June 4, 2011

Perfect Callie

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One of my favorite Saturday rituals is to go back and reprocess old images. As skills improve, and new tools become available, it can be a rewarding experience.

And speaking of new tools, I recently installed the public preview of onOne Software’s Perfect Layers and played around with it. After only 5 minutes with the program, I can honestly say, I think its a game changer. It is a must have piece of software.

This image is a favorite of mine. A candid portrait of my friend’s daughter, Callie. I posted it last summer. While I was very happy with the original, I wanted to see what I could do with it in Perfect Layers. What you see above is the result of about 5 minutes work on that original file.

Here is a very brief walk through with screens shots. You can click on the images (as well as the main image above) to get a better look in a Thickbox overlay.

1. Select the image in Lightroom and launch Perfect Layers from the File > Plug-In Extras menu.
That gave me the image in the new Perfect Layers interface. Its pretty intuitive.

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2. Copy the layer and apply the Screen blending mode to the top layer.
What’s really cool is, when you mouse over the blending mode options in Perfect Layers, you get a preview of what it does. That’s something that Photoshop doesn’t do:

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3. Painted out some of the background to keep it darker:

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4. Copy that layer again, then apply Soft Light blending mode:

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Full disclosure, I am an onOne affiliate, and do benefit financially if you purchase the software through my site. That said, I would not be an affiliate if I didn’t firmly believe in their products.

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