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Pixel Perfect’s Before and After

April 8, 2010

Spring! Love this weather.  Love having more time outdoors. 

It’s a great time to take pictures, let me tell you!  So much color. 

I was taking a couple of pictures of some of the flowers we have growing this season.  And my middle child who is in constant motion actually sat down.

 He’s the most impulsive, quirky kid that I’ve got.  It drives me nuts.  I want him to think things through.  I want him to make good choices.  I want him to consider the consequences of his actions.

But, he doesn’t look before he leaps.  Grrr!

I can complain about this, because it’s the part of his personality that came from me!    

And I know from experience that it’s a good/bad thing.  Some of my best experiences were because I was impulsive.  But, so were some of my stupidest decisions.

This little fellow is going to cause me to have many sleepless nights, I’m afraid.  Of all things for him to inherit from me, this???!!!

Anyway, enough rattling!

So, we were on the porch and I snapped his picture.  It’s very dull and drab.  I wish I knew how to correct that without Photoshop Elements, any ideas? 

So, I ran the Coffeeshop Action, Perfect Portrait.  I liked it so much that I thought, I’ll frame it.  But, I wasn’t crazy about the Star Wars shirt.  So, I decided to clone it out.  My cloning skills aren’t great.  So, I tinkered with it a little more.  And here’s the end result. 

Any ideas on getting the SOOC(Straight Out of Camera) shot to look better?  I’d also love some cloning tips for big areas like this.  Do you think it looks too fake?  

So, At the last-minute I decided to make it a three-for-one!  The last two are of Sam.  I am feeling much guilt about the sunburn.  The boys played/worked in the yard with their dad yesterday.  This one wouldn’t keep a shirt on.  And of course, I couldn’t find any sunscreen!   I hope he doesn’t wake up uncomfortable this morning!

 The picture above is SOOC.

 This one if after the Perfect Portrait Action.

 Same thing for these two of the ones of him in his bathing suit and boots.  I’m really glad to find actions for Photoshop Elements. If you haven’t tried them, you should.

Check them out here.

Looking forward to seeing your Before and Afters.   Link up at Pixel Perfect. 

Have a good one!  And don’t be impulsive, it worries your Mama!

33 Comments leave one →
  1. April 8, 2010 9:03 am

    Love the pictures! Nice!

  2. April 8, 2010 9:05 am

    You are such a great photographer! It’s the one thing I haven’t conquered, that camera. Still a little intimidated by it all. Next adventure. And that boy’s freckles? Simply scrumptious!

  3. April 8, 2010 9:13 am

    All your pictures are beautiful but I LOVE that second one! His freckles are adorable! Love the colors and composition!

  4. April 8, 2010 9:14 am

    Love them! Especially the middle one! Grass is one of my favorite things to photograph 🙂

    • April 8, 2010 9:48 am

      Thank you! I love grass too! It always gives you a pop of color!

  5. April 8, 2010 9:29 am

    The last two edits are just wonderful!! The first is too, but since you asked for a bit of help…

    When I was still shooting in JPEG I had my camera settings set to vivid. It really helped give the photos an edge without having to spend a lot of time in PP. I would also overexpose 1/3- a whole stop, especially if the light was blah. It’ll really give your photos a pop. I’ve found that it’s far easier to correct photos that are a bit overexposed rather than underexposed.

    Cloning: Always clone on a new layer. After cloning change the layer’s opacity until it looks natural. Then flatten. Try adding a low opacity soft light layer. It’ll help blend the cloning.

    You did a wonderful job though! I probably wouldn’t have noticed it at all if you didn’t mention it. Hope this helps. If not, just overlook me lol. : )

    • April 8, 2010 9:46 am

      I’m so glad that you stopped by! Thank you so much for the suggestions! I can’t wait to try it out. I really want to change to RAW. And have started taking pictures in it. But, I guess I’ve got to buy Lightroom, because I can’t figure out how to open them.

      I can’t wait to try the vivid setting. I didn’t know there was such a thing! lol

      The first one looks overdone to me. I’m going to go back an play with it now that you’ve given me some ideas. Thank you so much!

  6. shonniebonnie permalink
    April 8, 2010 9:59 am

    My favorite is the last one! Super cute! And while I don’t have kids, I once was a kid… and kids will be kids so take it easy on yourself about the sunburn. 🙂

    • April 8, 2010 12:57 pm

      Love it! I was once a kid myself and it seems that I indeed survived sunburns. It’s just part of being a child of irresponsible parents! lol

  7. April 8, 2010 10:04 am

    These are great! I love how the green pops out of the last picture! I still have so much to learn and it is so fun to see what other people are learning and how their pictures turn out. I’m impressed with yours!!

    • April 8, 2010 12:59 pm

      Thank you! I feel the same way! I have sooo much to learn! I get such a kick out of what other people are doing. Each week, after looking at everyone’s before and afters, I have so much I want to try.

  8. April 8, 2010 10:31 am

    Gorgeous shots. I just LOVE the color pops. I’m jealous, I wish the sun was out enough to get sunburned here! Unfortunately it’s not!!

    The other thing….you can open your raw pictures in photoshop elements. It’s called ACR. Just open elements and go up to open a picture file. Then click on open as. Go get your raw file and make sure the little drop down menu below the name of the picture is set to RAW, or NEF and it will open it in ACR. You can make a lot of amazing adjustment right there. When you are done in RAW you just click open image and it will open into regular photoshop.
    Have I confused you?

    • April 8, 2010 1:00 pm

      I am thrilled! Glad I threw it out there! I may be getting in touch with you if I can’t figure it out!

  9. April 8, 2010 12:45 pm

    Ok, so do I need to go purchase photoshop cs4 right his very second? I don’t think I can use the coffeeshop actions in Corel Paintshop Pro.

    What to do. What to do.

    Love your edits, thanks for sharing them.

    • April 8, 2010 1:01 pm

      I’d love to have CS4, myself. I’m using a dinosaur version of Elements! Like 5.0!
      Thanks for being so sweet! One day, I’ll figure it all out!

  10. April 8, 2010 12:54 pm

    I LOVE the last two photos! What a cutie!!! And thanks so much for linking my blog. Your work is so beautiful and I am honored to be mentioned. 🙂 Rita

    • April 8, 2010 1:03 pm

      Wow! Thank you for stopping by! And thank you so much for all the great actions. I just figured them out about a week ago and am thrilled with all they do!

  11. April 8, 2010 1:03 pm

    i LOVE the bottom shots in the grass!

    and i think you did a good job cloning! sometimes the patch tool works better for big things and then adding a little blur helps smooth it all out.

    • April 8, 2010 1:05 pm

      I’m not familiar with the patch tool. I’m going to have to check into that! Thanks!

  12. April 8, 2010 2:02 pm

    These pictures are so fun, it makes me appreciate the warm weather we’ve been having. I already feel spring-ier (is that a word?)

    I especially love the cool cloning job and the great rain boots. I’m a cloning nut! I hate distractions in the background of some of my shots. Nice job on the sweatshirt.

  13. April 8, 2010 2:27 pm

    I think your SOOC images look great to begin with! The edits just enhance already good pictures!

  14. April 8, 2010 2:35 pm

    I love the grassy ones! Maybe because I love green, I don’t know, but how cute!

  15. April 8, 2010 3:27 pm

    Oh I love these! You did fantastic with the cloning as a newbie! Better then some pro’s I’ve seen! And I just LOVE the photo’s in the tall grass! Beautiful vibrant colors, and you rock at nailing that focus!

  16. tspoon permalink
    April 8, 2010 3:28 pm

    That bottom shot in the grass is just Wow!!! What a cutie pie you have there!

    Toni @ Hemp & High Heels

  17. April 8, 2010 4:18 pm

    I love his freckles! So sweet!

  18. April 8, 2010 6:30 pm

    I LOVE, LOVE the second one!! Such a great shot!!!

  19. April 8, 2010 8:58 pm

    Wow! I really like all of your shots, but I {love} the last one! The crispness of the color and the overall shot is perfect, but… the boots and “trunks” truly make it. 🙂

  20. April 9, 2010 9:15 am

    Oh I’m loving the last one!! I think b/c I’m a sucker for rain boots, and he’s just so cute! You did pretty good on cloning for not knowing too much. Which is probably more than what I know – it’s one of the tools I’m trying to learn, but haven’t done so. Good job!!

  21. April 13, 2010 12:32 pm

    Just looking at that last photo again. It really is just perfect. The grass, the boots, the freckles. I love it! You should frame it!


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