Create That Autumn Glow & Other Effects - For Both Amateur and Professional Photographers

The colours and light at this time of the year can be absolutely magical, but sometimes the photos don't quite come out with the richness that you see when you are out taking photos or somehow the light was just a little flat at the time you were out and about.

Professional photographers rarely use the photos that have come straight out of camera and more often than not edit their photos to enhance the light and colour. If you have photography editing software, either Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop and can easily turn your photos into wonderful images with a real sense of mood - you don't even need to have the greatest Photoshop skills to be able to do this as there are a whole range of great user-friendly presents, overlays and actions that you can get. In this blog I am looking at the Sleeklens system. I have used their Portrait Workflow for Photoshop (they also do workflows for Lightroom).

Once you have imported the workflow packages into your Lightroom or Photoshop, you simply need to bring up the photo you want to edit. Click on your Actions/Presets tab and start playing around with the different options available.

For myself I mostly use these overlays and actions to help bring a sense of mood into my images. The Sleeklens Portrait Package also enables multiple, easy to use, portrait retouching options that I generally don't use so much (I mostly just remove spots, cuts, grazes & snotty noses - common to small children!).

Take the above image - this was taken in the autumn. You can see the leaves on the ground and some hint of the autumn colours in the background trees. The light in the original image is somewhat flat and I wanted to push that autumnal feel and give a greater feeling of depth to the overall look.

As you add each layer to the image you can adjust how strongly you want that layer to show through by simply adjusting the opacity level. Also, when I felt that I only wanted to use that layer on the background colours, I would create a mask and paint out over the child, so that the colour changes would not affect her.

Step 1: I started by choosing 'Cloudy Days' from the base options. This added a hint of warmth and slightly more contrast to the original image.

Cloudy Days Base

Step 2: I still wanted the background to be warmer to really push those autumnal colours - this I adjusted using the temperature action.

Temperature - Warmer

Step 3: I decided to push that autumnal look a little more! To do this I used the enhance tones actions - clicking on 'Autumnal Love'. Not only did this bring up the orange and gold colours, it also added a dark vignette to the picture, which I felt added some mood to the image - but was perhaps looking a little too much, which I adjusted at a later stage.

Enhance Tones - Autumnal Love

Step 4: To help give a little extra ping to the image I added the 'Yogi' vignette option and a 'Cream' light glow. This softened the overall image and I loved the creamy haze.

Vignette - Yogi / Light Glow - Cream

Step 5: I then just went into one of the standard Photoshop adjustments and slightly desaturated the image to end up with my finished image.

Slight Desaturation

There are lots of tools and options to use and it is amazing the difference you can make to your photos with just a few simple clicks - have a good play around!

For the Sleeklens video tutorial on the Portrait Package click here. This goes into more detail on the portrait re-touching features - I just wish I could bring these into my own make-up kit!

Take a look at their website for more information on the different packages they offer

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