this tutorial will show you how to create a softer look for a photo. it is especially nice for a portrait, but can be used for any photo. i work in elements 6, but it will be similar in CS.
this little guy is eduard. he is my brother andre's son. he is almost 8 years old, and he is quite a serious little man, a deep thinker and philosopher.
open photoshop in editor mode, and open a portrait photo of your choice. i chose little eduard. do any cropping and basic edits you need to do.
now: first you need to create a duplicate layer to work on. there are a few ways to do this, i click on CTRL-J. you can call this layer 'soften' (by clicking on the name and typing the new one), so you know which one i'm referring to. make sure this layer is selected.
in the top menu, click 'FILTER' then 'BLUR' then 'GAUSSIAN BLUR'.
enter a value for the blur radius. i chose about 9, but you can experiment with what works here. when you click ok, you will see the photo becomes very blurry. this is fine, we will fix this. you can see how blurred mine is below.
those of you who saw my previous photoshop tutorial - did you see i figured out how to show you a screen shot? i really did find a tutorial on the internet about it... you can find information about everything on the www!
go to 'layers' on the layers palette. see there to the left of my arrow? did you also see that i figured out how to make arrows? so cool! man, i'm lovin' this... there where it says 'normal', click on that and a drop-down menu appears. click on 'screen'. with the 'soften' layer still selected, change the opacity by using the slider, to a level that makes you happy. i used about 80%. better? better!
now, find the little picture of a circle that has is dark and half light. a menu will appear.
click on 'brightness/contrast'. on the little screen that appears, experiment with the slider till you are happy. i made my 'brightness' about 12 and the 'contrast' about 26, but once again, see what works for you.
change the order of the layers by clicking your mouse over the little photo, and dragging it below the 'adjustment layer', so it is in the order shown. then, on the top menu, click on 'layer', 'group with previous layer'. this means that the edits you do are only linked to that layer, and not all layers.
when you are happy with the way your photo looks, you can flatten the layers by right-clicking on one of the layers and selecting 'flatten image' from the menu. at this stage i like to add a frame, but this is up to you.
the rough edge around the photo is a frame from the festival range from shabbyprincess, called vintage frame. and the frame around my gran's photo is from there too, called swirlyframe.
this is my gran, jaco sparrius. i'm hoping that when i'm 92, my granddaughter will use windows vista '58, and photoshop elements 29, to soften my photos that she took with her 98gigapixel camera that enhances all blemishes and scars...
of course, i'm also hoping that by then the makers of viagra will have a pill that keeps your skin firm for 24-48 hours, and that loreal will have a age re-perfect contour firming collagen and protein cream that has jane fonda still looking 60 at the age of 180, and the instant-slim-and-sexy-without-diet-or-excercise-pill has finally come on the market.
the frame is from scrapgirls, called old photo frames.
for both my and my gran's photos i chose a slightly higher blur radius, about 10 or so. i thought we needed a little more blurring to soften the effects of aging on our skins. either that, or more age-reperfect cream... at the 'brightness/contrast' step when editing my grandmother's photo, i actually decreased the brightness to a negative level, as it was way too bright. you need to experiment with your levels, as each photo is different.
you know, it is no wonder we have poor self-image. if this is what i can do on my home computer with a entrylevel photo editing software package, can you think what they do with the photos they take for magazine adverts. and we think those looks are the norm? they are edited to the max, creating perfection that is impossible to live up to!
please tell me if this tutorial worked for you, and if you got a glitch, please tell me, so i can fix it? thank you!
there is a photoshop tutorial that follows on this one: how to make eyes 'pop'.
you can also read my other photoshop tutorial: how to download and use a decorative frame on your photos.
you can find other photoshop, papercraft and scrapbooking tutorials here.
jacki janse van rensburg - SCRAPPIN TIMES scrapbook shop, benoni, south africa