it’s been a while…

Since I posted a black and white picture.

 There’s no denying that my heart belongs to good, clean, classic color but every now and then I get the urge to play.


This shot of Pi’bears was seriously nothing special when I took it. (besides the subject matter of course…she’s pretty special)

Let me bare my soul and show you the SOOC version…


(It’s okay, I’m secure within myself. One day maybe I’ll even post a picture of me with no makeup! HA!)

I ran my basic b/w action (grab it from the drop down menu up top) which gave me this…


Still blah. Very blah. I adjusted a few layers by erasing back areas that I thought needed to be tweaked and got this…


And then I brought out the big guns – the dodge and burn tools. I burned many of the shadowed areas (neck, coat creases, dimples, hair) at about 8% exposure over and over until I achieved the deep, rich look I wanted. Then I dodged the highlights on the zipper and fur collar with a very light hand, just enough to give it some depth.

And there you have it!




Thanks to all of you who headed to Ally’s blog to encourage Janel and her family yesterday. I know it meant a lot to them! Somebody’s kindness is about to be rewarded:

Selena posted this comment on Ally’s yesterday:

Hi…I found you through Erin’s blog. Glad you had a great day together 🙂 Our Father is able to do all things….God bless you and give the strength needed for each new day!!”

Selena, email me and I’ll hook you up with Amanda for your necklace. I hope all of you who came out of the woodwork to support Ally and her family will continue to do so over the next TWO YEARS of their battle with Leukemia. Can you imagine being eight years old and having two years of such treatment ahead of you? They need all the love, support and prayers they can get. Won’t you join me? =)

Lacey ReimannNovember 18, 2009 - 9:27 pm

Definitely a gorgeous b&w. You’re so lucky that your cute kids let you take cute photos of them!

DanielleNovember 19, 2009 - 8:01 am

Beautiful pciture – and thanks for the little tutorial of how to achieve – off to take pics now and try it!

tara pollard pakostaNovember 19, 2009 - 8:15 am

I will definately offer support and encouragement to your friends.
I cannot imagine dealing with that. so stressful and heart breaking…
God be with them.
and that photo is absolutely PRECIOUS beyond words! LOVE what you did to it!
you are an editing master and your actual photo didn’t even really need to be edited!
you should see how bad mine look sooc!!!!

Tina RNovember 19, 2009 - 12:21 pm

So adorable!!

I’ve been following Ally’s story since you posted about it. Keeping them in my prayers! I can’t imagine how emotional & physically draining it is for all of them.

HillaryNovember 19, 2009 - 4:34 pm

She is adorable! Great photo.

NatalieNovember 19, 2009 - 5:43 pm

I’ve not used the burn and doge tool yet in photoshop. Thanks for showing what it does.

What if you were to play with the settings while it was still in color to bring out those shadows and highlights, do you think you could achieve that same look after applying your b/w action?

adminNovember 19, 2009 - 7:38 pm

Hi Natalie! =) I actually usually run my b/w action AFTER I’ve already processed the pic in color so, yes, you’re right that it can give it a similar effect. Just wanted to show the steps straight from an unedited pic. And even on an edited color pic turned b/w the dodge and burn tool will help you out. Have fun! =)

Taunya CastilloSeptember 21, 2010 - 7:03 pm

I have to tell you, I downloaded your B&W PS action and am so mega impressed!!! I have a few different ones but this one takes the cake, even my hubby was wowing some big wows when I showed him my picks turned B&W. SO THANKS!!!!THANKS!!!!THANKS!!!! Oh almost forgot how much I loved the color pop one as well, it also helped out some of my B&W’s to give them a bit more well pop!

ericaMarch 11, 2011 - 4:39 pm

Hi Erin,

I just bought your clean color for elements and I AM IN LOVE!!! Thank you so much for making it! I had a little bit of trouble downloading it but eventully got it figured out (5 hours later!!) One quick question…how do you download the B/W action into PSE that you mention in this post? I am really new at that and I know it is probably super easy…I don’t know what to do after I click on it and it just takes me to a PSE page! HELP

adminMarch 13, 2011 - 10:25 am

Hi Erica,

I’m not an expert on actually loading actions into PSE. There should be a link or two in your Clean Color appendix though that will point you in the right direction. So glad you’re loving the tutorial!

Helena VirpiApril 21, 2011 - 9:34 am

Hi Erin!

I bought Clean Color as soon as it came out but due to some sad personal events I haven’t been able to really start studying until now. TOTALLY IN LOVE WITH IT! I have already noticed some huge improvements on my editing (was not really impressive to start with, gotta admit, lol).
Now about this post and your free actions.
You say “grab it from the drop down menu up top”. Would you care to elaborate? (I got that far that it’s on the left side bar and not up top – what a genius, huh?)
How do I grab it and upload on my mac? I have PS4.
If I double click on the action, it opens a page which shows a long string of words.
If I left click on it, it shows the address. HELP! What do I do with it???

Also on the Clean Color pdf file Read Me First you talk about a bundle with the CD. No CD, no bundle?

Helena VirpiApril 29, 2011 - 2:25 pm

Erin, I got it!

JasperMarch 3, 2015 - 1:19 am

Do you accept “applications” for official letter writers?

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