Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Adding Ethereal Glow to a Dull Iphone Pic

 I really love this picture of my daughter on her first day of school, morning sunlight streaming in, pondering the possibilities of a year full of learning, puzzling over how she ever got so lucky to have the world's best mother...
  Or maybe it's just some pretty clever photo editing.

Here's the before shot:

  Not really something I'd waste $0.15 to print off.  Definitely not something that captures the moment. In truth, the moment was me wondering what time it was--when this magical first day of school would ever happen-- grabbing my iphone to check and deciding to take a picture to send to dad. The true moment was pretty fully captured.  It's just that I don't want to remember the moment like that-- I want a pretty memory.  Thanks to photoshop I can have it and you can too!   Follow the jump for a quick tutorial. 
First thing I always do is clean up the face.
    So grab your clone tool and wipe away the under eye circles and smooth the face.
Second- crop it.  Too much fridge is distracting, but you want to leave a bit of space wherever subject is looking. In this shot I went to the fridge handles.  also, don't need those legs- her face is what I want to tell the story.

Third.  time to make sunlight.  (i'm working on mac so commands will be given as such) Command J to create a new layer.
D to set palette to black and white.  choose white as foreground color (this will be your sun color)
go up to layer => new fill layer => gradient => choose radial.  you'll get a blast of white dead center of your pic. have no fear, it's moveable. Drag the light explosion over to a realistic light source, in this case the windows behind my girl.  Now I've got my morning sun. 

fourth.  I like to take dodge tool (left hand tool panel, looks like magnifying glass above hand/burn tool) and add some streaks of white to replicate sunstreaks.

fifth. time to blur edges.  command J to get new layer. up top Filter=> blur=> gaussian blur, I set this to 7 pixels cause I still wanted to be able to discern my kitchen from the haze of the photo manipulated morning.
   whole picture will be a big ol blur mess.
Sixth, layer mask and wipe away blur in center.  on layers palette (bottom right) theres a rectangle with a circle in the middle, this is your layer mask- click it. You'll get an extra white box in with your blurred layer line.
   D to set color palette to black and white.  Black erases, white puts back on.
chose brush tool and black. set opacity to 80%.  Paint away the girl in center and she'll become unblurred while edges stay fuzzy.  turn down opacity to 40%, fade the two together.

 A keepsake.

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