Mallee, Photography, Portraits, Reworks

ReWorking the Highlights

Mallee Girl - OriginalThis image was taken almost 2 years ago.  It was taken in the same shearing shed and about the same time as the ghost image last Friday.  I really like this image, well I like the expression on her face, but I don’t like the blown out bits.  It was over exposed, all my own fault entirely.  It was around the time I started doing bracketed shots, and I should have gone back to single shots.  So was the image ruined?

I thought I might use another image, one which had more of a cheeky smile on her face, and I might still do it, but not for today, but that image was better exposed.  So, as you can, I thought, put the images together.  I redid this above image in camera raw and got rid of as many highlights as I could without the image suffering.  I think it is important to remember that since this image was first done I have learned a lot more about using Photoshop and  I’m learning new things all the time.  So how I processed it would be different.

I got the face a lot better, but the bits that were blown out were still a problem.  To correct this I put the above image behind the image that was exposed better, then I applied a mask and let the above face shine through.  It wasn’t quite that easy, but here, take a look.

Malle Girl - ReworkedI hope you agree that this looks a lot better.  The focus is all on her face, and those eyes.  As I said, what I did was hard because of the hair, and to solve some of that I cropped the image.  I was having a hell of time with the hair on top, so I cropped it so you couldn’t tell.  I think the crop works better for the image anyway.

I have darkened some parts of the image.  Also being a teenage girl I had to spend some time on her skin so it looked as beautiful as it could.

I really like the image, of course I know she won’t like it, what teenage girls like images of themselves, but I am pretty sure her mum will love it.

Also, because I could.

Mallee Girl - Color Efex The image was processed with Color Efex Pro.  I used the glamour preset, which seemed very appropriate for this image.  I really like how soft it is.

Mallee Girl - Silver EfexThis one is the High Structure (smooth) in Silver Efex Pro.  I also turned the structure right down to make it softer.  I wonder if I will look at this image in a year or two and think I over did this.  Who know.

She has a great expression on her face and it is great that I’ve been able to make the image so much better than the original.

Red Bubble

Well, after hearing so much about Red Bubble I have decided to give it a go.  No idea if it will work for me, but I will give it a go.  I think selling images is one of the hardest things to do.  I have steered clear of sites like Red Bubble in the past because there are so many images on there, how will anyone find me.

I set up a shop there, and then started reading about selling, and found out how hard it is too sell on sites like that.  I can’t win.  Haha.  Making money from photography is hard.

Anyway, if you would like to check out my shop on Red Bubble then here is the link, Leanne Cole on Red Bubble.  There isn’t much there at the moment, but I will be adding more over the coming weeks.


  1. Really outstanding work! Thanks so much for sharing your tips. I have some old shots I may be able to try this with too

  2. I do like how the b/w came out with it. The second image I felt was quite nice, even though you tweaked in the third it the facial colors felt sharpened in it (second one they were softer, felt more natural), but the b/w glamor did a real good job with that. beautiful capture.

    • It is always great to hear which image people prefer. I never know what the majority will like. Thank you.

  3. I’m really impressed with what you’ve accomplished–it almost looks like HD after the overexposed one. I work with Raw all the time now and I’ve actually been reworking some of my older photos to open them up.

  4. Bubbly Tee says

    *whistles…Amazing difference in images…you are a master now at this skill called photography.

    I agree it is way too difficult to make money on photography. The only ones I see making big bucks are those who have studios and who do portraits. I spent a large sum recently on getting my children photographed.

  5. Okay, Leanne. I have both plug-ins. I couldn’t possibly manage this edit. Sigh… It’s absolutely gorgeous. I cannot imagine that you will not like it as much ten years from now. It’s classic.

    • You could, eventually. I just know from everything I’ve picked over the last few years. I think you might be right, I love the image.

  6. Ugh yeah it can be relally hard to sell your work. Writing is somewhat the same way. I feel ya there. Good luck!

  7. Great improvement on a great portrait. Was this a process of duplicating layers and changing blend modes on each duplicate? Whatever the technique, you have mastered it.

    • No, nothing that complicated, I had another image that was taken at the same time, but the back ground was better, so I put the better one over the top and erase the face so the original face would come through. I did process the original more so I got rid of the highlights on her face. Thank you.

  8. Jackie says

    I’m reminded of a quote: “The quickest way to make money at photography is to sell your camera.” -Anonymous

  9. Checked out you photos on Red Bubble. Those were awesome!
    And I have to agree with you… making money from photography is hard… :)

  10. I am pretty good at outdoor shots, but terrible at indoor ones and often get the exposure wrong…your tips and the photos are very inspiring…thank you Leanne.

  11. Hanno Phenn says

    I really love the second soft one and me the old smoothly the Black and white of cause.Very beautiful .

      • Hanno Phenn says

        Isn’t it strange that still black and white is so popular .We have all the possibilities to alter colour pictures any way we want to and still the old Black and white .Amazing.

      • I think black and white has its place, though I don’t think it is always best, sometimes colour really outshines. I think it just depends on the image. Interesting idea though.

      • Hanno Phenn says

        Yes of cause ,you are right. I was just putting it to the portrait picture here in this case. Of cause there are a lot of fields were colour is far better suited.

      • yep, case by case I think, I like that you don’t think black and white is always best, there are those that do of course.

      • Hanno Phenn says

        Yep, I just fancy sometimes portraits and artistic Body shots in black and white they give sometimes just that little extra and artistic class to it .

  12. Johann Briffa says

    I really like what you did with the second image. To be honest I don’t like the color efex one so much: it looks a little too saturated and contrasty to me. The bw looks great too though I think I still prefer your process (second image).

    • Hey that’s okay, everyone has their own opinion and I don’t have a problem with people liking different ones, it is always good to see what people like. Thanks

  13. Very nice photo and rework! I have always liked your work and learn so much from your posts!

  14. Wonderful job,the second image is much cheekier because the focus has changed from the hair..clever girl :) goodluck with selling your work,i know it can be hard as my daughter felt the same with her artwork…once the rewards start coming in though you will feel very much better ;) saying this she still has a tug of the heart with some pieces ..

  15. WOW! Fascinated me… You are amazing, Thank you dear Leanne Cole, have a nice weekend, love, nia

  16. well done Leanne…I do same, using Lightroom4.4 (brandnew) or the upcoming Lightroom 5 (just test beta Rel.) your model looks great…
    enter our german market or use communities like, from big Newsmagazin,, they recommend for selling images…

    have a great weekend…

    • That is interesting, I hadn’t thought of a particular market like that, I might check it out, thanks for the heads up.

  17. gorgeous image Leanne…you have such wonderful knowledge when it comes to correcting negative aspects of a photo…you must frame this one and place it where it will be visible… :) never hear of Red Bubble, but will check out your shop…have a great weekend…

    • Thanks Heather, my experience and knowledge is getting better. I can’t wait until I am an expert. The weekend has been good so far thanks, we have been out once and got some sunset shots. Not sure how good they will be, time will tell.

  18. All my votes goes to #2 from the top .. so soft and gentle … plus it looks not overworked .. the 3rd photo doesn’t have that natural light in it … have a great weekend.

  19. It definitely looks better! The shadows on her face is gone :) I hope the website works well for you! Love the pictures you chose to post on it :)

  20. Your work is absolutely amazing, you’re one of my role models at the moment, Thanks for sharing

  21. Genius on the photo! Thanks for explaining it.

    Making money on fiction is hard too. Maybe just making money is hard.

    Hang in there.

  22. Beautiful photograph…it looks a lot warmer now which I love. I also love the b & w version very much. Have a great weekend : )

  23. hutchphotography2020 says

    Your treatments are beautiful in this shot. Of course, the Silver Efex Pro is my favorite.

  24. David1985 says

    Re: Red Bubble–Perhaps you need to personalize your websiste, blog, red bubble, etc., more. What about a picture of Leanne Cole. I’ve been following you for several months and have no idea what you look llike. Just a thought.


    • Haha, put a photo of me on it, I keep my identity a secret, you know how we superheros are, haha. If I put one up it has to be a good image, I don’t want it to be some random selfie, the good photo is the problem. I am working on it.
      I haven’t looked a lot at what you can do with red bubble, but I will play more and put more photos up when I have some time. Thanks

  25. Yes, these treatments are really subtle and effective. They are a great improvement on the original. I’m sorely tempted by the software now.

  26. Leanne, you did and excellent job on the photos. I love each one for the different beauty that was brought forth. I’m sure there was a lot of work involved, and it was worth it.

    • Actually it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, still hard, but I am so happy that I was able to do it. I feel like I have learned stuff. Thank you.

  27. Red Bubble looks like a great site. I saved it to my favorites! :D I love all the different things you were able to do with this to make it turn out to be such a beautiful portrait! :D

  28. Nice post! I like the second image. I would have left more in the background – a little bokeh effect. Thanks for your continuing “darkroom dialogue.”

    • Everyone would do it differently I suspect, but I am happy with it, thank you, and no problems, haha.

  29. I don’t think you overdid it in color efex or in silver pro – I got it just right :)

  30. I really like what you’ve done with the image and how you explained the process.

    • Thanks, actually it wasn’t that hard, I think I just know more now and was able to work out what to do to fix it. Learning is wonderful isn’t it?

      • If I stop learning, I’ll surely die! As 67 approaches, I still look forward to learning something new each and every day–otherwise, I would be soooo totally bored!

      • I have to agree, I have to keep learning, I want to keep improving. So I am with you, always good. I am learning a whole lot of new stuff about Photoshop now. Wonderful.

  31. Incredible your processing here. I too have a shop on RedBubble and have had no sales. I have much more success on ETSY. I think a lot of people show confidence in the ETSY name. It also offers a lot of tools to make selling easier. There are fees for each photo posted but if you price your photos appropriately you can make those up in no time.

    • Thank you, and thank you for the tip on Red Bubble and Etsy, I might look at putting more up on my Etsy store, offer the same sort of things. What is your etsy store, I would love to check it out and see what you sell.

  32. Hiro says

    Very informative article. Thank you for sharing. I like somewhere between #2 and #3.

  33. I love how you post and remark on how you alter images.
    I’m a fan of #’s 1,2, and 4. For some reason, #3 doesn’t appeal to me as much.
    So much for personal preference!
    Lovely shot, lovely gal. And yes, agreed on the crop. Also love the b&w. But I love b&w, period.

    • Thank you, it has been wonderful hearing why people like my blog posts, I have wondered.
      I think a lot of people have felt exactly the same way as you. She is a lovely girl.
      You certainly aren’t alone in your feelings towards Black and White.
      Thank you.

Comments are closed.