Category Archives: Shop Talk

{‘Shop Talk’ – Shadows with Hats}

Yes!  It’s ‘Shop Talk’ Friday! I love these days when I can post anything photography related!  Today…it’s hats and the shadows they create.   I love using hats to accessories my clients, unfortunately sometimes those cute hats can create flat eyes and loss detail.  But there’s an easy fix to brighten things up that brings life to the eyes in the process.  This is before any edits are made.  I like the image but the visor makes her eyes darker than they are and there’s loss of detail as well.

To isolate the area under the visor, I used the lasso tool (feathered at 30-40%) and selected the areas under the visor.  I then selected the ‘Curves tool’ and only adjusted the shadows and mid-tones up a small amount.  Depending on the image you may need to adjust the highlights as well.  A little goes a long way with this tool.

Once the curves adjustment has been made you’ll see that the eyes have popped and her skin from chin to forehead is pretty even with the shadows.  I didn’t want to eliminate ALL the shadowing under her visor since I wanted it to look natural and their naturally will be a small amount of shadowing when your subject wears a hat.

After some  saturation and contrast – here’s the final image.  :)  Easy peazy!  Let me know if you have any questions.   I love getting your e-mails with comments and requests.  :) Keep’em coming!

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mugsie5April 27, 2012 - 10:11 am

this is so touching plus the note for Brielle is so real. You can feel the little boy and his pain

NicholeApril 21, 2012 - 12:57 am

Brilliant! You and your details are amazing. Thanks for sharing!!

Payton NApril 20, 2012 - 12:54 pm

You make me a better photographer. Your attention to detail is admirable.

Ashley AnneApril 20, 2012 - 11:20 am

So so smart. I’ve never thought to do that. Awesome tut!!

JessicaApril 20, 2012 - 10:27 am

You are awesome! Thanks for sharing your gift!!

Sabrina LizzariApril 20, 2012 - 10:18 am

What a great tutorial! I never thought to try to fix the shadows. I just thought I’d have to use different photos that didn’t involve a hat since the shading was so harsh. Thanks for sharing!!

mugsie5April 20, 2012 - 10:01 am

great teaching session

{‘Shop Talk’ – Correcting Blue Hues in the Whites of Eyes}

As I was looking through my photos thinking about the things that catch my eye when I look at a photo and begin to edit.  One of the things I always notice are the whites of the eyes.  I NEVER EVER lighten them since that will make eyes look unrealistic, ghostly, zombie-ish, not good.  But I do however look at the hue of the whites.  Sometimes the resulting photographs appear with a very prominent blue hue.  When my photo is warm but the whites are blue – that bugs me {personal opinion}.  So here’s what I do to fix this.

Here’s the before photo (all editing complete except for the whites of the eyes being too cool for this image) :

Final Image:  Small very subtle change but a more color cohesive photo.

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Neil HansenMarch 23, 2012 - 5:08 pm

Just came upon your site after seeing some pictures a friend commented on on Facebook. Your style is beautiful.

Jessica BMarch 23, 2012 - 5:05 pm

I love these tutorials! Mentoring?????? YES!!

mugsie5March 23, 2012 - 5:03 pm

once again, I love the image.

Tasha ChristensenMarch 23, 2012 - 9:53 am

Love this! Thank you! I can’t wait till you start offering workshops. I have faith one day it will happen! I want the processing one – and an on location shooting one! :o )So freaking talented girl!

Katie BeckettMarch 23, 2012 - 9:24 am

love your posts. all of them.

Malcolm G PhotographyMarch 23, 2012 - 9:19 am

I saw your work through a link someone posted on a forum. Thanks for sharing these photoshop tips with all of us.

HeatherMarch 23, 2012 - 9:12 am

I think you need to mentor, like soon! You are amazing.

Laney Henry WMarch 23, 2012 - 9:08 am

I get so excited when you post to this series. I never thought to look at the whites. Yes small change but it does make a difference. TFS!!!

{Shop Talk – Lens Distortion & Fun Accessories for your camera}

Let’s talk Lens Distortion.  Lens distortion can be an artistic blessing or an annoying curse, right?  Lens distortion happens a lot with cameras that have zoom capabilities. It’s most apparent when there’s a straight edge in the image near the edge of the frame. This distorts the image.  But there is an easy fix in Photoshop!!  If you go to ‘Filter’ – ‘Distort’ – ‘Lens Correction’ you can alter the annoying warping that takes place in some of your images.  It’s most apparent in architectural images and in the lines of buildings and doorways.   More detailed steps are shown below.  Easy, right?

Now let’s chat about camera accessories – specifically, camera straps!  Who doesn’t love a fashionable and fun camera strap that’s comfortable too?  There are so many cute ones out there.  I have one I love that’s no longer sold :(  Here’s some of my favorites currently available on Etsy:

I love this and want this to be my next camera strap.  I think it would be a great conversation piece too! It’s made by Rosebud Lips.  I LOVE IT!!

These are unique, fun ones that I really like too. Love the crime scene strap – how creative!  And below that is a wrist strap with a masculine style that works for men and woman.  The sculls are so cute too!  These 3 are made by PhatStraps

Chevron patterns are so in right now.  Aren’t these cute?  They’re made by  A Diva and 3 Dudes Design:

I love fun photography accessories so I’m going to be incorporating these into my Shop Talk Series.   Thanks for all your e-mails. I’m sifting through them and getting the most common asked questions addressed first.  Keep the e-mails coming:  Thanks!!

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LisaMarch 11, 2012 - 8:40 am

Thanks for including our chevron strap covers!

Sabrina HMarch 9, 2012 - 10:24 pm

Im a new fan and wished I’d found you sooner. Great series. I anxiously await new post they’re filled with gobs of inspiration.

Bren kMarch 9, 2012 - 7:21 pm

Seriously great series. Thank you!

MelanieMarch 9, 2012 - 1:38 pm

I love all of those camera straps. Perfect timing since I’m needing one! Great info on lens distortion too!

Holly Anne MillerMarch 9, 2012 - 1:35 pm

Great tip! I get that distortion no matter how hard I try to avoid it. Now I can fix it! Muchos Gracias!

{‘Shop Talk’ – Chromatic Aberration}

It’s that time again!  Shop Talk!  I love doing this series and covering topics that I focus on in my images.  Today is all about ‘Chromatic Aberration’ and how to avoid/correct this annoying occurrence in Photoshop.  So what is Chromatic Aberration?   Chromatic Aberration is a distortion in color also called ‘color fringing’.   It’s a common problem that occurs when the lens can’t bring together all the  color wavelengths into the same focal plane.  It’s very common in high-contrast situations.   Most of us have seen this and it’s a pain since it doesn’t represent the true look of the photo.  But there’s a way to correct it!   I’ll explain it using the images below.  So the first image it’s hard to see so I’ve blown up a portion of Brielle’s ‘high contrast’ shirt so you can see where I have to correct the color dispersion.

In the blown up area, you can see more of the color aberration that I need to correct.
To correct this in photoshop go to ‘Filter’- ‘Distort’ – ‘Lens Correction’.   You’ll find the sliders used to correct the distortion to the right.
Depending on the image you are correcting the sliders will need to be altered accordingly.  Make sure you blow your image up (200%+) to see the aberration problems so you can move the sliders according to the colors that need to be corrected on your image.
below:  correction made
Final Image with ‘Chromatic Aberration’ corrected.  It’s a small change but makes the image look a little cleaner, minimizing color disruption.
I hope this was helpful.  I’ve been getting some topic suggestions from blog viewers.  Feel free to e-mail me at with any suggestions you might want me to cover.  I’ll try to get to them as I can. Thanks for viewing my Shop Talk post!

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Veronica ZFebruary 26, 2012 - 11:50 am

Very informative tutorial. Thanks for posting!

TessaFebruary 25, 2012 - 7:32 pm

Great info Kara!! TFS

sherry bolesFebruary 25, 2012 - 7:29 pm

Thanks for sharing that, Kara. I had been told to do it another way and it never worked for me.

Melissa KohlFebruary 25, 2012 - 6:01 pm

Fantastically wonderful series Kara!! I’ve been in business for 3 years but I still learn new things from your posts. I would love to hear more about how you style your sessions. You have an amazing eye for capturing style and personality in your sessions.

AnonymousFebruary 25, 2012 - 10:33 am


LoriFebruary 25, 2012 - 10:32 am

I love these “Shop Talks”! Would love to know more about how you adjust colors in your images and how you make those eyes POP! Beautiful stuff!

KendraFebruary 24, 2012 - 7:58 pm

Awesome information. I hate it when my photos have fringe but I didn’t know a good way to fix it.

mugsie5February 24, 2012 - 3:07 pm

How did you learn all of this?

Layla LeeFebruary 24, 2012 - 12:48 pm

such a great tutorial. You rock! Thanks for sharing!

JessicaFebruary 24, 2012 - 12:26 pm

I have never heard of this but as I look closer at my photos I see the color aberration. Great tutorial Kara!!