January 27, 2012

Fairy Bear

Moving along to Week Four at the Edit Me Challenge brings us another sweet baby...  and this little boy in overalls makes me nostalgic. *sniff.   My favorite outfits for my little boys were those adorable denims - so cuddly!  (lol! I don't think I would ever catch my sons in those now!)  I think this cutie needs a Fairy Bear visit.

Before the edit

Photoshop has such diverse uses.  This week I brushed up on photo composite skills...  blending several different photos and effects to create a totally unique photo.  With the little guy looking off to the left, it makes the viewer wonder what he's enthralled with.  So the canvas was expanded to allow us to see what it is.  And I totally made up what he was seeing - and that sure was fun.  The project involved suspending "someone's" love-worn bear from the basement rafters in order to get the hovering and floating fairy bear look. (Thanks for understanding and sharing your bear!)

To the right you can see the "Before", courtesy of Ashley Sisk, and you can visit Ashley here.

It took some brainstorming and trial and error to come up with the final idea, and also some hair pulling when Photoshop quit in the middle of the project.  Twice.  And no, I hadn't saved my work.  So this was also a review of Photoshop Lesson Number One:  ALWAYS SAVE YOUR WORK AS YOU GO ALONG. And that reminds me of Lesson Number Two:  When you're finished, always back up your work on another media device... CD or flash drive, or whatever.  I could launch into a rabbit trail about that one.  But I won't.  It brings up painful memories of lost homework projects.

So here is the final edit.  You can read below of how I went about it.

The Edit Process:  
The Little Boy:
First off was working on the color, tone, brightness of the little guy.  Some of the adjustments were: Brightness/Contrast, Vibrance, Levels, Curves, and Exposure. I would mask off partial areas, because I wanted to compensate for the bright area on his face yet lighten up those bibs to see details. Also, I blended a warming filter on parts of his face and hands, and also added a cool filter to bring out the blue in the denim and shirt.  Used a Gaussian blur and surface blur to soften skin.  I used the dodge tool to  help brighten areas of the jeans, and also to highlight parts of his face and clothing details. I think I used the sharpen tool as well. Then I went to task on making a mask selection to extract him from the background.  Tedious, but had to be done!
The background canvas was expanded and a midnight blue fill layer was added.
I put in an omni lens flare for the bright light spot and directional little flares.
The Fairy Bear:
Photographed the bear (If I posted a photo of what that looked like, it would make people wonder about me...) Extracted it and placed it in the photo.  I used the wings of a fairy style brush, masking out the rest.  Duplicated layers and played with blend modes.  Used an outer glow and played with the settings.  It was more "effervescent" before I flattened it at the end.  Oh well. It's still cute!
Then I put in some more light flares and swirls by using round brushes and swirl brushes with different opacities,blend modes, and colors. Expanded the canvas to add the patterned matte.  Expanded it again to add to outer matte.
I gave it is final sharpening, using mcp actions for web sharpening and resizing.  You can find info on those at the mcp action website here

One of my boys (who shall remain nameless) was in the play Peter Pan.
Here's the parting refrain:

If you believe in fairies,
clap your hands!


  1. You did a nice job with this!! I like the addition of something for him to be gazing up towards.

  2. That is too cute lol. Love the fantasy, bedtime story feel to it.

  3. So sweet!! What a cute idea to make a Fairy Bear....I just showed your final photo to LM (who is holding his Bear right now) and he got a big smile :)

    Amazing work!!

  4. What a creative edit - very nice.


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