Monday, December 15, 2008

Countdown to Christmas: Day 11

Today I have a photo editing tip for you. Holiday photos can sometimes be tricky because often they are taken indoors with poor lighting. This photo was taken at our church Christmas party inside the gym and the only lighting was from some Christmas lights strung around the walls and and on the tree there. I checked my settings while my daughter was in line before she got to Santa. For this shot I turned off my flash, increased the ISO, and messed with the white balance and shutter speed to let in as much light as possible. It came out off color and dark, but after some photoshop magic, it's definitely usable. Here's what I did (click on the screen shots for a better view):

First I created some samples of what should be black and white in the photo. To do this click on IMAGE>ADJUSTMENTS>THRESHHOLD.Now your photo will be black and white...don't panic. Move the slider in the threshold box all the way to the right. Now your photo is black. Slide it slowly to the left until you start to see a few white spots appear.Now, while holding down Alt and Shift click on 2 of the white spots. These are your white samples.Now move the slider all the way to the left. Your photo will now be white. Slide it slowly to the right until you see a few black spots. Hold down Alt and Shift and click on 2 black spots. These are your black samples. Now click CANCEL, NOT OKAY!!Now your photo looks like it did straight out of your camera. We're going to adjust the levels, so click on IMAGE>ADJUSTMENTS>LEVELS.In the levels box there are 3 eyedroppers at the bottom right. Click on the white one to set the white point. Then click on both of the white samples you took on your photo to see which one you like best. Then click on the black eyedropper to set your black point. Try clicking on both of the black samples on your photo to see which looks best.After you get your black and white points set, click on the middle eyedropper to set your grey point. You didn't take any samples for this (it's hard to tell what's grey when photos are so off color) but now you can find something grey or neutral colored in the photo and click on it. Keep clicking on different grey/neutral things until you find the coloring you like for your photo. For this photo I used Santa's beard. When you're happy with it click OKAY.Your photo should look much better. You can now crop and apply any filters or actions you normally do. I hope this is helpful...have fun with your holiday photography!!

2 comments:

mean mom productions said...

Wow good job on the photo editing. I will definitely have to try similar steps to in paint.net.

Melissa said...

Very cool--I don't think I've ever seen this tip, and now I'm excited to use it! Thanks for sharing, Aly!