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Easy Photo Editing Tutorial {Guest Post-Amanda Padgett}

Me Meet Amanda! She is a “Pioneer Woman” of sorts, although, she says she’s not nearly as talented, witty or culinarily gifted as the real one. Amanda grew up in the suburbs or on military bases, but ended up in the country on a cattle and chicken farm an hour from any sizeable town. She is an amazing stay-at-home, homeschooling mom to four children, ages 11 to 4.

Amanda and I really “clicked” as we started our photography journey about the same time, last spring, and it has quickly become a passion for both of us! Most of her subjects are her beautiful kids, the cows, her mother-in-law’s flowers and her weeds (“they’re prettier in a picture than in real life”, she claims). She enjoys editing (with PSE 7) and continues to learn daily. The tutorials she writes are very basic and well documented so that brand new users can learn how to use their editing software. Amanda’s tutorials have been an amazing resource for me!! I had owned PSE for years and rarely ever used it because I didn’t know how.

Amanda has recently started Everyday Elements, online workshops and video tutorials for PSE users, where you can find lots of free actions, tutorials, workshops and more.

Today Amanda is going to share one of her basic tutorials that can be used for any picture!

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Hi there! I am thrilled to be guest posting here at TidyMom! Cheryl invited me to do a guest post and after my initial excitement, I started thinking about what to share. I tried to think of a quick, “tidy” trick to share with you and I hope this one hits the spot.

Whether you shoot with a DSLR or a point and shoot, I recommend getting some a photo editing program. There is so much you can do with your images, regardless of the camera used to capture them. The program I am using today is Photoshop Elements, but this tutorial will work in regular Photoshop (CS5 or earlier versions) just as well.

With almost every picture I edit, I do this edit trick which provides light while also boosting color and contrast.

Step 1: Open your image in PSE or PS. Create a Gradient Map adjustment layer by clicking on the half black/half white circle (see “1st”). Then choose ‘Gradient Map.’
adjustmentmenu

Step 2: Once the Gradient Map options pop up, navigate until you see the B&W option, click on it. If you don’t see this menu, click where the * is and another fly-out menu will appear, then choose ‘Default.’
gradmapBW

Step 3: Click on the Blend Mode menu box (1st). A menu will either pop up or pop down. Choose ‘Soft Light’ (2nd).
blendmode

Step 4: Lower the layer opacity to suit. For portraits, I usually lower this down to between 15% and 25%. For still life, I usually keep it higher.
layeropacity

Here is a before/after shot, with nothing else done to it, not even sharpening. I wanted to show the effect
collage

Here is a little tidbit – I use this technique with 98% of my edits. Never right at the beginning, but usually before I finish with an image, I will have used it. I love it and I think it adds just the right amount of definition to most shots.

I hope you find this helpful. If you give it a try, let me know your blog address or Flickr stream so I can go take a peek.

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Thanks again Amanda, you are SOOOO generous with your knowledge and I learn something every time I talk to you or read one of your posts!!

Seriously people, if want to learn more about editing, head over to Amanda’s sites and even consider taking some of her online workshops, they’re VERY affordable and you will be amazed at how much you will learn!! The Everyday Elements Facebook page is another thing you don’t want to miss……..she has been known to “give out” free actions and more to those who “like” her!!

This tip “works for me”…..so I’m linking up at We Are That Family’s Works For Me Wednesday

 

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About TidyMom

A self-proclaimed neat freak, Cheryl chronicles her journey through homemaking on her blog, TidyMom.net, where she shares recipes, tutorials, crafting and her ever-growing love for photography. This St. Louis mom juggles her passion for life, her daughters and her tiger-loving husband, all while her obsession with tidiness cleans up the trail blazed behind her. Google+

Comments

  1. 1
    Infarrantly Creative says:

    Wow I love learning from a pro. My skills are so limited and it feels so daunting. I will bookmark this and try it out. Thanks Amanda!

  2. 2
    Infarrantly Creative says:

    Wow I love learning from a pro. My skills are so limited and it feels so daunting. I will bookmark this and try it out. Thanks Amanda!

  3. 3
    Heather - Dollarstorecrafts.com says:

    Thanks for the tip! It's subtle but it definitely makes a difference!

  4. 4
    Heather - Dollarstorecrafts.com says:

    Thanks for the tip! It's subtle but it definitely makes a difference!

  5. 5
    Jen @ tatertotsandjello.com says:

    Great tips! I really need some in this area. I will be trying those out soon. Thanks!

    XOX
    Jen

  6. 6
    Jen @ tatertotsandjello.com says:

    Great tips! I really need some in this area. I will be trying those out soon. Thanks!

    XOX
    Jen

  7. 7
    Diane {createdbydiane.blogspot.com} says:

    What a great tip.
    I have ps8 and have not used it much, always seems to complicated. I love the step by step! Thanks I will certainly be trying it :)

  8. 8
    Diane {createdbydiane.blogspot.com} says:

    What a great tip.
    I have ps8 and have not used it much, always seems to complicated. I love the step by step! Thanks I will certainly be trying it :)

  9. 9
    Mike Hamilton says:

    Hi. I came across your blog and wanted to offer you to be listed on our giveaway blog network: Giveaway Scout (http://www.giveawayscout.com). Have a look and use our online form to add your blog (http://www.giveawayscout.com/addblog/ ). Thanks, Mike

  10. 10
    Mike Hamilton says:

    Hi. I came across your blog and wanted to offer you to be listed on our giveaway blog network: Giveaway Scout (http://www.giveawayscout.com). Have a look and use our online form to add your blog (http://www.giveawayscout.com/addblog/ ). Thanks, Mike

  11. 11
    Travels in Heels says:

    Thank you so much for this! I just purchased PSE and I know nothing about it!

    Thanks,
    Sara
    http://www.travelsinheels.blogspot.com

  12. 12
    Travels in Heels says:

    Thank you so much for this! I just purchased PSE and I know nothing about it!

    Thanks,
    Sara
    http://www.travelsinheels.blogspot.com

  13. 13

    How awesome is that?!?!? So cool! I love how generous she is.. what a super tip!!

    Blessings-
    Amanda

  14. 14

    How awesome is that?!?!? So cool! I love how generous she is.. what a super tip!!

    Blessings-
    Amanda

  15. 15
    bridget {bake at 350} says:

    What a great tip! I don't use Photoshop Elements, but this is inspiring me to try! Thank you from a DSLR wanna-be! ;)

  16. 16
    bridget {bake at 350} says:

    What a great tip! I don't use Photoshop Elements, but this is inspiring me to try! Thank you from a DSLR wanna-be! ;)

  17. 17
    Life Without Pink says:

    I have Photoshop but never seem to have the time to fully learn it. This was great!

  18. 18
    Life Without Pink says:

    I have Photoshop but never seem to have the time to fully learn it. This was great!

  19. 19

    I copied this post before I saw your copyscape I want to be able to link back to it when I get my Photoshop Elements Let me know if thats ok if not I will delete it

  20. 20

    FYI – The Photography Haven link is not working. Notation says it is “gone” or subject to deletion soon. Too bad!

  21. 22

    This is a great tip, thanks!!!!

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