Playing with Photoshop Actions

There is something special about a black and white photo. Without the distraction of colour, it allows the shapes, the light and the contrast in an image to sing.

I thought I’d play around with a monochromatic look for this gorgeous photo of Clara. Sometimes it seems ridiculous to change a photo of her to black and white, simply because she has the most spectacular blue eyes, and her lips are the perfect shade of pink. Still, without the distraction of colour, you can see just how glorious her smile is.

This was the photo, SOOC.

Happy girl
Happy girl

I cropped it, used the spot healing brush to edit out the last little bit of cord on the right, then used this tutorial to extend the frame on the left. Because there is texture in the sheet, I also used the warp tool to try and replicate some of the movement. It’s not perfect, but I think it’s a good skill to practice.

crop-and-transform-2-for-webFirst, I tried the default Black and White edit. Pretty simple, but the image looked flat.

default bw
Default BW

Then, I hit the auto button, just to see how things would changed. Not bad.

auto bw
Auto BW

Looking at the original image, the areas I wanted to highlight were Clara’s eyes. By changing the Blues slider, I could darken her eyes to make them stand out.

Blues adjusted
Blues adjusted

I then started playing with some actions I’d come across. The first one was called Pink Cashmere from The Coffee Shop Blog. It’s clearly pink, not black and white, but for a baby, it’s pretty sweet! I did play around with the matte layer opacity to sharpen things up, but it really didn’t need too much adjustment.

pink cashmereThere’s another action from the same blogger called Indigo Ink, but I don’t think it’s the right one for this photo.

indigo ink matt 30I then went hunting for another set of actions, and found these. I loooooove the Brandy version, and I think it’s the winner.

bw miracle designGosh, what a perfect little face.



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