tips & tricks

How I Process My Photos, Part 1

People have complimented the colors in my photos and some have asked that I share my “techniques”. If any of you have noticed, I have a way of processing them and that I generally have 3 or 4 “color schemes” (that are similar to each other, just some minor tweaking). At first, I was hesitant to share (I still kind of am) because I don’t want to see a buttload of photos with the same colors/processing as mine and because my adjustment layers are a hot mess (when I edit my photos, I just create new layer upon new layer and then save the PSD for future use). However, I am not a greedy person (lol) and I’m all for sharing stuff like this.

A couple of things: This works best for well-lit photographs. My adjustment layers, like I said, are messy, may sometimes be redundant, and are stuff I just came up with by experimenting (and reading alli reviews HUHLOLZ).

So today, I will show you how to do this:

Step 1: Open your document in Photoshop. If you don’t have Photoshop, come over to my place, I can let you use my laptop.

Step 2: We’ll start with three adjustment layers. Click the “Create new fill or adjustment layer” in your layers panel. If you’re clueless, don’t worry: I encircled it in yellow green so you don’t get lost.

Click and choose “Color Balance”. Adjust your color levels to +100 +19 +50 (midtones). Click “ok” or hit enter. I usually set this layer to 10%-30% opacity, it really depends on what you want.

Create another adjustment layer, solid color. #FFE2E3, click “ok”, and change the layer blend mode to “soft light”. Again, the layer opacity is up to you. Mine never goes past 30%.

Create another adjustment layer, solid color. #011738, click “ok”, and set to exclusion, opacity 60%. I sometimes set it to 30%; again, it depends on what you want.

Step 3: Create another adjustment layer and pick curves. Try to adjust the curve to look something like this:

Set the curves layer to screen, 30%.

Create another color balance adjustment layer: 0 0 +17.

Optional: create a hue/saturation layer and set the saturation to -10.

Create a levels adjustment layer and change the values to 40 1.17 235. I love this layer lol.

This is what I have now:

Step 4: Last two adjustment layers! Create a brightness/contrast layer and set brightness to +10.

Create another curves layer:

Set to normal, 50% opacity.

And that’s it. You can stop at Step 3 if you don’t want your photo to look too washed out (or do away with the curves layer in Step 4). Not counting my photo’s layer, I have 9 adjustment layers in total.

These layers are my “base” layers, meaning I recycle them and just add more layers to get other colors/tones.

I edit out my pimples using the patch tool. If my original photo is too grainy due to poor lighting, I reduce the noise aka smoothen my skin.

I hope that wasn’t too confusing for you guys. Feel free to ask questions!

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  • Reply kat January 15, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    cool mahn

  • Reply Carina January 15, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    You are fantastic for doing this. I don’t really like sharing stuff either, but go you. :)

  • Reply sara January 15, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    new knowledge! Thanks for sharing this. I haven’t used adjustment layers it’s time to experiment! :)

  • Reply Aaron January 15, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    pano po kung GIMP yung gamet? wala kasi akong madownloadan na matino ng Adobe for mac.

    • Reply Helga January 15, 2010 at 9:30 pm

      I’ve never used GIMP =( If GIMP has adjustment layers, just do the equivalent. Pag wala… er, St Francis Square? :D

  • Reply Aaron January 15, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    aw. natawa ko haha. ok ill go SFS. Thank you po! :) ang cool ng tutorial :)

  • Reply Valerie January 15, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    I adore you so much, Helga. You are so cool! XD Also, thanks for sharing this! :))

  • Reply Patricia January 15, 2010 at 11:57 pm

    Bookmarking this! :) Thanks! :)

  • Reply Darliza January 16, 2010 at 12:14 am

    Thanks for sharing! I used this just now and it works wonders! weee.

  • Reply AlohaPenny January 16, 2010 at 9:25 am

    Oooohh I remembered your texture tutorial from before.

  • Reply Abbie January 16, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    Wow! Amazing of you to share this! :) I really love your layers.

  • Reply DITZ-REVOLUTION.NET by Helga Weber | Filipina blogger and web designer » HOW I PROCESS MY PHOTOS, PART 2. January 18, 2010 at 10:20 am

    […] hello, I’m glad you guys liked my previous tutorial. I have a couple more but I’ll do something really simple today. My friend, Alex, wanted to […]

  • Reply kaththecrapout January 18, 2010 at 10:38 am

    Coool! So that’s how you do it pala. X) Thanks for sharing Ms. Helga.

  • Reply Xyla January 18, 2010 at 10:44 am

    *bookedmarked* for future reference :D

  • Reply Stacii January 22, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    read this one and part two. thanks much! so easy, so loved. :)

  • Reply Katrina March 29, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    Thank you for sharing this! Now I know how those adjustment layers work! :)

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