I thought I'd write a little insight to my post-processing work behind my latest horse fair photos. Really simple playing with the masks and it's kind of a selective coloring without turning the background totally black and white.
All the pictures can be viewed larger. Here we go!
|The original photo|
I started off by reducing noise (Filter > Noise > Reduce noise > 10/0/100/0) in the background. I used a layer mask so that I could only have the reduction in the background area. The filter reduced too much of the details of the horse and I didn't want that.
After that I used a premade color toning action to make the image a little more interesting (at least in my opinion). But as you can see, the action leaves the area around the horse's eye a little too dark so...
I combined the visible layers into one (Ctrl+Alt+Shift+E) and added an ordinary empty layer on top of that. Then I used a white brush and painted over the dark area (on the empty layer) and changed the layer mode into Overlay. So it made the area around the eye a little lighter without looking unnatural.
Then I added some vibrance to the photo with a Vibrance adjustment layer keeping my eye on the horse and the rider only because...
...then I added a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer and desaturated the photo keeping my eye on the background. Then I used the layer mask to paint the vibrant tones of the horse and the rider visible again.
So basically that is it. Another way to extract the object from the background a little more. I'm sure that I'm not the first one to figure this out, and that there are many different ways to do the same, but this is mine. Then I just did final little tweaks to the photo.
At the end I sharpened the photo a little using a high pass filter (Filter > Other > High Pass) on a copy of the combined layer. Then I changed the high pass layer mode into Soft light. This adds a little more definition to the photo.
And the blurry green branches were distracting so I cloned them out.
And that's it! I think it's pretty neat little technique and I wanted to share it with you guys. I hope you enjoyed the tutorial, let me know :)