Photography/Photoshop “How-To”

Admittedly, I don’t think I’m a whiz at photography or Photoshop. But I still think it is a good idea for photographers to share what they know. I’m not up-to-date enough on the history of photography and photographers, but I’ve found that years ago photographers were quite reticent to share their “secrets” with each other (aka, the “competition”). But, as technology has changed and made it easier to share techniques and thoughts, people have opened up and I’ve been the beneficiary of the openness of the pros.

I’ve never taken a class (Well, I guess I sat through about 20 minutes of one at Inkley’s, but it wasn’t helpful. Instead I grabbed my camera and went out and took about 350 shots in about an hour. Much more helpful…). So, it has been a huge blessing that other photographers are so open with their craft. I’m hoping I can “pay it forward” a little with this blog. So…

Here’s the “How-To” on this shot:

I took a moment a few months ago to shoot my mother-in-law (I know, I know…if I didn’t love my mother in law, this would be funnier, but Bonnie and I get along wonderfully). Here are some of the details…

Lighting: All natural (as always). The light in that particular room comes from the left-side of Bonnie and from behind and to the right. Both were from windows and it was an overcast day (nicely diffused light)

ISO: 400, 2.0F, 50mm

Editing: Cropped a bit tighter than the original (but not much). Desaturated, warmed the tones, and bumped up the contrast in Adobe Camera Raw (which I love). Then I ran a small “Totally Rad” action (called “Lux [Hard]”) that worked a little more desaturation and contrast. The last thing I did before sharpening was to do just a bit of vignetting and brightened just a bit.

The total time for editing was about 1 to 2 minutes.

Here is the “Before and After”:



The image certainly isn’t perfect, and I was a bit off on the focus, but all in all, I enjoy the soft light from two directions and the warm and desaturated overall look of the picture.

Here’s a little PS: If you want to visit a blog and see a real professional share insights into images he has captured, check out Jon Ball’s photography blog. I love studying Jon’s work and subscribed to his blog as quickly as I found it. Jon is a photographer who “feels” the shots he takes, shoots with film, and is well-trained as well as naturally gifted when it comes to photography. Aside from that, Jon is a quality guy with a beautiful family and he puts his wife and children first….


4 thoughts on “Photography/Photoshop “How-To”

  1. Valeri

    First off, you’ve already “paid it forward”. Not that you should stop – I’m just sayin’!

    Second, I was going to say, Bonnie MUST be related to Janese. They look so much alike!

    And third, beautiful edit! I love Totally Rad Actions, and plenty more out there that I can’t afford. Thanks for the tutorial. I think you should do at least one a week! Just a suggestion. 🙂


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