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tip toes | daydream collection | lightroom 2, 3 and 4

daydream collection for lightroom 2 & 3 and lightroom 4.

tip toes.

a soft matte lightroom preset with muted colors.

for lightroom 3 and lightroom 4

ideal for: photographers who like soft tones, matte looks, low contrast, subtle toned images.

to get the ‘look’: soft light or filtered light is especially nice. shoot with wider apertures and/or long focal lengths with wider apertures.

tips: DO adjust white balance before or after. DO use the adjustment brush to make the focal point pop more. DO be you and make this your own.

you get: both presets for lightroom 3 and lightroom 4. for lightroom 2 users please install lightroom 3 version.

tip toes | from the daydream collection for lightroom 3 & 4

contains: 1 soft matte color preset


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cinnamon | freebie | photoshop


i love fall! it’s my favorite. it’s been a while since i have shared a freebie. this sweet little action has a touch of spice…cinnamon to be exact that gives the bokeh and background a lovely cinnamon tint. simple yet complete. dodge and burn layers, a wash, cinnamon color…everything thing you need for a sweet fall touch.

here are some tips to use this action to the max:

start from the bottom most layer and work your way up.

- the bottom Levels layer. please tweak this to specifically suit each image. midtones are the middle slider- left to brighten, right to darken. far left slider is the darks- left to brighten, right to darken.

- cinnamon layer. using a soft black brush mask off everywhere you do not want the cinnamon tones. adjust the opacity of the layer to control the overall cinnamon tones in the entire image.

- wash layer. love this layer. adjust the opacity of this layer to taste. then take a soft black brush at about 30% opacity and swipe it over the main subject- especially the eyes themselves, lips,  hair and clothing or anywhere you want to remove some of the wash. keep swiping to remove even more.

- depth layer. a teeny tiny contrast pop. use a soft white brush at 50% opacity for a subtle touch and 100% for the full effect.

- contrast layer. adjust opacity of this layer to taste. then using a soft black brush, erase the effect off the areas you feel may be too heavy in contrast.

- dodge it layer. use a soft white brush at 10% opacity, select the GRAY mask and dodge the areas of the image you wish to lighten. for example- the whites of the eyes or teeth, maybe the catchlights in the eyes. take it easy- less is more.

-burn it layer. love this layer too. use a soft black brush at 10% opacity, select the GRAY mask and dodge the areas of the image you wish to darken. adjust your brush size for the job. some things you may wish to burn are: the background, the clothing, the hair, the eye lashes of the subjects. the cinnamon action fades the image a bit- put back some contrast on the eyes and the main subject using some light burning. turn this layer off and on to check your progress as you work so you do not over do it.

that’s it. easy stuff right?

a before:

an after:

currently i only have the photoshop version available. i will release the elements version in about a day or so. i will add to length of time this action is available as needed to allow elements users to have access to this action too.

this action is free for a limited time. grab it while you can!

cinnamon action for photoshop

cs4, cs5 and cs6

(may work in cs3- but i no longer test in earlier versions)

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finally it’s here! cinnamon for elements

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squeaky clean lr4 | quickie edit | daybreak

my point behind quickie edits are not to show extensive editing. often there is more that can be done. but i think you get the idea right?

this is a snapshot (gasp! why not share amazing images all the time? because i am keeping it real. i want the focus to be on the edit and what is going on not wowing you with my work)

i took this just after sunset. so the golden light is all gone leaving behind what? almost an overcast like shadowing which can make raw sooc skin tones kinda bleh.

i purposefully chose not to tweak the white balance so you could see what the presets are actually doing. not hiding behind a bunch of little tweaks or white balance fixes -

which frankly good white balance can make a ‘meh’ image ‘wow!’ just like that!

anyway back to our edit here…

Daybreak is a nice preset- it slaps that dull reddish skin away and replaces it with nice coloring…see?

i used the brushes to bring back detail that ethereal preset had washed out a bit. kodachrome adds a nice subtle but rich color depth to the reds and blues especially.

in photoshop i might tweak the skin tones a bit- they are pretty cyan here. you may not. i would also normally tweak the Tone Curve in lightroom but also did not here (so you could just see the presets at work)

but in just a few clicks and a few brush swipes you can see what i have done in less than 2 minutes on an image.

snapshots are my favorite

i cannot speak for other photographers. i can only speak for myself. but i absolutely love snapshots.

my personal facebook is full of them. recently mostly ducks- not my kids. probably to the annoyance of all my friends.

but as a photographer that really loves capturing the real stuffs of life…it’s what is happening in my life and i want to document that.

i see myself as more of a documenting kind of photographer than a fancy fashion kind. so 98374392 duck pictures are what is going on in my life right now.:P

i also edit my snaps. it’s my time to play. try new things. get out of the box a little. i might not change anything permanently in my style…but i love to play and try new things.

so here is a personal fav snap of mine.

i used my multi-purpose non-fancy 70-300 vr lens. i shot in aperture mode and set the iso to 2200 because these are just for me and i am letting my camera set the exposure.

i hate shooting manually on a lens whose aperture changes if I am at 100 or 300mm. it’s too much to keep up with when i want to shoot on the fly with moving targets.

so first up…

how i would normally edit this image. i adore bw. this is my hazy daisy bw preset with exposure cranked down. i like it dark.

i wanted to play. i thought…you know what.?

i want COLOR.  velvia is a type of color film. it’s really rich and often not so hot on people photos as it can make skin really orange or weird.

i made a color preset that was inspired by that very look. it also looks weird on people usually and can make the eye whites look really scary. so use on people with caution.

this image with the red mower and the blue skies screamed- try velvia!  to me. so into squeaky clean i went and i played warm water and then velvia (which only changes saturation/vibrance and hue panel).

i really love what it did to the sky. brought out the vivid blues and it made the red snap.

now that may not be everyone’s flavor. it’s not my usual flavor either. but i had fun and i think it really works here!

and then something that is very popular right now. the matte/hazy look.

i went into my wildflowers essentials for lr4 set and played chocolate lily lite. i tweaked it a LOT. lifted shadows, pushed contrast…a few other little things.

same snap. 3 different plays. my preference for this image even though it’s not my usual?

the velvia version. i’d love to print it and hang it in my kitchen of all places.:D

i challenge you to take a recent fav snap and play. i’d love for you to post your favorite play on my FB wall.

get those creative juices flowing!

squeaky clean for lightroom 4 | golden kiss urban | before and after

not having to tweak a preset is NOT normal. but serendipity occasionally strikes. this is one of those times.

i love what this preset did to my greens. it adds a bit of a vignette, a touch of clarity, some adjustments in the hue panel, and some other little things…

the new SC for Lr4 tries it’s best to stay as close to the Lr3 version as it can but it’s not 100%. tools are missing from Lr4 that were present in Lr3 and tools that were never in Lr3 are new to Lr4…not to mention some tools remain but have been completely updated in their function. like the exposure slider seems to work a lot like the old brightness slider (which is now gone in Lr4). the new clarity slider is REALLY great. missing now is the odd haloing effect it used to cause when using it a little heavier, but NOW present is an odd desaturation in colors. working around for that is to globally increase saturation or tweak the hue panel some. but overall- i am really enjoying most of the changes.

also new to Lr4 is that the tone curve NOW has color curves (awesome!) and the adjustment brush can now paint on white balance, tint, noise removal , shadow and highlight effects…really like that!

anyway…here is my progress report and teaser for the new SC for Lr4.

will be adding more photos to this post…so keep checking back!;)

d700 | 300mm | f/5.6 | 2200 iso | 1/500

and my after…


and how about this silly pic with a squeaky edit?

d700 | 155mm | f/4.8 | 2200 iso | 1/1600 ss


white balance is off. so let’s try adding some green…magenta looks a little high…then warm it up…