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Photo Enhancing in PS


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  #1  
March 10th, 2008, 08:46 AM
fka teresarunningmommy
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Okay, I've been meaning to write these up for some time. These are the steps I usually take when I photo enhance and I almost always enhance my photos. This tutorial was written for PS CS, but should work in other versions as well.

Here's starting pic



Step 1. Unsharpen mask.

Go to Filter > Sharpen > Unsharpen mask


Then I usually set my settings to the following 50, 5, and 0. Now some pictures you will need more and some less, but this is where I usually start with and use this setting for most of my pics.



Step 2. Curves

Go to Image > Adjustments > Curves.


I usually adjust at the top right pulling upward. The higher you pull upward, the brighter the photo.


Step 3. Contrast

Go to Image > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast

I usually adjust my contrast up anywhere from 4 to 20. I leave the brightness as is.


Step 4. Levels

Go to Enhance > Adjustments > Levels

Levels, really depends on the picture. I just slide the sliders around until I get it to look right. I usually pull the middle slider and far left slider to the right and sometimes the far right slider to the left.


Step 4. Color Balance
I don't adjust the color balance on every photo. Probably only about half the time do I mess with this, but if the colors seem off or don't match my other photos I will adjust them.

Go to Image > Adjustments > Color Balance.


Now this photo is kind of a bad example, because on 8 out of 10 photos I will adjust the red up and the yellow up, but on this one there was a lot of red in the photo after adjusting the curves so I did the opposite and adjusted the red down instead of up. Anyhow, what you will want to do is slide the sliders first with the midtones selected until you get it how you like it to look, and then next with the shadows, and then adjust again with the highlights until you have adjusted all three.


Step 5. Burn tool
I usually use a soft brush and the burn tool on the lips and colored part of the eyes.




Here's my final pic. This wasn't the best photo for photo enhancing, but got tired of looking through my photos and just picked one.

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  #2  
March 10th, 2008, 03:06 PM
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Okay, I followed your tut and this is what I got.

Before



After



I haven't got a burn tool though.
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  #3  
March 10th, 2008, 04:45 PM
fka teresarunningmommy
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You probably just don't have it set to the burn tool. I think it's set to dodge by default. Here's a link to a Photoshop 7 tutorial. It has a numbered diagram and some screen shots for you. http://www.arraich.com/ref/aatool_burn6.htm The burn tool isn't essential, but I use the dodge and burn tool a lot. Dodge lightens, and burn darkens.

Oh, and love what you did with the photo!
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  #4  
March 11th, 2008, 09:25 AM
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I pretty much follow the exact same steps Teresa posted above when enhancing my photos, and just adjust the sliders and everything depending on the picture, etc. I was just hoping it's ok to add an extra step to the very end of the tutorial, just a tip that works really well for a lot of photos, especially ones that are smaller in size.

When you enhance a small size picture, many times at the end you'll notice the face has some 'strokes' and marks that are kind of jagged looking. What you can do is smooth them out a bit. Zoom in on the face to about 300%, and then use the Smudge Tool to soften the features a bit. I usually set the size to a soft brush of maybe 5-7 pixels, normal mode, and 45-50% strength. And then just carefuly go over all the jagged lines of the face with the soft brush to smooth them out. Don't over-do it. Sometimes if the lips or eyes are a bit uneven, you can also use this brush to smudge them out till they are even and symetrical. When you zoom out back to 100%, you'll notice the skin of the face looks a bit smoother.

Teresa - I hope it's ok I used your final picture to show what I mean...

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  #5  
March 11th, 2008, 01:38 PM
fka teresarunningmommy
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Quote:
I pretty much follow the exact same steps Teresa posted above when enhancing my photos, and just adjust the sliders and everything depending on the picture, etc. I was just hoping it's ok to add an extra step to the very end of the tutorial, just a tip that works really well for a lot of photos, especially ones that are smaller in size.

When you enhance a small size picture, many times at the end you'll notice the face has some 'strokes' and marks that are kind of jagged looking. What you can do is smooth them out a bit. Zoom in on the face to about 300%, and then use the Smudge Tool to soften the features a bit. I usually set the size to a soft brush of maybe 5-7 pixels, normal mode, and 45-50% strength. And then just carefuly go over all the jagged lines of the face with the soft brush to smooth them out. Don't over-do it. Sometimes if the lips or eyes are a bit uneven, you can also use this brush to smudge them out till they are even and symetrical. When you zoom out back to 100%, you'll notice the skin of the face looks a bit smoother.

Teresa - I hope it's ok I used your final picture to show what I mean...

[/b]
Yep, that's fine with me. I use the blur tool and the smudge tool sometimes too.
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  #6  
March 11th, 2008, 06:32 PM
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Thanx! Oh and I found the burn tool.
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  #7  
March 13th, 2008, 10:18 AM
fka teresarunningmommy
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Quote:
Thanx! Oh and I found the burn tool. [/b]
Yay! Glad you found it.
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  #8  
April 2nd, 2008, 11:29 PM
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yeah the last step you added helps a LOT.. i couldnt figure out why in all the enhancing tutorials that all the pics are somewhat jagged or choppy looking... THANKS for adding that!.. also though.. BAMs photos are a PERFECT example for what im going to ask.. how do you get the picture to be SO smooth like that all together?? do i need to use that smudge tool for the entire thing or what??? all the photos i have when i got to enhance.. you can REALLY tell that i enhanced them, BAMs photo looks like it was done with like a 10,000 dollar camera lol

or even my siggie i have now.. i will use the same photo of my son.. and the picture was somewhat dark to begin with.. (kim made it) but how do you get the whole pic SO smooth
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  #9  
April 3rd, 2008, 04:38 AM
fka teresarunningmommy
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PSCS3 has noise removal. I only have PSCS so I'll flag Rachel so she can tell you where it's located and how to use it.
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  #10  
April 3rd, 2008, 04:57 AM
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i followed this tut but i couldt get any of the settings to look quite right. the picture is not as dark as the first one, but it is still very grainy, if you get what i mean? anyway, heres my first go. i will have another go later with a diffrent photo and see what i come up with

before:



after:
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  #11  
April 3rd, 2008, 08:32 AM
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right ive had another go, but i still can get it quite right. how do you all know what settings to put it on?

before:


after:
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  #12  
April 3rd, 2008, 09:17 AM
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okay.. i went ahead bc i got bored lol, i smudge him all over.. it was a BUNCH of clicking but not to bad.. this is what i got- i know you might think its a lil more on the yellowish side.. but i kinda like it that way, duno why.. oh and also another thing.. i dont contrast.. i duno, i just think it makes the photos TO bright in the light areas and it just has a diff look all together that i just dont like, anyway. this is what i got..




i notice i probably did to much on his arms and stuff but i think his face look prety good.. i mean good considering this was my first try right? lol
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  #13  
April 3rd, 2008, 09:21 AM
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here is where the reduce noise is. I just play with the setting until I like it.

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  #14  
April 3rd, 2008, 09:52 AM
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Thanks for posting that Misty!
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  #15  
April 3rd, 2008, 10:04 AM
fka teresarunningmommy
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Quote:
right ive had another go, but i still can get it quite right. how do you all know what settings to put it on?

before:


after:
[/b]
I think on this one maybe you have the unsharpen mask or the contrast to high. Sometimes I set my unsharpen mask at 35 and 3 instead of 50 and 5 and then I don't always adjust the contrast at all. Try that?


Quote:
okay.. i went ahead bc i got bored lol, i smudge him all over.. it was a BUNCH of clicking but not to bad.. this is what i got- i know you might think its a lil more on the yellowish side.. but i kinda like it that way, duno why.. oh and also another thing.. i dont contrast.. i duno, i just think it makes the photos TO bright in the light areas and it just has a diff look all together that i just dont like, anyway. this is what i got..




i notice i probably did to much on his arms and stuff but i think his face look prety good.. i mean good considering this was my first try right? lol[/b]
Yes, for the smoothed effect all over use the noise removal filter. I can't remember for sure, but some reason I'm thinking you have an older version of PS. I have PS CS, and it doesn't come with a noise removal filter. If you have an older version do a search for "Neat Image" it's a plug in. I use it sometimes for noise removal and it's really pretty good.
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  #16  
April 3rd, 2008, 10:54 AM
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thanks for that wannabesupermom, hows this. i still dont think it looks right



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  #17  
April 3rd, 2008, 04:06 PM
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i have PS CS3 Ext... and i dont know where to go for the noise thing.. i just got the PS so i havent had much time to play around on it

oh okay nvm sorry.. i didnt notice the screen shot post.. thanks! i will try it out right now
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  #18  
April 3rd, 2008, 04:10 PM
fka teresarunningmommy
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Quote:
thanks for that wannabesupermom, hows this. i still dont think it looks right


[/b]
I think it looks pretty good. I think it just maybe the photo since it's a side view instead of a front view, but I don't think the photo editing looks bad at all.
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  #19  
April 3rd, 2008, 04:24 PM
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k this is what i get with the noise reduce



now how would i make his eyes more.. glossier looking?
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