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Newborn photography, help with overall process, skin tones & smoothing

Mar 30, 2012 2:28 PM

I just shot some photos of a newborn....very amateurish to be sure. But, where can I learn more about editing portraits of newborns?  Specifically, having the effect of soft light, smoothing the skin, appropriate skin tones for a newborn, etc. I used only natural light, shooting with a prime 1.8 lens. If you can point me to some tutorials/books for editing using my PSE7, I'd appreciate it.Ruby on belly to edit 80.jpg

 
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 31, 2012 6:31 PM   in reply to photodonna

    Yeah, too soft.

     

    I searched the Web for "newborn photography photoshop" and got thousands of returns, some of which are tutorials.  Some of those sites have specialized actions for sale for smoothing the skin, getting rid of the red, etc., but be aware -- not all Photoshop actions will work in PSE.  If you decide to purchase an action, make sure it's compatible with your version of PSE, and get a money-back guarrantee.

     

    In general, to keep an area sharp while softening the rest of the image you need to duplicate the image layer, soften that duplicate layer and use a layer mask on that softened layer to reveal the sharp image beneath it wherever you paint on that layer mask.  It's easy to add a layer mask in PSE10, but a little more complicated in PSE7 (which I've never used), so someone who has PSE7 will have to jump in here on that....

     

    Ken

     
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  • TexasErin
    23 posts
    May 31, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 31, 2012 7:57 PM   in reply to photodonna

    You can also use Levels to brighten skin and reduce reds.  Move the middle slider on the RGB channel to the left to brighten, then change the channel to red and move the middle slider to the right to reduce reds.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 31, 2012 8:17 PM   in reply to photodrawken

    OK, I figured out how to get a layer mask for your blurring using the features available in PSE7 -- it's called "hijacking" a layer's mask:

    1. Add a Levels adjustment layer.  Leave the levels adjustment settings as is to just use this levels layer for the blur effect.
      blurry layers 01.png
    2. Make a duplicate copy of the background layer and move the duplicate copy above the Levels adjustment layer.
    3. With that duplicate layer highlighted, apply as much blur as you want.
    4. With the blurred duplicate layer still highlighted, use Layer...Create Clipping Mask.
    5. In the Layers Palette, click on the mask image of the levels adjustment layer to activate the mask.
    6. Paint with black to reveal the sharp background image.

     

    Your layers will look like this:

    blurry layers 02.png

    And the final image:

    blurry final.png

     

    Ken

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 31, 2012 10:48 PM   in reply to TexasErin

    Are you sure you don't mean a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer?  I got bizarre results using Levels on the reds....

     

    Ken

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 1, 2012 4:10 AM   in reply to photodrawken
     
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  • 99jon
    12,867 posts
    Jan 6, 2010
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    Apr 1, 2012 7:20 AM   in reply to photodonna

     

    Personally I would simply brighten the whole image and not bother with blur.

     

     

    1. Open your image and press Ctrl+L

     

     

    2. In the levels dialog drag the middle pointer under the histogram to the left to lighten the image and the skin tone - then click OK.

     

     

    newbornimage_jpeg.jpg

     

     

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 1, 2012 7:34 AM   in reply to 99jon

    Try Camera raw:

     

    Flie>open as and specify camera raw

    The luminance, clarity, and tint sliders work well on this photo.

     

    180341_450_300_cache_2.jpg

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 1, 2012 9:06 AM   in reply to photodonna

    I had it on my old computer (WIN-XP), and have it now on my new computer (WIN-7).

    I elected to download the free-standing version. Seems to be safe.

     
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