And here is what I did to go from before to after. In ACR, adjusted the white balance and exposure. Then opened the image in PhotoShop and took the following steps:
1. Ran a defog action to get rid of haze (digital cameras tend to make your photos look fuzzy, or foggy, like they have a film over them.)
2. Created a new layer and adjusted the highlight (7%) and shadow (2%).
3. Flattened image and ran the PowderRoom action from Coffeeshop; brightened the eyes just a touch, and softened the skin slightly.
4. Used Selective Color to lower the yellow and magenta cast.
5. Lightened/brightened the right side of the face.
6. Cleaned up the dark circles under eyes by using the Patch tool. I usually create a new layer, do the work on cleaning up the dark circles and then adjust the layer down to 50% for a more natural appearance.
7. At this point, I thought the image was a bit on the cool side, so I added a warm Photo Filter at 15%.
8. Resized and sharpened for web.
That's it! It took around 3-4 minutes to do the above. By the way, it's taking me much, much longer to write out the steps! I don't have a "formula" or one size fits all approach to my post processing, but I do generally tend to brighten the eyes and the overall image. Sometimes I like a nice clean look and other times, I favor the artsy look.... it just really depends on the image. And now, just for fun, I ran a few of my favorite actions to show you more variations of the same image. Be sure to leave a comment and let me know if you enjoyed today's post!
This has sort of a vintage look to it feels more modern than old fashioned.
This has a little more color and depth than the original version.