Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Dreamy Photos, Step by Step

I hope you had a lovely weekend! We took the kiddos to Mercer Arboretum over the weekend, which was brimming with fragrant blooms and greenery. I took quite a few photos, which I keep in a "decor" photo file and use them throughout the house. I especially like to edit the photos so that they have a milky, vintage quality. This is really easy to do, if you own photoshop.

So, here is a quick step by step using almost only adjustment layer masks. Here is the original photo straight out of the camera.

The first thing I do to almost every photo is run Nicole Van's Color Pop Action. Pioneer Woman also has a nice {and free!} color pop action as well. ----------------------------------------------------Photobucket

All the other editing is going to be done using the "adjustment" layer mask. Click here to see where to find it in photoshop. Layer masks are fundamental in understanding all photoshop has to offer because you can adjust the opacity, toggle them on and off, and layer them together as needed. So, first I am going to use the "exposure" layer mask and drop down the "gamma correction" to create the milky/hazy/dreamy look.

Next, I added this look even more by adding a second adjustment layer, "Hue/Saturation" and bumped up the "lightness."

Finally, I added an adjustment layer called "photo filter." If you open that, select color, and click on the color chip, you can add a photo filter in any color you choose either from the swatch library or picking a color from the photo itself. I went with a dusty pale pink.

In less than a minute, it's easy to transform any photo to have a dreamy, vintage look, which works well with portraits, too. Here is the before and after:


There are some wonderful photoshop actions out there that achieve not only a similar look, but add textures and other interesting elements as well. I am working on partnering with a lovely gal who has amazing actions, and I hope to share those details shortly! In the mean time, here is one photo of Mia playing with the fish in the coy pond at the arboretum.
...and a picture of Aidan in the bamboo. Aidan insists on wearing action hero shirts every day; doesn't he know those don't make the best photos?! Anyone else encoutered this and have any tips--other than perpetual bridery? ;)


Angel Warrior said...
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Angel Warrior said...
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Prencie said...

Gorgeous Photos as usual Jessica:) I have GOT to learn photoshop!!! Picnik is so limited!! I also love some many of the texture options that you can use on photoshop:) I forget which photoshop I have, Jorel got it for me and I just haven't made the time to play with it.

Jessica Haley said...

Thank you, Kristy!

Prencie, photoshop is not at all user friendly. You definitely need to learn it with the help of a book, class, or tutorial. In the beginning it can be very frustrating. If you have additional questions, let me know if I can help :)

Megan said...

my younger brother was OBSESSED with superman when we were younger....the only way my mom got him into regular clothes, instead of action shirts and the halloween costume, was to remind him of Clark Kent and how he dresses normal in public so not everyone knew of his secret powers...hope this helps! and i wish, oh i wish, i had the patience to figure out photoshop....we found out we are having our 4th, so maybe when i am too huge to do normal activity, i can sit myself down and figure it out :) Oh, and i love the picture of Mia and the fish, too cute!

Jenni said...

I love your little photoshop tutorials! I am a BIG action fan, and find that the easiest way to navigate through photoshop! The best thing that I did was sit down with my sister-in-law and watch (and take notes of course) to help me through it! Now, from that, I have learned many things on my own, but would not consider myself a whole-hearted photoshop pro yet!

My current obsession is Pioneer Woman's Seventies action! I swear, it makes every picture look good! I just redid the kids photos and used it on my new header picture, after I discovered how much I loved it after Lola's photoshoot with the Dear Lillie tutu that we won! If you haven't tried that one yet - you should!!!

As for the super hero shirts, Aiden is so adorable! He is a little man who knows exactly what he wants huh?! I liked Megan's comment about Clark Kent! Try that one!

Mia by the fish is so cute! She wanted to touch that thing so bad huh?

Jessica said...

I love the Clark Kent comment, Megan! That is right up Aidan's alley! Awhile back, every night when he was supposed to be sleeping, Aidan would take off his pajamas and put on his Spiderman suit, then put a button down shirt and slacks and a backpack over it {a la Peter Parker.} It was so funny! He did that for about 2 weeks straight until we got tired of constantly having to change his ensemble in the middle of the night, as well as pick up practically the entire contents of his dresser while he rummaged for something Peter PArker-ish.

Jenni, your photo shoot turned out great! I is great. It's nice b/c it smooths and blends the complexion in a way that is really soft and vintage-y. Great job on the photos :)

Jessica said...

Oh, Jenni, I forgot to add, if you love PW's 70's action, you'll love the ones from Flora Bella! We are cross promoting, and I'm so excited talk more about her actions!

Mande said...

Jessica, LOVE Flora Bella, the actions and textures are so beautiful. You mentioned them on a blog post last year and Kasey Buick's blog always features them & I fell in love. Sometimes I go to the Flora Bella website just to listen to the music. :) Now if I could just figure out photoshop......

Thank you for the tutorial. I look forward to your photo editing tips Jessica. Aidan is hilarious with his super hero shirt addiction. Harrison is going through that with his "Soccer Is My Game" shirt. He would wear it every day if I let him. It is a phase- I hope, and someday we will look back and smile at the pictures of this time in their lives. :)

Jessica said...

Thank you for your kind email and being so helpful. I will write back. My life is so busy almost every night I fall asleep dead tired with the lights on and some project unfinished. Maybe we can plan a night to share a glass of wine and conversation over the phone lines ;)

I know Aidan and Harrison have a lot in common: very sweet but set in their ways! You raise an excellent point, too, that while I do love stylized photos, it is good to capture real life in process. When I was putting together the slide show for the blog I realized that most of my favorite photos {the powder photo, Mia protesting Aidan's kiss, Mia painting} were taken in the context of capturing every day life.

Shana, the owner of Florabella is such a nice person! I'll post about her soon and maybe we can do some photoshop Q and A or something like that.

Mande said...

Would love to share wine and conversation over the phone sometime Jessica. :) A photoshop Q & A would be wonderful!! xo

Angel Warrior said...


I'm keeping watch on your website and noticed you've added some items!!! It's so exciting! I am loving some of your new pieces too... the Dalia are just gorgeous (and may go perfectly with Ava's dress for my wedding in 2012!!) I absolutely love the Joice, the Daffodil, the Nichelle and OMG, the Leopard ballet flats!!! My baby girl will eventually grow out of all the beautiful shoes you make and then what will I do? lol!! I'm so thankful that you have been blessed with such a talent and the creativity to create such spectacular little shoes!! Just being able to browse through the site has been so fun! Hope you have a fantastic Memorial Day Weekend!


Laura said...

Thanks for the tips! Can't wait to try them. Thinking of you and hoping you are well :)

Micah loves Pearl Necklace said...

So Cute the pics..:) love it


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