AB Friday. Enhancing a Portait.

For this week’s After Before Friday Forum, I wanted to edit a portrait. This is from my studio time at Flip Flop Foto. I took a series of shots for this girl’s senior portraits. Obviously it was a bright, sunny day and when I look at the photo now, without editing, I think it looks kind of flat and dull. The girl is beautiful but my shot could be inviting. 2045before

So I decided to play with the image some. While in Camera Raw,  adjusted the control to reflect these settings:

  • Temperature: 4800
  • Tint: +4
  • Brightness: +26
  • Exposure: -.60
  • Recovery: 23
  • Blacks: 25
  • Contrast: 52
  • Saturation:8
  • Clarity: -29


Then I opened the image in Photoshop CS5, and did the following:

  • Created another layer of the photo.
  • Raised the curves on the top layer but then erased out the one side of her face that is more lit (but only on a 20 percent eraser). This allowed the tad bit darker image below to shine through, allowing me to not lose the details on that side of her face.
  • Merged the two layers.
  • Applied the HDR toning effect with the following settings:
    • Details -79 (made her look softer)
    • Pulled down the curves
    • Saturation -1
    • Exposure: +.13
    • Highlights: -8
    • Vibrance: -3
  • Tried the auto color options cuz there was too much color for my taste. That made it look more normal.
  • Bumped the contrast (45) and brightness (20) up.



What do you think? What would you have done differently? Feel free to comment and give ideas. I enjoy getting others perspectives on things.

Now, make sure you go to Visual Venturing, the host of AB Friday, to check out Stacy’s edit. And when you get done with that, she has all the links to the other AB Friday contributors (who are a great group of folks). Just click on the badge….




7 thoughts on “AB Friday. Enhancing a Portait.

  1. What a beautiful young lady, Michelle! And what life you have brought to the after image! Since I don’t shoot portraits, I can’t remark on what I might do differently – I think what you’ve done is spot on.


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