Posted on June 8, 2011
If you love sun flare, but have a hard time achieving it in camera be sure to keep an eye out for an upcoming post with tips on capturing gorgeous backlit images! I’m just still waiting for another sunny day here in Oregon so I can take some photos to use as examples … rain, rain go away! :) I’ll have tips on correctly exposing and choosing your settings for backlit images, the best time and location/position to shoot for great flare and lots of other helpful tips to capture that glorious sun! For those interested, this image was taken with the Nikon D700 using a 35mm 1.4G lens, ISO 200, 1/2500 sec, f1.6 … it was about 7pm and the sun was going down fast (best time to take flare/backlit shots are either an hour before sunset or the hour after the sun rises because it’s low in the sky). :)
I start with the much loved Pop My Flare! action from Fresh (Pop My Flare! is in Fresh Wonderland 2 for PSE). This action gives you mega color and pop … a little goes a long way, so be sure to adjust opacity as needed. I leave it at 80% for this image, giving it a lot of drama with heavy contrast, color pop and brightening the midtones.
To give her skin a nice, warm glow that goes nicely with the golden sun and gets rid of the cool tones due to her face being shaded, I run Add Some Honey from Wonderland (Fresh Wonderland 2 for PSE ). I turn the opacity down to 45%.
To give the overall eye area just a touch of brightness I’ll paint over her eye area and forehead using Paint With Light from Picture Perfect (Selective Light for PSE). She’s got some great catch lights in her eyes despite having her face turned into shade – this is because the road in front of her was so bright and acted as a natural reflector.
I don’t want to edit her eyes directly because it would look unnatural for them to have a lot of light or pop in them, given we can see clearly she’s being shaded by the hat and has her back to the sun. So, just a light brush over the entire area to brighten her face up a tiny bit at 17% is all it needs.
To brighten up the shadows which have gotten a little muddy with the strong contrast added I run Brighten Shadows (light overall touch) at 35% from Picture Perfect.
Finally, I run Paint on Color Pops from Picture Perfect over everything but her skin at 30%. Because I don’t want my grass to look too neon, I run Banish the Yellow (See You Later Yellow in PSE) from Picture Perfect, painting over the subject with a black brush on the layer mask because I don’t want to reduce the yellow in her skin tones, just the landscape. I leave that at 25%. And that’s it!!
And for a little lighter, more whimsical look I run The Candy Shop from Blessings at 50% and turn on the Rose Water Haze and Honeymoon Haze layers.
Posted on May 12, 2011
Today’s Step by Step uses the sets, Picture Perfectand Fresh (coming to PSE as Fresh Wonderland II this month). This particular processing session took me about 4 minutes to complete (including a quick cloning job to remove the stray piece of grass). Once you have gotten to know your actions and find what works best for you and which are your favorites, it’s easy to speed through edits in no time at all.
If you love sun flare, but have a hard time achieving it in camera be sure to keep an eye out for an upcoming post with tips on capturing gorgeous backlit images! I’m just waiting for another sunny day here in Oregon so I can take some photos to use as examples … rain, rain go away! :)
I start with the fabulous Pop My Flare! action from Fresh (will be in Fresh Wonderland II for PSE later this month). This action gives you mega color and pop … a little goes a long way, so be sure to adjust opacity as needed. For this image I want that extreme color and contrast, but I don’t need the added warmth, so I turn off the Sunny Tones and More Warmth layers. I also turn up the Make It Lighter layer to 45% to brighten the midtones, most especially in my girls’ faces.
Next I run the Let’s Be Clear action from Picture Perfect to bring out edge details. The opacity is turned up to 35%. To brighten up the shadows which have gotten a little muddy with the contrast added I run Instant Reflector at 30% from Picture Perfect.
To add a little more color toning and style I run Moonbeams from Picture Perfect at 35%. I then quickly use the cloning stamp to get rid of the distracting stray piece of grass and tree limb. That’s it!! We’re done … check out the before and after!
And for a little different vintage twist, I run Vintage Fairytale from Blessings and turn up the Antique layer to 38% to desaturate the color some. I also turn on the Make It Darker layer and brush with black over everything but the girls so that their features aren’t washed out. A very different feel that took just second more to create!
Added tip … if your subject’s faces are still too dark in your backlit images try using an action like Illumination (Selective Light/Dark) from Moxie to brush on lightness just over the face. If it leaves the features too washed out, simply use a contrast boosting action from Picture Perfect to brush back contrast and detail.