April 5, 2012

Beach Beauty

The photo this week is from Alicia at Project Alicia.
She has some magnificent blossom photos you need to see...
perfectly aglow in the "golden hour".
She's posting tips on how to capture that moment,
so go see her blog!

This is her SOOC photo for us to edit.  Love the starkness, the sky, and definitely the curve.  

Here's my edit...

What I like:

  • The vibrant, sherbet-like colors of the "sunset"
  • The wispy "movement" in the photo with that gorgeous curve and the flight of the added kite.
  • The stark graphic nature of the tree
  • The added tree's shadow

How I did it, working in Photoshop CS4

  • As usual, I always start with a simple sharpening - slight quality loss is always there from importing.
  • Curves, working on dramatic sky, masking where needed
  • Lowered the brightness
  • Levels adjustment, masking where needed
  • Vibrance adjustment
  • Hue/Saturation adjustment.  At this point, it is very dark, and the colors aren't yet correct
  • Put in a lighting effect in sky, to simulate the sun; shines through clouds, around tree, onto beach
  • Made tree shadow.  Selected the tree, copied, rotated, then stretched it a bit by pulling handles, then reduced opacity
  • Put some brightness back in the sky to illuminate clouds
  • Dodged highlights, and burned the tree and shadow to increase contrast.
  • Blurred the background, to blend the colors
  • Another brightness/contrast adjustment
  • Used the channel mixer to change into the "sunset" colors
  • More dodge and burning
  • Added a kite...  from a sunset photo I took on vacation, which worked so well with the naturally backlit kite tails. They already glowed!
  • Small crop
  • Add a slight vignette, and resized and sharpened for web using free  mcp actions

Thanks, Alicia, for providing a fun edit!
See the other creative entries at  the Edit Me Challenge


  1. Love your edit! I especially love the tree shadow & the kite! Great job!

  2. Wow...is that even the same picture?!? Fun edit. :)

  3. Beautiful!! This is so creative - and absolutely beautiful! I hope you'll post some photos from your trip ;)....I'd love to see the pic that the kite came from! :0) ♥Collette

  4. Really like the shadow and kite- no easy tasks. And very unique additions! I haven't messed much with the channel mixer, but boy does it give it some drastic effects. Loving all the unique adaptations to this photo. Thanks so much for participating. I can hardly believe that was my photo!

  5. Your edit and cropping are great. I really like the pop of color in the sky.

  6. oh wow that is spectacular thanks for sharing :) x

  7. Such a vibrant creative edit! Great job!!

  8. Wow! What a creative edit....the colors are truly amazing!

  9. Nice job! Love the addition of the kite and the fantastic colours :)


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