I love Photoshop.

After:

Before:

I mean, really I do.  What other computer program in the world allows you to take a somewhat average capture and turn it pretty?

So much fun.

For those of you curious about how I did this, it’s one of my upcoming presets plus some dodge/burn around her eyes. Oh, I also added a solid color layer in yellow and put the blending mode on “overlay” and lowered the opacity to about 10%.  Then I did a little bit of a high-pass sharp on her eyes/face, erased it off her skin, and added some blur.  I do all sorts of things with blur, probably too much to explain in a post.

Hope you all like it!  As always, I love hearing from ya.   Have a great evening! – PB

Oh, and also, I received about a dozen emails on my last post, mostly along the lines of “Amen, Sister!”  For those of you who slyly sent me an email, but were too shy to comment, I’m glad you liked it.  And I promise, I’ll keep it our little secret.  Until next time…..

December 10, 2011 - 6:44 am

Lori - Hi Patti!
Just wanted to thank you for all the tips and tutorials you post!!!

I was curious, do you mainly use gaussian filter for your blur?

Thanks a bunch and
Merry Christmas!

Lori

December 1, 2011 - 12:03 pm

Paula Reynolds - This is amazing. I love how her eyes look so much like the peacock feather. Incredible. You. Are. Awesome.

November 10, 2011 - 2:29 pm

Patti - Megan, this one was a bit of a process b/c it was so wonky to begin with (we had NO light at this point in the shoot….) but it really only took about 5 minutes. Combo’d a little dodging, added a texture, and lightened it a bit. Added some blur too, which I love to do. I know that isn’t really step-by-step, but it’s a bit much for me to type out these days – just so busy right now. I’ll try to do more tutorials soon for you all. 🙂

Thanks for the kind words – PB

Oh, and I would think so – you can do a TON with elements – it’s very powerful. Just work a little at a time on it. I’ve been at this for a while now, so you learn as you go.

November 10, 2011 - 1:03 pm

Megan - Seriously, how did you do this!? So amazing! I have photoshop elements. Is it possible to do this sort of thing in elements?

Spirited.

Alrighty, we’re back from our little long weekend in the Keys, so I thought I’d write a bit  about these pics.  First of all, call me weird, but I’ve always wanted to do a session with the juxtaposition of a beautiful little girl against the backdrop of an old cemetery.  I’ve always loved cemeteries (I’m not one of those people who is at all into death stuff – I HATE horror movies and am not at all interested in the occult or anything like that…not sure why I feel the need to make that clear, but trust me, if I don’t, someone out there will start soliciting me to speak at their “Photographers who love the Dead” luncheon or something like that.  The internet.  It can be a weird place.  But I digress…back to the regularly scheduled post) for their beauty and sentiment, and I think they are extremely peaceful and moving places to visit.  Luckily for me, the part of Virginia that I call home (SOVA not NOVA) is absolutely covered with some of the oldest and most historically rich cemeteries in the nation, so I had no trouble finding a good backdrop for my little vision.  What I was worried about finding was the mix of the right little girl and what to put her in.  A full fledged ballerina outfit wouldn’t have worked because I didn’t want to give the impression she was dancing on graves or anything like that.  Regular clothes wouldn’t have fit, and I thought about using my cloak or some other prop, but they just didn’t quite seem right either.  Then, last weekend I was thumbing through a costume book at a sewing store, and saw a “Black Swan” costume.  I LOVED it – it was so gorgeous, and I was instantly enamored with it.  However, it was on a grown-up, and I had to figure out how I could translate a very, very adult look onto an innocent child without sexualizing her in any way, and without being disrespectful to those who peacefully resided six feet under what would be the backdrop of our little shoot.  So, I came up with a toned down version of the Black Swan, and combined it with the most Angelic looking little girl in the world, and a very SOFT overall shoot.  That was super important.  If I had made this session too edgy or dark, it would have been sort of disrespectful I think, and it was crucial to me that it be done right.

Of course, I also had to find the right mom – one who got my vision and didn’t think I was a crazed weirdo – and luckily that worked out well.  I found the perfect mom, the perfect little girl, and (although I only had a day to pull the costume together) the near perfect outfit & setting.

If you are inspired by these pics, and choose to do something similar, I’d love to see what you come up with.  I only ask that whatever ideas may strike you, please execute them with respect.  It’s honestly best to work with a child who has no concept of what a cemetery is, but who is old enough to understand that headstones are not to be climbed on, etc.  It is also CRUCIAL that you find a cemetery that isn’t in use.  If a service of any type is taking place, for goodness sakes, postpone your photography plans.

For those of you interested in editing, they were shot in RAW and edited with my presets that will be coming out soon – probably around Thanksgiving.  They were also processed with textures from my Supernatural Collection (Of Course!) and if memory serves, I used Paranormal II.  I originally envisioned these in black & white, but decided I liked them better in color.  I kept the background a tad dark & gloomy on purpose.  Hope you all enjoy’em!  As always, I love to hear your feedback so if you have thoughts or questions, just let me know.

Until next time – PB

November 10, 2011 - 2:31 pm

Patti - Mi – good luck with it when you give it a try! I’d love to see what you come up with. – PB

October 25, 2011 - 1:36 pm

Mi - I’ve wanted to do this very same thing for a long time-shoot in a graveyard. I’ve got my idea just about worked out and am now scouting for the perfect subject. I can’t wait! And I like that I can say this about wanting to shoot in a similar location especially after reading your post about “inspiring” other photogs 🙂
I love how yours turned out, great photos as usual!

Announcing Crave Design!

Hello friends,

I wanted to take a quick moment to spread the word about Crave Photography’s new design site: Crave Design!  You all know that Andee takes amazing, amazing pictures…she has thousands of Facebook Fans (including me!) and just comes up with the most unique ideas.  I was excited about a year ago to learn that she used Kaleidoscope products in many of her edits, so I emailed her about it, and we’ve been in touch ever since.  She is an absolute sweetheart, so, when I learned she was about to release digital templates, I was very excited.   Well, it turns out that Ms. Andee has been hiding a little design brilliance up her sleeves….she has truly created some knock-your-socks off designs!  I told her I’d be happy to share with my readers a few of my plays with her card designs, but I had trouble limiting which one’s I’d choose.  There are TONS of gorgeous offerings in addition to these cards…albums, mini-albums, etc. etc…..I mean, that girl has been working hard!!  You can check them out and also take advantage of the special offer she is running now by visiting her site!  Plus, one lucky winner is going to walk away with all things Crave!

Here are a few plays that I did…the photography is all mine (you just saw it on yesterday’s post) but the cards are completely Crave!  I used designs from the Retro-Ology & Classic Christmas sets.  They were SO easy to use….took me a whopping 5 minutes on each.

These are really beautiful, and as both a professional photographer and a designer, I can truly appreciate the art & effort she put into these.  AND, the prices are amazing.

How. Cool.  Enjoy’em!  Until next time….PB

 

 

October 1, 2011 - 9:02 am

crave photography - Thank you ever so much for sharing these Patti! I love how these look with your amazing photography work inside!!

Random Recents…

Hey Gang!

Well, I’ve been doing some shooting again…Finally!  And since I’m sporadic about updating my blog, I thought I’d share the two sessions I shot earlier this week with you all right away.  So, forgive me – this post is going to be picture heavy…if you’ve got questions about anything, feel free to post them in the comments.  And if you like what you see, let me know!  I’d love to hear about it!

First of all, the sisters in blue….and other colors too.  You’ve seen the first pic before on my previous post.  These little girls were absolute angels to work with.  They were almost too perfect and agreeable to actually be real children…but they were.  They were absolutely adorable in every way, and I think that the below pics capture just a smidgen of their personalities….there was truly too much to capture from behind a lens….

These were all edited using one of the presets I’ve been working on (Coming soon!)  The first batch was done with my sort of signature post processing look: lot’s of color, nice skin, and a little blur.

 

 

The following images were done with another preset I’m working on, and are much more vintage.  The lovely little lady in this picture just has such a vintage personality…she is making her second quilt and plays the violin….so refreshing.  Plus, she’s got classic beauty & bone structure that would make any photographer swoon….SO lovely!  Photography tip:  if you learn that a beautiful young lady you are about to photograph plays the violin, ASK HER TO BRING IT ALONG!!!  Trust me on this one….

 

 

Well, my blog is being totally annoying and not letting me write after the last picture again (what is up with that….anyone else have that issue?) so I’m going to have to sign off here.  Check back tomorrow for a big announcement from another photographer!  This is something I’m very excited about, and eager to share!

 

Until then, have a great night everyone…………XO XO – PB

October 14, 2011 - 11:31 am

Tiffany - Thank you so much for answering all my questions Patti! I know I’m slightly annoying but I am not sure what a preset is. Is it something just for Lightroom? and what is ACR?

October 7, 2011 - 9:34 am

Patti - Hi Tiffany – No, on this image I just blurred the edge of the pictures a little bit using “lens blur” under the filters. I typically make a copy, then apply the blur, then either erase it off or use a layer mask to remove it. I am not planning on creating/releasing actions this year, but the more requests I get for it, I may consider doing it in 2012, so for now, they will just be available as presets. Hope that helps! – PB

October 6, 2011 - 7:53 pm

Tiffany - Thank you so much Patti, you really are awesome. So, we you say you blur the edges are talking about the edges of the skin, ie face? Will your presets be available as Photoshop actions as well?

October 6, 2011 - 5:01 am

Patti - Hi Tiffany – The editing I used on the first set (the little girls in blue) was just an ACR preset called Skinglow from a set I’m getting ready to release, then I added a touch of blur around the edges, and a texture from my Dream Collection, which is called Vintage Dream. Good lighting & good skin also contributed. On the second set, I used another preset of mine (they will be released before Thanksgiving – still finishing them up) to smooth the skin and add the vintage coloring. Then I added a texture from my Gallery Collection called Watercolor. Hope that helps! – PB

October 5, 2011 - 10:55 pm

Tiffany - Oh, I forgot to ask as well, which textures did you use for these. I want to get one of your texture sets, just not sure which one. I love the look of these.

October 5, 2011 - 10:49 pm

Tiffany - Patti – I just love your blog and I learn so much from you. Thank you. These pictures ares o gorgeous. How exactly do you get the skin to look so gorgeous?

October 2, 2011 - 6:14 pm

Sue Beatty - Stunning beyond words. I love the processing but the second batch are just fabulous with the violin. Seems more candid and natural to me.

October 2, 2011 - 2:23 pm

Tiffany Z. - Beautiful series, well done, Patti :0)

Kaleidoscope Presets are coming soon!

Hi friends,

Well, it’s been a while since my last post, and I wanted to first of all say thanks again for all the wonderful emails, comments, etc. over the past month or so.  We weathered Irene just fine, and are all the more prepared for next time.   The one drawback to living in a coastal area is hurricane season!  However, the benefits – especially to an ocean loving girl like myself – more than make up for it.  But alas, I digress….

I wanted to let you all know that Kaleidoscope will have a new addition soon – Presets for ACR & Lightroom!  One reason I’ve never released actions, although I’ve gotten many requests, is that I just honestly don’t use them that often.  I’ve been using ACR & Lightroom for years though, and am a huge fan of both.  If you are currently a user of either ACR or Lightroom, you know that the ease of presets significantly outweighs actions, and I gotta tell you (as a lazy post-processor) I am really excited about how easy mine are to use.  The below pic was shot this morning, and with one click of my preset “skinglow” I was able to get the results shown in the first post-processed image.  I mean, gang, I did not even have to adjust a slider.  Gotta love being able to edit an entire session in an hour and get results like these:

Don’t you just love what it does to her skin?  And how it pops her eyes?  Seriously, the power of presets are amazing.  The one I used is called “Skin Glow” and will be available soon. I’ve got to get them all tested so they are just absolutely perfect for you all first, but I promise, it will be sometime before Thanksgiving.

The next one is the same picture, and I just threw on a texture, sharpened her eyes a tad, and added a little blur to the edges.  I typically use “lens blur” when I’m adding it post-capture – it just seems to look a little better than gaussian.

Alrighty, enough about that.  I hate when I do these types of self-promotional sounding posts, but I really am excited about these.  You know how passionate I am about delivering high quality products at an amazing price, and I think these are going to fit in nicely to my collection.

Well, that’s all for today.  I’ve got some additional shots to share soon from this session, we had so much fun.  And doesn’t she look just like Snow White?  So sweet.

You all have a great night, and thanks for letting me indulge my excitement.

Until next time,

PB

October 29, 2011 - 6:54 am

Michelle - Thank you for allowing Texas Chicks to convert one of your actions and let us have it for FREE! Smart move…you know we will wnat more, your actions just take the photographs to a new level!

October 12, 2011 - 8:55 am

Patti - Not with this set, I don’t think….but you’ve given me a great idea!

October 10, 2011 - 2:20 pm

nicole - will you have light flare presets?

September 30, 2011 - 5:35 pm

Deb - Art lessons…those are simply beautiful. Thanks for sharing and explaining your process and editing decisions. These images feel and look timeless. I would love to be able to replicate this look.

September 29, 2011 - 8:58 am

Lori B. - Oh Patti- if they are anything like the awesomeness of your textures…we are all in for a huge treat. I think there are more than a few of us really excited!

September 28, 2011 - 7:50 pm

Nicole Voth - Wow, I’m loving the skin glow preset – can’t wait to see what else you’ve got up your sleeve. If you need a tester, let me know! 😉