I love this time of year in Louisiana. We never really get a cold hard winter here, that is very rare. But, every year when it is time for the kiddos to head back to school my Spider Lilies bloom. A little surprise of a flower. They come up from the dirt with just a straight stalk and the flower explodes on the top. No warning at all. The greenery comes later to feed the bulb. Today I share a pic that I took a few days ago of my red ones.
So, lets talk about how it was processed...
I am shooting a Nikon D800 in raw. I open my pics in Lightroom because I an not a Bridge lover. I mainly use Lightroom as a file organizer, rarely do I edit in LR. I will set my white balance there. So easy!! On this image I used a preset called, Sunflare Left (RAW Pretty Preset) 2, I searched and can't find where I got it from. SORRY. Then I opened into Phtoshop. I am working in CS5. Next I ran Coffee Shops free action called Velvet Cream. I will be honest.... I use this action on so many of my pics. Here is what I do, it is very versatile.(the link is bellow)
I run the action, turn off all of the layers from top to bottom. Then I start at the bottom layer above my original image and I think, does this make it better or worse? The first is a is a sharpening layer. I never ever ever sharpen my entire image. I always selectively sharpen. So on this layer, I will mask in the part that I want to be sharp. Then I keep going up the layers turning them on and off as I go, masking bits and pieces if need be.
Now, that I have rambled on... non of that was my sharpening tip. After I am finished with the action. I use a keyboard shortcut to combine all my working layers into one image. By not flattening the layers together, I can go back and make any changes down the road. Make sure your top working layer is highlighted. Then hit Ctrl, Shift, Alt E. Once you have your new combined layer, I duplicate and go to Filter, Other, High Pass. I have my settings on 6.5. (I can't tell you why, this is just what I have found to work over the years.) Now, you have 2 options, you can change your blend mode to Overlay or Softlight. If I am using this to sharpen things on a portrait; eyes, lips, etc. I will always use Softlight, If I am sharpening a thing like a barn or a pine cone, I will use Overlay. Adjusting the opacity as needed so it looks real. Give this a try and see what you think?! The High Pass filter is in both Photoshop and Photoshop Elements.
Here is a link to The Coffee Shops Velvet Cream action.
Here is a link to Pretty Presets shop.