PHOTOSHOP 101 // HOW I EDIT MY IMAGES

I get asked quite often how I edit my images. To start, I edit them myself, and try to keep each image as natural as possible. Thankfully, I will typically shoot in favorable lighting conditions. so I am able to keep the editing to a minimal. With Atlantic-Pacific being so heavily focused on fashion, I want the colors of the photos to be as natural as possible so I can accurately represent the colors, prints, and patterns of the clothing that I am wearing! I’ve found images that are too warm or too grainy simply don’t accurately portray the clothing and accessories that well, and at the end of the day, that’s what I am here for! I always edit in Photoshop, and below I am sharing just a few of the techniques and tools I use most!

SPOT HEALING BRUSH // I am shooting a lot in cities, which can be challenging when it comes to people in the background, trash on the street, and general clutter in the frame! I use the spot healing brush to clean up a lot of that mess and occasionally to smooth out a wrinkle or even erase a stain on my clothing (I am messy). Again, I try not to change anything to the point of it being unrealistic – I don’t alter my own body or drastically alter environments – but I will erase gum on the sidewalk, spray paint on buildings, and anything else that may distract from the photo!

In Photoshop the brush is super simple to use and is a tool shortcut on the side bar. You can change the size and hardness of the application depending on how big or small of an area you are editing. Photoshop does ‘guess’ as to what you want to replace the space as, but nine times out of ten, it works just fine.  You can also use the clone stamp tool to achieve some of the same results, but I have found the spot healing brush to be a bit easier to use. Once you choose the size and hardness, simply draw over the area in the background layer. You can see in the below shot how I removed a lot of the people in the background (this is probably the largest crowd I have ever edited). I will note that I try to shoot at dawn, and therefore most of my original photos do not have people in the background, but in famous locations such as the below, it is simply unavoidable. This shot was taken at 6:15 am and there was still a small crowd!

photoshop

BRIGHTENING AN IMAGE // While I always try to shoot in ideal lighting, it doesn’t always work out that way as things can change quite unexpectedly. When the lighting in an image isn’t ideal, I typically start in the background layer and alter the levels of shadows and highlights (IMAGE > ADJUSTMENTS > SHADOWS/HIGHLIGHTS). Next, I add a layer and alter the amount of brightness and contrast (LAYER > NEW ADJUSTMENT LAYER > BRIGHTNESS/CONTRAST). If I have to choose, I typically shoot on the darker side versus the lighter side. I have found it to be easier to brighten an image in post production versus attempting to darken one. If you shoot an image that is over exposed or blown out, it is almost impossible to pull out the details in post production. See below for a typical example of slightly decreasing the shadows and increasing the brightness! P.S. – big hats produce lots of shadows!

photoshop
COLOR BALANCE // It is quite hard to tell when you are shooting whether the tone of the image will be too blue, too yellow, too red, etc. Many times once I have uploaded an image, I will notice the color tones to be slightly off and I’ll need to alter them just a bit in Photoshop. This happens a lot in more cozy environments like the West Village in NYC. The sun might shift and bounce off a neighboring red brick wall, and BAM, all of your images now have a reddish tint. The winter can also be a challenge, as photos will tend look drab and on the blue-ish side, so I’ll add more yellow on the blue/yellow scale. Little adjustments can make a world of difference. I use color balance to correct all of this (LAYER > NEW ADJUSTMENT LAYER > COLOR BALANCE). The below shot was taken in Cartagena! The trim and door on this house are white, but there was a yellow wall across the street that reflected and caused it to appear more yellow, so I just brought bumped up the blue scale!

photoshop

ADDITIONAL Q&A:


Q: What editing tools or apps do you use for on the fly editing?

A: Most of the photos I post, even on Instagram, are shot on my DSLR and edited in Photoshop. However, there are times when I need to edit a photo on my phone and for that I will use Facetune. Many people associate Facetune with, well, editing your face, but I use the patch feature to edit out gum on the sidewalk and other distracting elements. If I am ever looking to edit lighting, color, etc. I will simply edit within the photo features on my iPhone.


Q: Do you use any Lightroom presets? I feel like those are all the rage these days!

A: I do not use Lightroom or any presets, but I know many bloggers and photographers who swear by them! I think they are especially great if you have a very specific ‘look’ to your photos, such as a grainy, more vintage tint, or images that are all very warm, as they will allow you to achieve that same look again and again! As I mentioned, I prefer to keep my images looking as natural as possible.


Q: What camera and lenses do you use?

A: I currently use a Canon 5D Mark IV camera with 50mm f/1.2 and 35 mm f/1.4 lenses. I have always used Canon and have been very happy with the results. I typically only buy Canon lenses, but have used Sigma lenses in the past as well.


Q: What version of Photoshop do you use?

A: I use Photoshop CC! I have the monthly Adobe Creative Cloud subscription.

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  • Valeria

    Awesome! Thank you for sharing this. Love how you keep your images natural and love following you!

  • Roses for Fridays | by mia

    Beautiful edits … lovely photos as always! 🌷👍🏻🌷

    🌸🍃ROSES FOR FRIDAYS 🌸🍃| by mia | A Creative Lifestyle Blog

  • Mireia

    Nice edits!

    Mireia from TGL
    https://thegoldlipstick.com/

  • Candice

    Your images are always so flawless. Thank you for sharing.

  • BeingIsabella

    This was so so helpful! I use Photoshop too to edit my images but I’m still just learning how it works so this was great to get an insight into what you do. I would love to be able to brush crowds of people out of photos, however, whenever I try with any of the tools meant for it it always looks patchy and you can see that something was there before, or that it doesn’t just go to the background of the image if that makes sense! Any advice?

    http://www.beingisabella.com

    • Sen

      Hi,

      A small question? Witch version of Photoshop do you use? Because they are so many?

  • Diana

    Thanks for the tips!

    || The Neon Factor, by Diana 🦄 ||
    http://www.TheNeonFactor.com

  • Arianna

    Such beautiful photos! I NEED to visit Paris!☺️
    Southernbf.blogspot.com

  • Trina

    This post is so interesting and is making me consider checking out Photoshop! Thanks for the behind the scenes look. You did a great job with erasing the crowd!
    – Trina http://www.petitestylestudio.com

  • Mina

    Just wanted to say — I appreciate your openness about your process. You have a lot of integrity as a blogger, and I’m so happy to follow your work!

  • emma

    I’ve always wanted to try out the spot healing brush.. Great tips!
    emmastyleguide.blogspot.com

  • May

    Thank you so much for sharing your tips! Great photos!

    May || https://themoderness.com/

  • docdivatraveller

    Thank you for the tips! Biggest fan of you as always! Love from India!
    http://www.docdivatraveller.com

  • Monica

    Thank you so much for the tips cutie!!

    FIRMA 18
    xx
    Mónica Sors
    MES VOYAGES À PARIS
    NEW POST: BEST SWIMSUITS

  • YZ Chan

    Thanks for sharing your tips! I’m still a beginner at Photoshop, so this post is really useful. 🙂

    http://www.yzwears.com

  • Kelsey

    Thank you for sharing! This is so helpful. As a fellow fashion blogger I love that you’re keeping your edits simple in order to give everyone a realistic impression of your clothes and accessories. Xx, Kelsey

    https://www.kelseyybarnes.com

  • Jordana @WhiteCabana

    Secrets revealed! I love that you’re sharing so much these days, Blair! Thank you! I’ve been a follower from nearly day 1 of your blog, and I appreciate all that you’ve shared and created since then.
    Jordana
    http://whitecabana.com

  • MT

    I love editing more than I could’ve imagined when I first started blogging.
    It’s such a creative process & I get such a buzz from improving my image quality. I probably spend way too much time on it actually but that’s what you get when you’re a perfectionist. I wish more people saw my work but that doesn’t make me less enthusiastic hahaha.
    Learning all these new things keeps the old brain active too!
    I use Lightroom because it’s a little simpler than Photoshop but agree Adobe is genius.
    Thanks for sharing your tips Blair xx

  • Rach

    Thank you for sharing your edits! The spot healing is good to know!

    http://www.rdsobsessions.com

  • Jae

    Amazing tips! These were so helpful!
    Jae
    http://www.allthatjae.com

  • Tabitha

    Great post! Tips like these are my favorite because I’m still learning the ins and outs of photoshop. I definitely agree that lighting up a photo is much easier than trying to darken a photo. If it’s too light, the photo is ruined. I hope you’ll post more photo tips!

    Tabitha
    https://shopsiloe.com/

  • Jandrew

    Great post , thanks Bee for sharing your tips.
    Jandrew
    Dress The Part
    http://www.jandrewspeaks.com

  • Cristina - Memories of the Pacific

    Thanks so much for this, Blair! I’m learning to use Photoshop and this is so useful for me. I do like my images to look as natural as possible too, presets are not for me 😉

    http://www.memoriesofthepacific.com

  • Johanna

    Love this post Blair. I don’t Photoshop, but kinda need to learn. Xoxo

  • Kathrin

    That was such a useful post. I’m amazed that you were able to edit out such a large crowd. Thanks for all the great tips.

    Kathrin | Polar Bear Style

  • April

    Can I tell you how refreshing this is to read!!! I too am am a professional photographer and blogger who uses Photoshop to edit all of my photos for my blog and IG. The way you edit your photos is very similar to what I do (I use curves instead of brightness/contrast) and I definitely use the spot healing brush. IMO presets can often detract from the true beauty of an image, and likely it will just go out of style anyway. I knew there was a reason I liked your photography!

  • Lynn

    You might want to try Content Aware in Photoshop to remove people etc… it is an amazing tool & may be easier than the spot healing brush with more accurate results. Use the lasso tool and then “fill” by Content Aware. In the one example above where you removed the people, the people’s shadows remained. Doesn’t detract from your beautiful fashion photos but it is another tool to consider.

  • Monika

    I adore your pics! 🙂

  • Michael Chorost

    Thanks for talking about your editing techniques. I use Lightroom to edit the pictures I take for my wife’s style blog (The Directrice, thedirectrice.com) and I do a lot of the same things you do, though I don’t think Lightroom is powerful enough to do cool things like remove people from a picture. But I almost always increase the exposure, lighten the shadows, and add a little vibrance. Spot healing works fine for dust on clothes and so forth, but I find that even on surfaces where the color looks uniform, there is actually a great deal of variation in brightness and hue, so much so that it’s hard to find a spot that matches the one I want to “heal.” Anyway — thanks for the tips!

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  • tiến độ chung cư thanh hà

    very nice, very wonderful
    bán chung cư thanh hà