Fix It Friday | Edited by Nicole Mathison Photography

Today I am participating in Fix It Friday from I heart faces.  Every Friday they post an image for others to try their editing skills on.  This is the original photo taken by Dana Suggs Photography and used with her permisson.
This is my edit using Photoshop CS5 and some of my favorite Michelle Kane actions
So how did I achieve this look? 
  1. I bumped the levels and ran a curves adjustment to lighten the skin and bring out some of the blacks and darker tones in the picture.
  2. I cloned out the skin imperfections as well as a bit of the discoloration under the eyes, around the mouth and on the side of his face.
  3. I ran a vibrance boost layer to bring out the colors in his clothing as well as the background.
  4. I ran the color boost action from MK at 70% on softlight to further enhance the colors, while masking it from the skin and a little bit from the second chair where the color was too intense. 
  5. I dodged some areas of natural highlights on the skin, chairs and clothing.  I burned some of the background above his head, on the wall, below the chair and the scrap metal behind him to darken them up a bit. 
  6. I ran the mellow out action from MK at 60% on the face and arms to tone down the reddish/orange tones of his skin from the original photo.
  7. I ran a guassian blur layer at 29% to the skin to smooth it out just a bit while keeping a natural look.
  8. I did a slight hue/saturation boost to the irises of his eyes just to enhance the color, then ran a slight sharpening to them as well using the eye-citement action from MK.
  9. I ran the bland to brilliant action from MK to defog, add contrast and a midtone boost to the photo.
  10. I burned the edges of the photo to create a vignette and draw the eye in to his face.
  11. Finally I ran an overall sharpen to the photo.
Normally I do not run so many actions while editing my photos, but I recently purchased this set and thought the Fix It Friday photo would be the perfect time to try some of them out 🙂  They really speed up my workflow!  Note, I never just run an action.  They have fully adjustable layers with multiple options to customize each step of my editing process.  Just for fun, here is a black and white edit just adding the heirloom action from MK.

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