In my last blog post I talked about how to take great photos of mum for Mother’s Day or any other occasion. Today I am going to explain how to process them.
Once you’ve downloaded and chosen the best shots – I use Lightroom because it is so simple to use, it’s time to fix the photos.
I will adjust the white balance – in the series of images I shot the white balance was a little too warm so I cooled the images down and adjusted the Exposure in the Develop module.
I will then fix any skin blemishes either in Lightroom or, if you’re using Photoshop Elements, for example, I’ll do that with the Spot Healing Brush – it is as simple as painting out the problem areas and uneven skin tones.
To lessen the effect of wrinkles a good fix is to make a duplicate of the image background layer and to blur this duplicate layer with a small radius Gaussian blur filter (Filter>Blur>Gaussian blur). Then selectively erase the top layer to reveal the sharper features underneath leaving the blur over the wrinkles. You will want to erase the blurry eyes and mouth and perhaps some of the blurred hair. Finally, reduce the Opacity of the top layer to blend the two layers together for a great result.
If your images are a colder blue color then use a warming filter to give the portrait a warm pink glow which is very flattering to skin tones. In Photoshop Elements, to do this, choose Filter > Adjustments > Photo Filter and choose a Warming Filter (85). You can set the density of the filter to control how strongly it is applied. In the Lightroom Develop module, you can drag the Temperature slider a little to the right.
I like to use the Photoshop Elements Lightening Brush to lighten a person’s teeth slightly and I’ll often use the Saturation Enhancing Brush to brighten their eyes. Err on the side of caution though, the edits you make should be subtle and gently enhance the photo – you’re not applying Halloween makeup!
If your mum gets just one photo that she loves of herself from those you’ve taken – you’ve given her a wonderful gift. Best of all, you can bet she’ll be happy to pose for you again next year.