Natural light photographer, I thrive on these fleeting moments where the love, joy, or soul shows. My artistic background is always showing through my photography work. You will get the more formal portraits, they are after all, what we are looking for at first . But beyond that, candid moments, soulful mood, unexpected places is also what I want to bring out... I hope you'll like my photographic vision...
Isabelle ♥

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

3 Steps Pop Tutorial

I will share with you one of the easiest way to make a portrait pop, by darkening the background and drawing attention to the face.  3 steps.  That's all there is.  You could use a pop action, but as much as I love actions, sometimes our photos just don't work with them and adjusting every step of the action can take more time than these simple steps.

Open your your photo in Photoshop (CS or Elements, same process)

1-Copy your background layer, blend it using "Multiply", an opacity between 50 to 70% will do.  Add a layer mask and paint with a black brush over the face or subject you want to bring out.  Multiply mode darkens your photo, so you will see the background becoming darker.

2- Copy the layer you just worked on, blend it using "Multiply" again, this time  around 20-30% opacity.
The layer will already have it's layer mask painted, so no need to do it again, just adjust opacity to your liking.

3- Merge layers if you wish to edit your photo further.

That's it!  You can do the same thing for brightening a photo using "Screen" mode or "Soft light" mode.
It really works better than playing with exposure and risking adding noise to a photo.
On the layout below you will see from original to last step, subtle and natural darkening, just enough to bring attention.
Have fun playing with your software!


Kristina November 2, 2009 at 8:57 a.m.  

Dear Isabelle, thank you for sharing! It is always nice to read step by step tutorials, especially when you make sound it so easy! I "found" multiply not so long ago and try to use this blending mode more and more - it is really amazing how you can change a photo like that! Lovely picture too!

Merlot November 9, 2009 at 10:13 a.m.  

OMG thank you SO MUCH for this! I am only starting to learn layer modes and this is such a nice, easy 'fix' that makes a world of difference. Love it!


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