing these, Shannon!

  7. Awsome! Before & Afters are always so helpful! Thanks to all for your time and sharing~

  8. Beautiful! I love to see how others edit! They are all beautiful! Melody White Studios, where in the world did you get the adorable template that you posted your pics in????!!!! www.loridianephotography.com


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