Recipe time!!!

I have this picture of my youngest baby.
It is just a little snapshot of my baby growing up. Not too special but something I wanted to share with family and not be embarrased about.
There was a annoying basketball hoop on the left side so I cropped it out. Here is the original after the crop.

I have some blown highlights and the white balance is a bit off so I took care of that first.

Then I used a Levels layer with the grey dropper and adjusted white balance. (I forgot my WB cap and had to use auto. DOH)
Flatten the image then duplicated the background and set to Luminosity at 40%
Open up Shadows/Highlights and adjust the settings to:
Amount: 75%
Tonal Width 51%
Radius 30px

Amount 89%
Tonal Width 60%
Radius 85

Color Correct +6
Midtone Contrast +4

Opened up a curves layer and set my output to 235
Reverse (fill the mask layer with black)
Use a soft brush to reduce the blown highlights a bit more.
Right now it looks a little dull and a tiny bit grey to me so I flattened it and ran Clowning and Painted lady from the Carnival set (unavailable but coming back soon) over it.
Here is what it looks like before adding my favorite two actions.


For this image I ran Clowning (Carnival set) first.
The saturation was a bit much for this photo so I reduced it to 0%
I also adjusted the density of the filter layer to 45
Reduced the color fill to 55%
Reduced the opacity of the entire action to 55%
Merged the group
I selected the "background" layer and ran Painted Lady (carnival set)
I then moved the Painted Lady group to the top of my layers and reduce the opacity to 65%.

Here is the final image:

And the before and after to you can see how it looks. :)


All in all it looks much better to me. Still a little bright on one side of her face but not as bad as the original. I also reduced some of the shadow on the right side so it balances out a bit more. Definitely something I won't be embarrassed to share with my family very soon.


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