Posted on December 30, 2010
Goodness, but it’s been a bit since I last updated the EJP blog! But today I’ve a got a fun little treat for those of you still checking in here. This will be my first demonstration of photo plays, something I hope to do more of in the upcoming year.
The subject of today’s play is not (surprise, surprise) my own kidlet. I’ll be showing you a great photo, and plays, of another adorable munchkin girl. I had the pleasure of striking up an online friendship with Munchkin Girl’s daddy through my other blog. And since he began asking me about photography, my favorite subject ever, we hit it right off. To my delight, he shared with me one of his favorite recent photos of Munchkin Girl.
I fell madly in love with this shot. I loved the composition and her expression, but most of all, I loved her eyes. Such incredible dark pools they are.
I felt that familiar pull to play with the image. It wasn’t with the goal of making it look weird or dramatic, but instead to add a few tweaks to push the oomph factor a tad. Just a teensy bit. So I asked Dad if he would let me play with the shot to see what I came up with. He was a great sport and allowed me to have at it.
The first edit is my simple “clean up” edit. Dad had already nailed exposure and white balance, so my tweaks there were miniscule. Her color balancing just needed a touch more cyan than she had. (I need Dad to help ME with color balance as the balance on my captures are all over the place still!) I then used the patch tool to remove a few ditzels from her face and nose.
After that, I turned to my workhorse actions from MCP Actions: Magic Skin and the Eye Doctor. I decreased the Magic Skin to 50% and turned the iris and catchlight portions of the Eye Doctor down under 50% so as not to create that alien eye look. I also used an action someone on I Love Photography developed to sharpen eyes when their focus is just short of tack sharp. It give the appearance of sharpness for when you just miss the focus by a touch.
The end result was this:
Very nice, no?
In most situations I probably would have stopped there. But hey, I wanted to play and see what small dose of punch I could give this great capture. That’s when I turned to Florabella. I love me some Florabella actions! I have so many of these actions that I can’t even remember what they all look like! I just run them all and see how they turn out. Yet I do have my favorites, so I started with these.
Cosmopolitan is my utter favorite. It creates a richness and drama. In this photo, however, I had to dial it back because I didn’t want too much drama. So I decreased the intensity to about 50%.
Oh man, I’m digging it. I really am.
Even still, I decided to try my newly discovered second favorite, London. I have been using London so much, lately. It gives a kind of urban feel to the photo, but not quite. It seems to have a blue/green punch. Again, I turned it down to about 50%, but it is still magical.
How pretty is that? Yet even as gorgeous as that edit was, I still thought I might just bring it a little more. But instead of another action, I opted for a trial of texture.
Texture has become my new playtoy. I’ve always been a tad scared of it in portraiture, but my last client melted when she saw the textured edits of her favorite photos. So not one to back away from experimenting, I turned again to Florabella, but this time it was the textures. (And I used MCP Actions’ texture applicator to make life easier.)
Starting with the London edit above, I worked to find just the right texture. I found what appeared at first to be a crazy choice for this photo in Collection II, a texture called Mai Tai:
I expected it to give the picture a you must be nuts to think this would work appearance, but was I ever wrong! I masked back the texture at about 60% over Munchkin Girl and used the color blend mode at 40%. Et voila:
Too much gorgeousness! This was my absolute favorite play! I’m ready to put that on a gallery wrap myself!
Of course, no playing would be complete without a black and white of some ilk. Even though I had the London/Mai Tai perfection already ordered in my head, it still made sense to try the absence of color. Naturally I was back with Florabella. I tried my usual B&W fav, Vintage Chocolate, but didn’t dig it so much. To my surprise it was Platinum that really was hitting and holding for this image (again decreased to about 70%).
So there you have it, folks! A great photo taken by a doting daddy and some fun plays by yours truly!
Do you like? Any questions? I’m all ears.