To learn more about photography,
sign up to receive my NEW Newsletter.
The sign-up form is on the upper right of this blog.
Today I want to show you how to go from the photo above....
To an edgy, contrasty more dramatic look like this:
I have photographed several senior boys this week
and I love that Chris is very laid back and
wanted only outdoor, woodsy portraits.
He brought two T-shirts with him...
one white and the other blue because I told him
it would really bring out those hunkin' blue eyes!
I love casual senior pictures compared to
the stuffy, suited studio shots from my era.
He also brought along his SUV to pose with, which gave me
lots of creative photo options.
While I like this photo below...
I wanted to punch it up with some drama.
I especially like this simple editing technique for
It gives the photos a bit of edge and looks
I find that when I give the seniors an option between
the normal photo and the one with added drama...
They usually buy the one with drama.
I want to share this simple editing method that works with nature portraits...
or really any photo where you want to impose more edge and contrast.
It even works for Black and Whites:
I do this in Photoshop Elements 8, but it works in Photoshop, too.
Open your photo in Elements and click on Ctl-J to duplicate the layer.
See the duplicated layer by the yellow arrow in your layer's bin.
In the panel at the top of your screen...click on Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur
A control box will pop up. Move the slider by the yellow arrow until the photo
is very blurry, but you can still make out the subject.
There is no perfect here...just move it until it's blurry.
At the top of your layers bin you will see a window that says NORMAL...
those are your blend modes. It's by the pink arrow, but under that drop down menu
that is covering it in the photo.
Click on Overlay as seen by the yellow arrow.
(If you want less drama...click on soft light. Play around and see
what you like best for your photo.)
With Overlay, the drama is often too intense, so lower the
opacity to your taste. (See opacity to the right of the blend modes.)
This fast and simple technique really enhances photos!
I find myself using this often for senior boys.
It also works for girls...especially if they're wearing
bright colors or you want an edgy feel.
Play around with this method and I hope
it gives you an exciting new option for portrait photography.