I decided to accept the challenge proposed by Brian Auer in “Edit my Photo” Project.
Here are the original image and the final image:
Step 1: Croping
By looking at the image you see that it is basically right composed, but, the subject needs to be closer to the viewer of the frame. Therefore, I need to crop the picture…. respecting the standard format…. or… and here comes my idea: a square crop keeping the rule of thirds in place. Not all pictures are fit for a square but this one is: the subject is little and placed over a clean background.
Step 2: Desaturating
The colors of the original photo are a bit washed-out but instead of increasing the saturation and contrast, I prefer in the case a picture like this (who doesn’t have many colors in it) to desaturate it. However, since the background is the see, I give it a teal tint. (Image -> Adjustments -> Black % White).
Step 3: Contrast
Now I want to bring some contrast to the frame, so i go to Image -> Adjustments -> Curves -> Medium Contrast. As you can see I only used preset functions since I feel like I don’t need anything more complicated for this picture: simplicity is a golden key to beauty. 😉
Step 4: Highlighting the Shadows
I am almost pleased with the look of the result except one thing: the subject is more like a black silhouette, with not so visible details over it even if it’s in perfect focus. I went to Image -> Adjustments -> Shadow/Highlight and made the bird lighter… but wait a minute: this step distorted the entire background by making it too white. Lucky, the bird is easy to crop from the background and putting it into a different layer saves the background.
Step 5: Tri-Tone
After the Shadow/Highlight effect, I played a bit longer with the colors of the bird (only) because I seemed to me too green. Hahaha let me make it yellow! That was a joke, of course. I added more blue instead of green so that the result was converting the picture from duo-tone into tri-tone. Once I’m happy with the bird’s look, I merge the layers so I can go on with the final steps.
Step 6: Noise Reduction
I move myself farther from the monitor to see if everything is good enough: neah… I need to brighten the image. Done. Now it’s OK. I resize it to 900×900 and get into my NeatImage plug-in in the Filter Menu. Carefully not to oversharp the edges of the bird, I remove the noise that formed during the above processes.
Step 7: Border
I resized the Image Layer a few pixels less than the Background Layer and added an inner stroke of 3px from the Layer Style Menu. Once again, simplicity at the maximum.
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