Friday, May 8, 2009

Can you give critiques to someone who doesn't understand what you're talking about?

So like I said, I am new to I Heart Faces, new to photography, and new to blogging. These three things combined put me in no position to receive critique. But I guess you have to start somewhere, and you'll NEVER even start learning if you don't leap in. I downloaded some Photoshop actions from Pioneer Woman (with technical help from my BFF Becca) and have been playing around. Here's one I did this morning:


I'm pretty sure that all I did was use PW's "Lovely and Etheral" action, then took out little red spots and bits of food on his face with the clone stamp tool, then blurred his splotchy irish skin a bit.

Let the commenting begin--it's Greek to me, so I'll have to have Becca translate. :)


  1. I have 0 editing skills, I just wanted to say that I admire you for so bravely entering in to so many new things all at once. Also, your son has gorgeous hair. Gorgeous!

  2. of course I love it! :-) your sweet Holden is the cutest. . .

    i might have lightened it more - but that's just me :-) somehow I have no clue how to use the clone stamp tool or anything like that - so you can apparently totally help me with it :-)

  3. What a sweet child you have, that hair, wow. Well this is a great photo, I'm amazed you are new to all of this, it doesn't seem like it.

    Now, I don't know what editing program you are using or your camera with the picture settings. So let's start with this.

    I think your picture has a bit of noise and grain to it. Now this can be corrected by changing your ISO to a lower number. To do this, you will have to go with a wider aperture (the smaller f number) or change your shutter speed to a lower number or a mix of both. It seems like a nice light you have in that room, so I don't think you really need a flash.

    With editing, I like what you have done. I would alter the contrast, brightness, shadows and highlights. Zoom into the eyes to dodge the whites and burn the color.

    If you are in photoshop, I would run Filter-Sharpen-Unsharp Mask then make the settings 150,1, 10. There are also actions that have burn edge detail or light edge detail by MCP, I use this on most photographs. It just creates just a bit of crispness.

    You have done a great job and what a sweet child.

    Happy Mother's Day,
    B Dad

  4. Kudos to you for jumping right in there and making yourself learn how to do new things!

    Boybarian Dad gave you some great pointers on how you could have improved this photo before you even took the shot (getting rid of the noise, etc.)

    I've found that PW's Lovely & Ethereal action can only be used in very certain situations (it works very well with landscape photography) but not so well for portrait photography. It took your photo (which was already underexposed) and actually made it even darker.

    I opened your photo in Photoshop by using the Camera RAW option (you can even edit jpgs in Camera RAW.) By doing that I was able to work with the fill light and exposure to really brighten your photo up. It made an enormous difference just doing that.

    I then took it into Photoshop and used a program I own that gets rid of noise (I think there are free downloads for this online if you did a google search for one.) I then ran PW's boost, fresh & colorful and bring on the eyes over the photo (toning down all of the layers by using the opacity slider.)

    I also used Jodi's from free Touch of Light/Touch of Darkness to work on ridding his sweet face of all those shadows.

    Here is a link to my first edit of your photo. In this one I didn't crop the photo at all:

    I personally am a fan of cropping fairly close to the face even when I'm taking the photo so I decided to do a close cropped version as well. On this one I added a duplicate layer and then did a gaussian blur on it. I then did a layer mask so that I could erase the blur over his face. It really made the background look subtle and soft.

    I'm really fearful that this is all greek to you right now...but, if you keep working at learning how to use your Photoshop program step-by-step eventually you will know what all of this means and will be able to do this on your photos yourself.

    Thank you so much for letting us play with your beautiful photo today! If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them on my blog ( and I will try to answer them for you there.

    co-founder of iHeartFaces

  5. Dont worry I will help explain it girl :-) not that I'm any better at it than you . . .
    dont Angie's fixes look amazing?!!! Holden is the cutest ever!

  6. wow--thank all of you guys so much for helping me! Angie, your edits of the shot look so amazing! thanks you!!