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Saturday, February 27, 2010

{ do you want your color to POP?? } Photography Tutorial and Action

i tend to use more muted colors in my images but, there is always the occasion that you want things to pop!  you can tell before you see the image.. it has these rich hues just hiding in the shadows.  this mini tutorial and action will help you to achieve "that" look... enjoy!

select an image you'd like to use.. like this one -- you can tell ahead of time her eyes will pop and those warm hues in her hair and the hardwood floor with shine....

{ before }


so, the basics on this action are as follows: 
  • curves layer to brighten
  • selective color - select blacks - move black channel to +2
  • duplicate layer, set to soft light, opacity at 45-50%
  • duplicate layer, set to hard light, opacity at 45-50%
  • duplicate layer, set to multiply.  before flattening, erase back center of photo & skin
without having to do that every time, i have created an action for you.  hit play, let it run through.. at the last step, it should select "eraser" for you and, make sure you erase away the multiply layer.  otherwise, you'll get a very dark, muddy image.  it'll look like this, before you erase:

{ screen shot in PS, before erasing multiply layer }


and, after erasing, the final image will look like this...

And, here is a PS action of all the above steps.... 

to download { Erin's Color Pop } click HERE 


Thursday, February 25, 2010

{ Tip of the Day - Are you underexposing your photos?? } Photography Tips and Tutorials

{Tip of the Day}  This tip changed the way I exposed my photographs from the moment that I learned it.  So, pay attention... it's a super simple concept but, it took me a while to learn that I was thinking about it all wrong.  I used to try to expose my photos so that the line on my light meter lined up right in the center.  It's how i'd always taken pictures!  When I used to take pics with my old-school Pentax film camera, i made sure my light meter was centered and then took the shot.  I thought that was the "right" way.  I would post photos over at ILP and everyone kept saying that my pictures were underexposed.  Ugh!  It was so frustrating!  I felt that I was doing everything right.  Well, at one point someone let me know that you have to expose 2-stops to the right.. simply put, let the little mark line up with the notch 2 lines to the right of the center (this is especially true w/ Canons.. or, so i've been told).  I would have thought this would have blown my whites or overexposed the picture.... nope!  not true!  I've never gone back.  This tip has nothing to do with HOW you meter, etc... it's just a simple tip worth trying out.  Maybe you realized this a long time ago.. but, if you are underexposing your images and making the same mistake I was.. give this a try!  It doesn't hurt... you can't do it wrong.  If it doesn't work for you, don't do it again - if it does... keep doing it!  enjoy!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

{ Design Aglow giveaway WINNERS!! } awesome template winners

{ UPDATE: I failed to hear from one of the winners even after attempting to get in touch with her so, I have changed the list of winners!  Please look at the list to see if your name is there :)  Write me an e-mail at the address listed below and as soon as I hear from you, i'll send your info to Design Aglow.  She sent the template to the other winners on the same day, so you should get it soon!!  Thanks! }

good morning! so, i guess i should have been more clear on how to enter the contest! haha. next time, i'll leave better instruction.  basically, if you did any of the 3 things you should have left a new comment for each thing you did. this would increase you chances of winning since i found my winners using RANDOM.  i was able to easily fix the problem... for each person that did some of the extra things and didn't post a new comment, well.. i just wrote up a new comment list and posted a new order containing the extra posts for each person and then went over to random and found my winners!  phew.  easy, right?  haha!  so, anyways.. here are the winners of the contest.

1. karma_learning
2. tccba (christine)
3. susan m

write me an e-mail at within 2 days so that i can get your contact info to give to the people over at design aglow.  if i don't hear from you, i'll pick a new winner on friday morning.  hope to hear from you soon!

and, who wants to post something w/o a photo!!!  here are some pics of the { 4 feet } of snow we got 2 weeks ago that has failed to melt!  i already posted them over on my photo blog but, wanted to share some here :)  enjoy.. it's a LOT of snow!

my favorite...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

{ Lil' Sprout Greetings - $5 Off Discount Code } lovely custom photo cards

Have you visited Lil' Sprout Greetings lately?  I've used them for my Christmas Cards over the years and, they have not disappointed.  EVERYONE that receives our cards raves about the high-quality paper and wonderful designs.  I upload my photos and she does the rest.  They are on a very nice matte paper that has substance!  Not those flimsy little cards you find at the local discount store. 

If you haven't been to her site yet, go check them out by clicking HERE!

To get $5 off ANY purchase at Lil' Sprout Greetings, enter code ELP5 at checkout!  Fantastic!!

Friday, February 19, 2010

{ Design Aglow GIVEAWAY!! } design template giveaway

Ok people, get ready!!  Here it is... The very first giveaway on ELP Shares!  How exciting!  I know I'm excited.  i'm not just excited about the fact that i'm giving something away... i'm exciting about WHAT i'm giving away!  Three lucky winners will get this brand new template from Design Aglow.  it's based on their best-selling "Sweet 16 Circles" template and, it's called, "Sweet 16 Fleur".... get ready to drool.  ready?

drool......  ahh... isn't it lovely?

All the template details are listed when you click { HERE }

Now, how do we win this lovely template???  You have 3 chances to win.

1.  Leave a comment on this blog telling me how excited you are to win!

2.  Become a Fan of ELP on Facebook to keep up with our giveaways, etc by clicking HERE
While you are logged in.. become a fan of Design Aglow by clicking HERE

3.  Post about this contest on YOUR blog or facebook page

Make sure you leave a comment to let me know you've done those things.  You'll be entered for each (max 3) comments you leave.

The contest runs until Tuesday, February 23rd.  The (3) Winners will be announced on Wednesday, February 24th!!  Tell your friends.... you don't want to miss out on this giveaway! 

{ TOFURIOUS } awesome blog theme

 so..... i'm sure we all know what Tofurious is by now.  we do, right?  we know it.. we love it.  i sure do.  if you go check out my blogsite, you'll see that my template was designed by the one and only Lawrence Chan.  he's the best!  he is so helpful.... sooooooo helpful.  he makes these great tutorial videos explaining everything from SEO information to "how-to's" for his template set ups.  what's not to love.  well, he's giving away one of his templates on my site after WPPI has ended.  it'll be new... fresh.. clean.  i can't wait to share something of his with you.  come back after WPPI to see what's in store for you!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

{ B&W Tutorial.. and the action! } Action Freebie

When I was first learning how to process images in Photoshop,  I used a lot of actions.  The results sucked were not the best.  I didn't know how to use them correctly and I used them on the wrong images.  After stumbling upon i love photography, I learned how to edit images just by reading how other photographers did things.  Granted, they probably weren't working in the dark ages.. aka, PS 6.0 (haha!  do you have $699 to give me to upgrade??) but, i learned to interpret what they were doing and then work with what i've got.  Sooo... the best thing I took away from those early years on ILP was the B&W action that I created after reading how 5+ other photographers created theirs.  It's simple. easy. clean... and, it hasn't "done me wrong" over the years.  The action is completely customizable.. so, i will share a little tutorial and then give you the link to download it for yourselves.  Please.. enjoy.. and, i'm trying to spread the word that i'm back in "action".. so, share my site with your friends!  Go ahead.. you know you want to!!

Disclaimer:  I can't say what CS4 will look like in comparison to my 6.0 but.. hey.. you get the idea!  Don't laugh at me.. even if you want to.  Ok, go ahead. 

Without further ado...

Open the image you'd like to work with


Then, open my action and hit play :)  What goes on behind the scenes is basic. It's 3 layers..  a gray scale gradient map, a color balance layer with the color levels at +11, 0, -5 (to make it slightly sepia toned), and then a selective color layer which is where you end up at the photo below.  When this pops up, just hit OK
first, i must say.. you don't have to do ANY of the following steps if you like what the image looks like.  I have already played with the blacks, whites and neutrals for you but, like i said.. you have the ability to play around.  On many images I find it's perfect.. on others, i have to tweak things a bit.  So, here is how you do that.
you should select BLACKS and ONLY move the black slider.  Play around.. each image is different so, on some you'll want to go darker, on others you'll want to lighten up.  I chose +6 for this image.

then, select NEUTRALS and once again, only move the BLACK slider.  For this image, I selected -4.


Then, last.. you'll want to select WHITES and move only the BLACK slider.  For this image, I selected -4.


 Then.. wa-la!  You are done.  Just flatten your layers and, this is the final result: 

Ok!  There ya go!  Have fun!  Enjoy the share!

Download HERE

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

{We're BACK!} Photoshop Action Share

Hello!  Hello!  Hello!  To my 7 loyal followers, I am back :)  Sorry I was gone for so long but, we are in the process of relocating to the Delaware Beaches!  It was a busy holiday season for my photography business and, with the preparations.. well, you understand.  Either way, I am back to share an action I created for you.  Please enjoy!  It's not for every photo out there.. but, it looks quite nice on the "right" photo.  Feel free to decide what photo is right for you... and, have some fun!

Please come back in the next few days.. I'm working on getting a nice giveaway for you!!

Here are some samples using the action... and, the download link is below:




and, one of my wedding photos.. literally, i mean MY wedding :)  it's me!: 



and, i'm considering sharing the only action i use for my b&w's.. i created it a while back... hmmm.... would you like it? leave a comment if you are interested :)



And, last but not least.. you can download the action HERE 
I hope you have a lovely evening!