I am currently updating my wedding and portrait portfolio. When I choose a photo to showcase to clients, I then try to get the best of the image by creating a “Master Image.” This is a multi layered Photoshop file, that builds up the best elements I like in the photo. To illustrate- here is a photo that I like. I like the moment contained in the image, but its otherwise too busy for my liking.
The background color is distracting with a lot of busy elements- the first step is to apply a black and white conversion with Nik Silver Effects Pro, using a layer mask to bring back the original color in the flowers, and 25% color saturation selectively painted in with a Wacom pen and tablet.
OK, now I still feel the background is a little distracting so I added a little motion blur. This applies over the whole image.
So now that the background is suitably non-distracting, I need to bring out the faces and flowers. I do this by applying a layer mask to bring back the ‘sharp’ layer below. I do this by using the Wacom tablet and using 100% opacity on the faces, 50% on the flowers, and 15% on areas of clothing that I want to blend back into focus.
The final print with white borders. I cropped in on the image to show the elements of the frame that were most important to me. I then noticed that the wedding party in the backgrounds clothing was distracting in color. I added another layer of BW and painted out the color in that area.