UPDATED clean color tutorial update and QUESTIONS ANSWERED!

Edited to answer a few more questions from the comments section:

There will be international shipping. =) UPDATE: Clean Color will be an instant download, available for anyone not living in the Huntsville, AL (or surrounding) area.

– There will instructions on how to download, load, and run actions.

– However, the video is not an in-depth tutorial for how to create, download, and run actions. Actions in my workflow are a means to an end, not the end itself. There will be web processes shown and actions included but there will not be an action for how to “save as jpeg” (as requested by Kathleen in the comments section). 

– For the “full photoshop” version I’ll be working in CS5 but I’m not using any of the new features so everything I do should be compatible with any version of photoshop you’re working on. If you’d like me to name a “minimum version” I would say CS2…which is actually what I prefer to edit on because I’m used to it. But really, I think you’ll find benefit even if you’re running even older versions. For the elements version I’ll be working in PSE8 and I would recommend that you have PSE5 or higher. However, if you don’t have PSE5 or higher you will still find value in this tutorial. You just may not be able to accomplish the full range of what I do.

– I really want to release both version simultaneously and I’m still in the process of finishing the elements version and pulling together all of the additional resources that will be featured on the video. For that reason the release of both versions is still (soft) set for the end of September.  Update: January 10.

– I’ll address my preference of JPEG vs. RAW on the bonus FAQ that will appear on the CD.

– If you are shooting in RAW then you’ll need to start by processing your RAW images to a neutral base level (exposure, white balance, etc.) before beginning my workflow, just as you would regularly.

– There will not be a PDF document accompanying the video but there will be plenty of other resources in the appendix. I do hear many people requesting a PDF though and I’m taking it to heart. However, I know the limits of my time and I know I cannot create a PDF at this point. It may be available in the future but not this year. Having said that, there will be a table of contents (of sorts) that will indicate the minute/second marks where individual modules start which will make it easy for you to review only certain sections of the video.

– I am a portrait/lifestyle photographer so this video really only addresses those types of images. I’m sure the information contained can be translated to landscapes but that’s not what I shoot so I won’t say that with 100% confidence.

– If you are a member of a forum or other online community and you would like to share about the release of Clean Color, go for it! I don’t plan to  become a vendor or an affiliate for any of these places (at least not that I can foresee). I created Clean Color because enough of my readers asked for it and I see it as a tutorial for those who are interested in MY work and MY process. If you think you know of others who will find benefit in it then you most certainly have my blessing (and thanks!) to share about it.

– For those who asked for a before and after example, here is one that is contained in the video:

– Finally, if you are signed up for my newsletter and are still having trouble receiving it, please make sure you have clicked on the confirmation link that was sent to you in a follow up email. This may possibly be found in your spam or bulk mail folder. The confirmation link will take you back to this blog. YOU ARE CONFIRMED if that happens. Also, the newsletter itself my appear in your spam or bulk mail folder so please look there. =)


Lastly, thank you for the OVERWHELMING excitement and enthusiasm regarding the Clean Color Tutorial Video!

Original Post:

Tuesday afternoon I sent out a newsletter to those on my photographers mailing list (see sidebar to the right) regarding my Clean Color Tutorial Video. If you did not receive it and you signed up BEFORE last Tuesday afternoon (9 days ago) then please check your spam mailbox. You may also need to double-check that you activated your subscription using the link in the email sent to you when you subscribed (this may be in your spam box as well).

In the newsletter I invited you all to ask questions regarding the Clean Color Video. I want to be sure that you know what the video IS and what it ISN’T and I thought the easiest way to do that would be for me to answer your questions for you. So this web clip is my attempt to do this. Please ignore the following:

1) My crazy eyes and incessant blinking. I created this web clip three times. I was crazy by the second time.

2) Any repition of words, phrases or ideas. I created this web clip three times. I was crazy by the second time.

3) My lack of smiling and general seeming unfriendliness. I love you guys. But it’s past 11 and I created this web clip three times.

3) The grain, noise, and general lack of quality. I’m a photographer not a videographer. I most certainly won’t quit my day job. 😉


Just a few quick notes that I think are worth repeating in regards to the video. (and a few things I might have forgotten to mention)

– Clean Color will be a hard copy CD, not a download. There will be a version for Elements as well as full Photoshop.

– It will include everything I do in post-processing from beginning to end. It will briefly include Lightroom but only to show how I cull and sort images there.

– The CD will contain a variety of resources in addition to the Clean Color Workflow Video to include access to all of the images I work with in the video so you can play along at home, a bonus FAQ of me chatting and answering any and all questions you have for me (no holds barred), actions related to my process and an appendix with links to additional resources.

– Because the Clean Color Workflow Video is created using screenshot software you will see my screen as I work. For two hours. If you are a novice Photoshop or Elements user then you can still very much benefit from this video because you’ll be able to easily follow along as I work. Not much (if any) prior knowledge is required.

– Finally, this video is not for local photographers. I think it is to the benefit of each of us to develop and hone our own processess in order to differentiate ourselves in the local market.

Melissa HunnicuttSeptember 2, 2010 - 9:38 pm

Can’t wait!

staciSeptember 2, 2010 - 9:51 pm

ARGH! The movie keeps stopping after about a minute and restarting…not sure why..doesn’t matter I will be getting the video I already know! SUPER excited!!! 🙂

BradSeptember 2, 2010 - 10:30 pm

Thanks Erin for explaining exactly what your CD and video are meant for and what they’re not meant to do also. I think you made everything very clear. Thanks also for putting this package together as I know it was time consuming!

LaurenSeptember 2, 2010 - 10:50 pm

Can’t wait. This is going to be great! So glad that Karen encouraged you to share your Photoshop post-processing skills! Oh, I wish that you could go ahead and release the full Photoshop version since you have it ready!!! 😉

AmySeptember 2, 2010 - 11:46 pm

Woohooo! So excited to see this! I know you’ve been working so hard and it’s going to be awesome!

ToniSeptember 3, 2010 - 12:29 am

I really, really want to know if there will be international shipping? Please, say YES :)))

Rebecca BrighamSeptember 3, 2010 - 5:09 am

Yippie! Here’s something for the FAQ: It might be helpful to talk about how to download the included actions. Sometimes this can be a little challenging in PSE. Can’t wait!

LaceySeptember 3, 2010 - 6:20 am

Hi Erin!

I’m so excited for this video! I’m wondering if you might post some before and after shots on your blog so that we can see where your editing starts and finishes… we all know your end product is AMAZING, but I’m guessing your beginning image is pretty great, too. It’d be kind of like ‘purchase my video so you can see how I got from here (SOOC) to here (edited)’…

Thanks for putting the video together! It’ll be fun to hear your sweet southern accent for 2 whole hours. 🙂

Taunya CastilloSeptember 3, 2010 - 7:19 am

This is exactly what I needed to see to know if this would work for me and YES!!! I am so excited! I am a beginner photographer from Karen Russels class (Highly recommend) and and struggling in my post editing and spending way too much time on each photo than I know is necessary. Then doing them over again at times! Question: When you say full Photo Shop do you mean that we only need the basic PS version or is there a # we should at least have? I work w/ CS3 will that be ok? Thanks for this info very much!!!

DawnSeptember 3, 2010 - 7:22 am


The web video clarified lots of things…thanks for taking the time to do that. Can’t wait to have your video in my hands 🙂 Thank You for bring so willing to share your process!!

The Rancher's Wife KateSeptember 3, 2010 - 7:26 am

Thank you so much Erin. I will for sure be purchasing the early bird full photoshop version!!! I am a rancher’s wife, a mama to three boys who all want to be cowboys when they grow up and we have about 4000 yearlings. I just recently started a photography business for my rural community so they don’t have to drive 2-3 hours to take pictures. I have had such a great response, and I look forward to learning more with your CD. Thank you very much!!!

elizabeth HolderSeptember 3, 2010 - 7:52 am

YEs!! Christmas has come early!! Thanks so much Erin – I am beyond excited –

Simply SaraSeptember 3, 2010 - 8:02 am

ok, this is exactly what i need! just starting out in photography and after watching your video i will definitely be purchasing your cd! yippee, i’m so excited! (please tell me you’ll ship to canada?!?!)

Helen walshSeptember 3, 2010 - 8:08 am

Bring it on!!! Will you be willing to post the cd to the Uk?

AimeeSeptember 3, 2010 - 8:17 am

Woot Woot!

I cant wait for the Elements and super excited that it will be CD!

KelliSeptember 3, 2010 - 8:30 am

I love your style, and can’t wait to see the cd. I cheered when you said you didn’t shoot in RAW. I was worried that I was one of 3 people in the world that shoot JPEG.

blissmamaof3September 3, 2010 - 8:33 am

Wow, thanks so much for the video intro to Clean Color. I cannot wait to work with it. You did a great job explaining the contents and intended users. Really excited to see the finished product!!

chesleySeptember 3, 2010 - 8:59 am

yay! so excited!!

karenSeptember 3, 2010 - 9:27 am

Cool beans! I’m am so excited for this! I’m sure it’s been a lot of hard work. Thank you so much for sharing your technique with us. Can’t wait!

teresa bSeptember 3, 2010 - 9:31 am

So excited!! Can’t wait!

JJSeptember 3, 2010 - 9:48 am

I am so excited and cannot wait!!!!!

DJSeptember 3, 2010 - 9:55 am

sooooooooo excited! can you pretty please start selling the full photoshop version since it is ready??

MickeeSeptember 3, 2010 - 10:01 am

Been waiting for this tutorial ever since Karen Russell posted that information on her blog and I’m so glad to know that it’s almost finished and will be available soon. I’m giving birth in November, and I would really like to be able to get some beautiful shots of my baby so this post processing will be helpful to me. Thanks to Karen, I’ve learned a lot in her class on how to shoot portraits and getting my exposures correctly, but nobody beats a correctly exposed image and some rockin’ knowledge on post processing… 🙂

Lorena MoraSeptember 3, 2010 - 10:10 am

Erin, thank you so much for doing this, you are awesome! I am so excited speaking from a total beginner that just wants to make my kids and family photos look better. I can’t wait for it and I’m so glad it’s a CD makes it easier for me as I’m not that computer savvy, but I’m learning little by little.

MelanieSeptember 3, 2010 - 10:50 am

Hi Erin,

Thank you so much for making this video to answer all our questions! I know it must have been very time consuming and really appreciate all the extra effort you put into this. I can’t wait to order the CD when it comes out!

Karen from BrookvilleSeptember 3, 2010 - 11:20 am

I loved the video and gee, your eyes weren’t freakish at all 😉

I do have a question. Can you briefly explain why you have chosen jpeg over RAW. I started with jpeg and switched to RAW thinking I would have a lot more control for processing, which I think I do, but I have personal knowledge of your final product and knowing that you shoot jpeg, I am wondering what I am missing. Any explanation would be appreciated.
You do such wonderful work, thank you for sharing your brain with us.

Alis in WnderlndSeptember 3, 2010 - 12:01 pm

Thank you so very much for all your time and effort to make a great tutorial CD! I’m so excited. I know PS pretty well and super comfortable with it, but I have yet to nail down my processing. I am very excited to hear your process since I love your images and Karen Russell’s. THANKS!

As a side note, I’ve heard why you shoot in only jpeg, but why do you shoot and edit in sRGB? I can upload to my lab in any color space, so I’ve been focusing on AdobeRGB. Not sure I really see much difference.

EvaSeptember 3, 2010 - 12:54 pm

Thanks for this little video.. it answered so many questions for me. I am very much looking forward to your video tutorial… been waiting for over a year :-). One question: since I shoot in raw, do I need to edit differently than you do with your jpg images to get the same results as you are getting? ie. more contrast, boost, or sharpening due to the in camera changes that occur to a jpg? Thanks. ~ Eva.

PauletteSeptember 3, 2010 - 1:14 pm

I’m so excited! You have no idea! 🙂 Thank you SO MUCH for taking so much time to do this for us. You’re awesome, Erin!


DebbieSeptember 3, 2010 - 1:23 pm

Yippie! So excited you are putting this together! I’m really looking forward to learning your PP method! Very happy this will be on a disc rather than a download, cuz some of us still live in the land of dial-up! Your work is so amazing and I appreciate you sharing your secrets with us!

KariSeptember 3, 2010 - 1:57 pm

You’re awesome Erin! Thanks so much, and again Can. Not. Wait!! So excited 🙂

ShaeSeptember 3, 2010 - 3:30 pm

Excited!!!! Thank you for generously sharing your talent!!!!! 🙂

MichelleSeptember 3, 2010 - 4:07 pm

Erin, by chance is one of the things lacking in PSE the use of layer masks? Because I hear this often but as an avid PSE user, I use layer masks ALL the time using the Grant’s Tools plug-in. No reason to even “fake it” with an adjustment layer clipped on, so I just wanted to bring that up. I suggest using REAL layers masks in your PSE video if you want to include layer masks. Not sure if this applies but just in case. 🙂

Also, I would LOVE to see one or two “before and after” shots on your blog. This will help me decide if I what I need most right now is a better understanding of “Erin’s SOOC technique” or if what I need most right now is a better understanding of “Erin’s editing technique”—does that make sense?

Natascha GambleSeptember 3, 2010 - 4:39 pm

Hi Erin 🙂

Wasn’t sure if i wanted the vid. but after watching your ‘what is the vid about’ I KNOW I’m GOING TO GET IT!!! CANT WAIT!!!

Thank you so much!!!

Kathleen DSeptember 3, 2010 - 5:15 pm

Thanks for the video. I too would like to see a before and after picture if at all possible. I have taken various photoshop classes about retouching but I really do LOVE your photos and would love to learn as much as possible about what you do. I guess I am trying to figure out if what I need to learn is your processing or is it that your SOOC shots are just so amazing in and of themselves. I’m sure it’s a bit of both! But it would help me to visually see how your processing might help my shots for where they are right now with my skill level.

Also having spent a bunch of time making actions I would like to know how you make an action that involves the save as command since each file’s name is unique. The actions I have made constantly have prompts in them that still slows me down. Is it something better fitted for batch automation or scripts? Hope that makes sense. Will you specifically shows us or gives us an action for save as jpeg and save for web?

Thanks. Congratulations on this new endeavor!

HeatherSeptember 3, 2010 - 5:21 pm

Great job on the video. You are too hard on yourself! Anycase, I think someone else asked this but what version of Photoshop or maybe the question is what should be the oldest version of Photoshop this tutorial will apply too. I am not a fan of technology at all but want the more advanced tool since I want this photography hobby to last for life. So I am skipping elements and going straight to PS. Just let me know what minimum version I need and I will buy the video and PS and start studying. Thanks Erin!!!!

DarleneSeptember 3, 2010 - 5:36 pm

Thanks for explaining so much about your video and answering so many questions! Can I add one more request to the ones I’ve read above to share a couple before and after photos with us? I seem to be in the same place — I absolutely love your photos, but I’m not sure if more photograhy help or more post processing help is my biggest need right now. It would help so much to see the difference your processing techniques make on your SOOC photos. Thanks!

MollySeptember 3, 2010 - 5:57 pm

So excited about this video! Thank you for taking the time to put it together. Photoshop can be very overwhelming, so I’m excited to learn each step you do! You mentioned in your video about a PDF document to go along with the video (and that you probably weren’t going to do that). Just thought I’d let you know I would love that if you would consider it for some future project. It would be super handy for when we’re editing our pictures someday and think “now how did Erin do that?” and look quickly at some notes instead of trying to find the exact moment in the video.
But, if you are thinking, “NO WAY! Haven’t I done enough for you people?!”, then that’s totally understandable! Thanks for your hard work!

KristenSeptember 3, 2010 - 8:17 pm

Erin, I have loved you forever, almost since the begining of your blog and you are one of my favorite photogs! Thank you so much for doing this. I have learned so much from your FAQs and I am excited to learn more about your pping since I struggle with that.

SophieSeptember 4, 2010 - 12:50 am

I am so excited! Can’t wait for the video!
I just have one more question: Does it apply for every type of photography (including landscapes and travel photography) or only for portraits and family photography?
And also… will you be shipping internationally? please say yes!!

HeatherSeptember 4, 2010 - 5:56 am

Great video! Just one question will you be shipping to Canada? Can’t wait if so!

Deanna HerrleSeptember 4, 2010 - 1:25 pm

Thank you Erin for embarking on this ‘labor of love’. I enjoy learning all I can in my limited time of raising 4 young daughters!! You are definitely a teacher at heart & have been blessed with the fabulous gift of photography. I am very excited to make this purchase in order to improve the quality of the photos I take of my 4 daughters.

HeatherSeptember 4, 2010 - 9:48 pm

Erin, I also wanted to let you know that a PDF companion would be great but I understand what a project that would be! I agree with one of the previous posters that it would be great to look back at a PDF overview to find the process or tips rather than having to search the entire 2 hour video. Keep us posted on upcoming mentoring opportunities. I’m in the Houston area but will travel. Thanks for being willing to share your talent!

Kathleen DSeptember 5, 2010 - 7:02 am

Great question asked above about whether your process is useful for landscape photography or only for portraits. I also would love a pdf if at all possible.

LisaSeptember 5, 2010 - 7:46 am

So glad you will be offering a bundle for both CS/Elements as I am thinking about upgrading. Can’t wait to see the tutorial.

tanyawebsterSeptember 5, 2010 - 1:59 pm

totally love that I know exactly where you are sitting when you filmed this 🙂

you did great and look as cute as ever girl!! stop being so hard on yourself!!! It is AWESOME….just like you 😉

Casey MooreSeptember 5, 2010 - 6:08 pm

Thank you so much Erin for taking the time to share your unbelieveable talent. I am so thankful to have found you through Karen Russell (and thankful for her too!). I am looking forward to seeing the video and improving my post processing skills. I have been looking for a workflow tutorial for years, but have been unsucessful and this is just what I needed! Sometimes I get so lost when editing and forget what I’ve done or forget what I need to do! My birthday is this month, so I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate than with your video! I can’t thank you enough!!

Happy AstorgaSeptember 5, 2010 - 9:37 pm

Thank you thank you thank you!!! This is exactly what I have been needing! I am so excited!! Your video was great- you made it very clear what to expect from the tutorial. Thanks for doing that and making the CD!

mary ann allenSeptember 6, 2010 - 8:48 am

Thank you, thank you Erin!!!! I am on your list and sooooo excited for the birth of your new photography baby!!!! I am ordering the minute I get the email confirming that it is now available to purchase!!!! Thanks also for thinking of the elements people. I will be purchasing the combo set, as I will be upgrading to the full photoshop creative suite someday. You are the best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Mary Ann

Janna JenningsSeptember 6, 2010 - 9:39 am

I have CS5. I do not shoot RAW at this time. I am planning to start, though. Since I don’t do it right now, I don’t know what you mean by “processing your RAW photos to a neutral base”. Does your video explain this, or could you please point me towards a tutorial for it? I can’t wait for your video to come out. Thanks for creating this.


MichelleSeptember 6, 2010 - 10:19 am

Hi Erin, I hope you don’t mind another question…do you edit all your images globally or do you use layer masks to edit only parts of an image?

Katie FultonSeptember 6, 2010 - 10:44 am

Janna- here is a link to a raw video, from what I have read, I dont think her video will go into raw, because she doesnt shoot it.
It’s not amazing, but it gives you the basics. Just look down the list on the side, youtube usually has some good videos on how to do things in photoshop.

JenniferSeptember 6, 2010 - 11:16 am

This might be a question for the bonus FAQ. Would you be willing to share how you get a photography business started? What do you have to do? Thanks!!!

PennySeptember 6, 2010 - 11:58 am

Super info video! Really answered a lot of questions. Thanks!

Debbie In CaliforniaSeptember 6, 2010 - 3:20 pm

Thanks Erin for covering all my questions I sent you in this video! I am one of those Elements people looking to go to full PhotoShop soon, so I’ll be on the look out for the bundle! Great idea! Looking forward to the release of the CD!

TashaSeptember 6, 2010 - 8:08 pm

Awesome! I am SUPER excited for you to release the DVD!!! 🙂

LaceySeptember 6, 2010 - 9:01 pm

Hi Erin…

One more question… is this video a one time deal? Or is it going to be available for awhile? Um, does that even make sense? Ha – hope you understand my question… 🙂


LioraSeptember 6, 2010 - 11:10 pm

Hi Erin –

Can’t wait for the CD! Two questions: similar to one of the previous posts – I shoot in RAW but am just learning photoshop. Will you be instructing us regarding processing to a neutral base? Also, I went through a phase where I was shooting at a very wide aperture no matter what the situation and as a result some of my photos are very soft (almost blurry). Will you be discussing any sharpening techniques? I’ve seen some programs advertised that claim to sharpen images but don’t know how reliable they are. Thanks!

Colleen SheehySeptember 7, 2010 - 12:21 am

I am so excited for the release. I am a new elements user. So glad you are releasing both the PSE and PS at the same time. Thanks for thinking of everyone!

Jenna MahoneySeptember 7, 2010 - 6:30 am

I am so glad Karen encouraged you to share your processing. I cannot wait. I have 3 albums I am doing for Christmas so this is coming out just in time. Thank you for taking the time to do the Elements version as well!! I will wait patiently sitting on my hands for the release. You may be flooded when that email comes out. Get ready!!!

TracySeptember 7, 2010 - 6:58 am

Hi Erin…I’m so excited to get this video!! Thank you for taking the time to put this together for those of us who love your photography & editing process. I’m so happy that Karen introduced us to you. WOOHOO…It’s like Christmas in September!

Lovely CeeSeptember 7, 2010 - 7:33 am

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!! i am obviously flippin excited:)

MaribethSeptember 7, 2010 - 8:31 am

Oh I can’t wait for this! Thank you!

anna bowkisSeptember 7, 2010 - 8:59 am

so excited, cannot wait!!

TammySeptember 7, 2010 - 7:26 pm

For your FAQ – Could you talk a little about starting up your business? What are the keys to success? And what are your tricks for working with kids? Thanks!!

Becca~TimeWellSpentSeptember 7, 2010 - 10:41 pm

I’m so excited about this! Thank-you!

ElizabethSeptember 10, 2010 - 3:14 pm

I have a couple photography related questions that I’m hoping you might answer for the Q&A section on the disk– can you tell us what you use to calibrate your computer monitor and how often you do it? I know you said you’d give examples for fixes for underexposed and overexposed photos. I wondered about suggestions for what to do in Photoshop/Elements for photos with the wrong white balance. I know you shoot in pretty neutral settings, but I don’t know (haven’t read the whole blog yet!) if that means you use auto white balance or if you always set a custom WB. This is my current struggle. I know you’re going to talk about adjusting for different skin tones, so I wonder if that will essentially cover this. So excited about Clean Color!

HeidiSeptember 14, 2010 - 7:04 am

Thank you so very very very much for covering elements!!! I was looking for more tutes on how to cleanly edit w. elements!

Veronika GoisovaSeptember 16, 2010 - 10:16 am

Wow!this would be awesome!Can’t wait to get it!:-)
Amazing job Erin!!

MandiOctober 7, 2010 - 11:42 am

I am an aspiring photographer and would love to get your cd for my elements 7. Any little help and advice, especially from someone amazing like you, is always welcome. A little lost as to how I go about ordering one? I’ll stay tuned and maybe catch it on another blog post:) Thanks.

Terri PorterOctober 14, 2010 - 1:48 pm

I am trying to decide if I need Lightroom or not. I am using CS4. You said that you go through your images in Lightroom. Right now I do that in Bridge. Is there a reason you use Lightroom for this rather than Bridge?

MarileeMarch 17, 2012 - 6:02 pm

Love this I have PSE and this would be a great addition!!!

shirleyJune 8, 2012 - 11:39 am

well i was excited for about 2 minutes until i found out you were in huntsville alabama. I live 30 miles north. o well maybe something else will come along

ten on tuesday. » The PigBearSeptember 14, 2010 - 12:02 pm

[…] 3. Still getting lots of questions regarding the Clean Color Workflow Tutorial. You can find lots of answers in this post.  […]

two fronts. » The PigBearSeptember 27, 2010 - 8:55 am

[…] (Wondering what I’m talking about? Learn more about the Clean Color Workflow Video here.) […]

ten on tuesday. » The PigBearOctober 5, 2010 - 12:25 pm

[…] delay of the Clean Color Workflow Video. If you’re still wondering what in the world it is, go here. The good news is that the beta copies have been ordered and are on their way to testers. Barring […]

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