Today we will be covering the basics of image editing using Photo Explosion. Here you will learn how to adjust color levels, remove blemishes and adjust the levels to get a nice finished product. This post processing is very simple as you work with it, and a lot of it just revolves around developing an eye for it (As you will see, I don't have the best explanation of why I do what I do in the color balance section).
Adjust the Color Balance
Before anything else is done, it’s a good idea to correct the color balance of your photo to make sure that the picture has the appearance you are shooting for. So let’s start with this picture of myself and see what kind of magic we can work, shall we?
This is the original shot.
I played around with the color levels and I snapped two screenshots for you. I wish I had a science for color manipulation but I will be honest and say that I eye balled it.
The first shot looked nice at first glance, but I feel like it’s tinted too heavy. It still has that green hue, I want to darken that a bit to bring a more photo realistic color scheme to it.
The second shot I kept the Cyan and Yellow levels at the same intensity (negative 40) and found this brought the black out a bit more and got rid of that ugly glow the picture seemed to have. Color correction is not going to be the final edit we apply, and as you will see, I will revisit this and the second step later.
Adjust the Levels
For the level adjustments, I tried to give myself a darker black and a kind of glow on the side. I use levels to help add definition through the use of shadows, so a lot of what you see here is me pulling out the white and intensifying the gray into black. Levels deal with the whites, blacks and grays of the picture so keep that in mind as you adjust. The command is located under:
Now we are beginning to see a lot more definition in the picture and less of that over exposed look we had before.
The blemish removal tool took a bit of tweaking for me to figure it out, but it works a bit like taking a section of the picture and stamping it over another section. So to remove the blemishes I’ve got just below my lip I opened my blemish removal tool and set to work!
First, hit the “Quick Fix Studio” button to open a selection of the different editing tools you have at your disposal. The one we are looking for is fourth from the bottom, labeled “Blemish Removal”.
The tool is a bit tricky, but essentially it works by clicking on the spot you want to fix and finding a spot on the picture that looks just like that spot and drag the cursor to the clean spot. In this case I took my left chin and swapped it with the right.
The important thing to remember while doing this is that the cursor you start with should be big enough to fill the space you want to correct. For me the cursor had to be 64 points wide to make the fix. It will differ depending on the subject.
Revisiting the Levels and Color Balance
I sometimes will adjust the levels and ok the changes, then reopen for further adjustments. The different balance gives you new options and since you are only a Ctrl+Z away from undoing any terrible changes you make, it’s worth experimenting with. The second time around I found the result much better than the first.
The Final Product
What do you think? EDIT Applied Miguel's fix and I think I look less flushed now. Eh?