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February 2024 Community Connect: Edit Together

This ended up being a HUGE edit! I chose this photo because I saw the potential for something magical, something a bit different to what we had many tutorials of already, some things that needed fixing, and some skills we could work on.

You’ll find this tutorial in both the “Q&As/Community Connect” section of the site, as well as the “Editing Tutorials” so don’t be confused if you come across it twice. 

In the tutorial we:

  • began in camera raw (same as Lightroom)
  • discussed some blown highlight issues
  • talked about why I wouldn’t necessarily do a heap of work in camera raw when there were a few composition and blown highlight issues that I wanted to solve
  • did our normal steps to reduce distractions and bring out the dog. 
  • we opened in Photoshop as a smart object, and immediately went into a background flip/background switch. We talked about when you might want to FLIP the background horizontally, vs when you need to leave it in the same orientation, due to light clues on the trees in the background etc. 
  • I showed two methods for changing the background – one to duplicate the entire layer twice and mask it in, one to copy and move PARTS of the original layer, as well as the pros and cons of both. 
  • we used generative fill a LOT, and talked about the weird hatching/grid/artefact/lines issue you see sometimes with generative fill and (maybe) how to avoid it. We used generative fill mostly to fix the blown highlights on the ground and in the fur. 
  • we shaped the light a bit, including using a gradient in a kind of beam of light/funnel effect
  • I showed how to have two masks on a layer. 
  • we changed the colours to be cooler/more blue and magenta, using colour balance layers mostly. 
  • Dodge and burn as normal
  • Used levels to brighten Lilo a bit more. 
  • I think that’s it?

You are welcome to share this photo on social media! It would be great if you let people know you followed along an @inspawrationphotography live edit together, and of course that the photo was taken by @tierfotografie.bayern_

I would also want to add a gentle snow overlay to this one but I don’t have time right Now! You can check out the snow overlay lessons in Exploring > Editing Tools

My version is looking more yellow than I’d like but the colour profile on my computer is currently being pretty weird so I’m not sure how much I trust it right now. 

Done?! Awesome Work! Save and Share this image to your stories, to show everyone your amazing edit!

How to add it to your story (iOS Version, but I’m sure Android is similar?)

  1. Save the image above. Either right click and choose “Save image” or similar option, then send it to your phone, as well as your edited photo. Or, long press on your phone & choose save image. 
  2.  Open Instagram. 
  3. Swipe right to upload a new story
  4.  Tap the bottom left corner. Select the template image.
  5. Go back to your photos app
  6. Press the share button, bottom left corner.
  7. Press “Copy”
  8. Go back to Instagram
  9. Select to add some text, with the aA button along the top menu.
  10. Tap where the flashing text cursor is. Select “paste”
  11. Drag and resize to fit
  12. Remember to tag @inspawrationphotography and the photographer of the photo you edited! (Could be me, or someone else!)
  13. Press “Your Stories” at the bottom to share!

Edit Together: Winter Sunshine

You guys voted in the Learning Community, and “simple winter (dead grass, brown, backlit) won out – so this is what we’ll be editing for our next edit together!

You can download the files below. Inside the folder you’ll find 2 variations of the “Main” photo – one looking forward, one to the side. 

We’ll be working on the one looking to the side, but you’re welcome to download the other one if you want an extra photo to play with (but be aware, the way we shape the light would likely differ for a photo with the dog looking to the side vs looking forward!)

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Flower Magic: Blossom Editing Tutorial by Sabrina Theden

Main Photo GERMAN FINAL RESULT

There are RAW files and JPEG so choose the ones you need/that work with your software

NOTE FOR GERMAN-SPEAKING STUDENTS: There is a German version of this workflow tutorial. Check it out here

In this tutorial, I (Sabrina) will show my whole editing workflow from start to finish with a hawthorn blossom photo. We are going to work on a photo, that normally might have ended up in the trash – at least for me before I knew what was possible in editing and how I could do it. So with a few tricks and adding flowers from a different photo, we will save the image and turn it into a pretty flowery portrait!

 

It might help if you have a decent knowledge of Photoshop, but explain every step very detailed, so you should be able to follow along, even as a beginner.

 

What we’re going to do in this tutorial:

 

  • Set the white balance 
  • Make basic adjustments in LR
  • Synchronise Adjustments between photos in LR
  • Merge two photos to fill in big gaps
  • Use other tricks to fill in smaller gaps
  • Work on distractions
  • Remove the collar
  • Shape the light (Curves & Levels)
  • Turn an ugly green into a nice brown
  • Work on color casts
  • Dodge & Burn/Face contouring
  • Add Gradients and Gradient maps
  • Final Touches in Camera Raw

 

You can of course download the RAW files and edit along.

Have fun!

Sabrina from Team Inspawration

 

In meinem (Sabrinas) Blütenzauber Workflow Videotraining bearbeiten wir zusammen ein weißdorn Blütennbild. Dabei verwandeln wir ein RAW Bild, welches vor einem Jahr noch im Papierkorb gelandet wäre, mit ein paar Tricks ein schönes blumiges Portrait. Es handelt sich dabei genau um das gleiche Videotrianing wie in meinem Shop.

 

Es ist hilfreich, wenn du bereits ein wenig Grundwissen über Lightroom und Photoshop hast, aber es ist nicht notwendig, da ich alles sehr detailliert erkläre, da es normal ein alleinstehendes Training ist.

 

Was du in dem Workflow erwarten kannst:

 

  • Weißabgleich
  • Grundoptimierung in LR
  • Bearbeitung zwischen mehreren Bildern synchronisieren 
  • Zwei Bilder zu einem zusammenfügen, um größere Lücken zu füllen
  • Ein paar andere Tricks, um kleinere Lücken zu füllen
  • Ablenkungen entfernen
  • Halsband weg retuschieren
  • Helligkeit & Licht bearbeiten (mit Kurven & Tonwertkorrektur)
  • Unschönes Grün in gleichmäßiges Braun umwandeln
  • Farbstiche entfernen
  • Dodge & Burn
  • Verläufe und Verlaufsumsetzungen anwenden
  • Finale Anpassungen in Camera Raw

 

Natürlich kannst du die RAW Dateien herunterladen und gleich mit bearbeiten!



Viel Spaß!

Sabrina vom Team Inspawration 

Hijinx in Green: Full Tutorial

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This was such a fun little edit! Making a panorama, taking our overly bright photo and deepening those greens, working through so many of my normal process.

Make sure you download the 4 raw files from above. To take this photo, I used my panorama technique which I cover in depth in the Learning Journey. But in this case, I’d gotten a bit too close to Hijinx as I’d only JUST gotten into position but hadn’t framed up the photo yet, and was expecting him to look toward me, when he looked so beautifully to the side and into this lighter, open space. 

I could either forgo the shot and move backward/change my perspective to be lower, and wait for him to look at me to have better composition…

Or I could take the photo with the perfect gazing direction and expression, and take extra photos of the scene to “build out” later in editing. So, that’s what we’re going to do. 

Make sure you check out the step by step editing process that accompanies this video, but remember! You don’t have to do the exact settings as me, with the exact numbers. 

Golden Heather

In this tutorial using Lightroom & Photoshop and following most of my normal process, we are going to work on a well-exposed photo of Luke, a red merle Australian Shepherd.

You will need decent knowledge of Lightroom & using radial filters, as well of how to use masks and adjustment layers in Photoshop. 

In this tutorial we will:

  • Set the white balance
  • Talk about my Lightroom process & goals
  • Work on distractions
  • Bring detail & light to the dog
  • Flip the image and extend the canvas
  • Add some gaussian blur to an area of cloned heather, to make it fit in better
  • Use curves layers to shape the light and add richness to the colours
  • Use a selective colour layer to bring out those rich orange tones
  • Use a combination of colour balance and a radial gradient to enhance the purple (you don’t have to make it QUITE as purple, if it’s not your thing).
  • Add a gradient behind Luke for a little bit of extra background separation
  • Remove some colours from his chest (note: not all!)
  • Dodge and burn/contouring using curves layers.
  • Final touches in Lightroom by checking the histogram.

Note: I probably wouldn’t (and didn’t!) give my client the flipped version of the photo. Why?

Because Luke has two VERY distinctive sides to his face, with his mismatched eyes and mismatched ears, and I want the photo to properly represent him, rather than flowing more comfortable. For social media though, I’ll post the flipped version. 

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Backlit Amie

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In this tutorial, I work on a reasonably underexposed image of Amie, that I took for a collar company (hence the weird composition of the photo!) .

I had recently jumped on a couple of zoom calls with some LC students who were using programs other than Photoshop, and neither of them had access to radial filters, so had made their own work-arounds, which is amazing, but, the problem with these work arounds were that they  couldn’t be re-edited later.

A big part of my process and the way I work, is ensuring that any of my edits are able to be changed later down the track – whether at the very base level of being able to easily adjust the white balance of my RAW file by working with my photos as smart objects, or by using adjustment layers and keeping any changes to the “base image” at the bottom of my layers panel. As much as possible, my process allows me to be flexible, to come back at any point and make changes to the edited image. 

This isn’t always possible (for example when doing a content aware fill or content aware crop that covers the original image file. But for the most part, my edits can always be undone, turned off, changed slightly, added to, etc. 

What I realised from these zoom calls was that a) not everybody had access to radial filters, and b) possibly some people find them fiddly and time consuming, or just don’t like them. So in this editing tutorial, I ditched them completely. No radial filters at all.

I use Camera Raw Filter to begin with – this is basically Lightroom and includes all the most basic functions of any editing software, making global adjustments to the image/RAW file.

The rest I do in Photoshop. 

There are some slightly different techniques in here to what I’ve shown before, a bit of an explanation about how I would organise my layers when needing to do some clone stamping or healing spot brush, and some other interesting bits and pieces that I don’t think I’ve shown before. 

The tutorial will probably be best if you have a reasonable knowledge of Photoshop (or your editing program). I don’t explain how to mask something in or out in detail, for example.

Sadie in the Woods

In this tutorial we’re going to working though my process to create one of my favourite pictures of my friend Annika’s dog Sadie, in the woods.

The first part of the tutorial was recorded from my van, while livestreaming on Facebook…. then my computer had an absolute meltdown, so I finished recording the tutorial later, without being live. Therefore the first part looks like pretty lousy quality, but the information is still good!

Since this is a photo for Annika, I won’t be offering the RAW file for download this time. You can of course edit along on one of your own photos, just keep in mind there’s a few elements in this photo that make the tutorial work, which won’t work with every photo:

  • Dog looking up and to the side
  • The light in the background
  • Soft ambient light on the dog from no particular direction

Forest Sheltie

In this tutorial, we combine 3 RAW file images to create one panorama, giving Petrie enough room below his feet and space above his head for him to look into. We also use a fern overlay for some foreground blur/to add a bit more depth. You can find the files in the download folder.

This is one of those images that I came back to later in Lightroom and made some reasonable changes to, from the point where we finish the tutorial.

Namely:

  • darkening the bright green branches that had been bothering me the whole time (lower highlights and exposure)
  • lower exposure a LOT around the outside of him, not including his looking direction (so a 3/4 vignette, I guess). I lowered exposure by -1.5 😱 and raised blacks +6. 
  • added +20 contrast to his face
  • removed some green colour cast from the top of his head and the camera-right side of his snout
  • lowered highlights on his white chest a little bit more
  • in the HSL panel, Hue: green +17, Sat: greens -30, luminosity: greens -25

Yess I could have achieved the same effects in PS but I couldn’t be bothered opening it there again when I knew LR could do the job I wanted anyway. 

Below: Before / After the Tutorial / After my LR edits

Editing Dogs in Landscapes

Watch the video tutorial below to edit this image step by step. My process for editing landscapes is a fair bit different to my normal process in that:

  • I don’t shape the light nearly as much
  • I’m a bit more flexible with colour-grading and don’t mind if the dogs get a little coloured
  • I am not obsessing quite as much about drawing attention to the subject (especially through use of light and dark) but instead about creating a balance between the subject and the landscape
  • I may use self-created presets for series of images taken in the same landscape with similar lighting, to speed up the process
  • I make more use of the HSL panel, and the colour grading panel in LR/ACR than I normally do.
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Beware the glow!

Often, when editing our landscape photos, we need to quite dramatically darken the sky, while brightening our subject. Depending on how you do this, it can quite quickly create a glowing white halo around your subjects. If you’re using the adjustment brush to adjust exposures, this glow will be larger and soft. If you’re using “select subject”, it’s likely to be smaller and sharper.

It’s difficult to get rid of this glow without spending a lot of time very precisely adjusting your masks. Therefore I recommend gradually fading your exposure adjustments, using radial filters in a not-too-specific way, and avoiding as much as possible big exposure adjustments between subject and background. Not always possible! 

One way to see the glow is to zoom right out on your photo and look at it thumbnail size. And make sure you come back to it with fresh eyes later on!

Check your masks

Similar to “beware the glow”, do a good, thorough check of your masks if you’re darkening the sky and brightening your subjects, especially if you’re using a “Select Subject” tool. Often, it can miss small bits and pieces (see below example!) and these can look very strange and out of place!

Watch out as well that the new masking features don’t just blur furry parts of your subject, or parts where some fur meets the background and it has a hard time finding the edges. You will want to fix these masks up.

Below: before & after. If you see these blurry edges, just use the brush tool to either add or remove the effect from where it’s blurry.

Mask blurred edges Mask blurred edges 2