My favorite action by far? Boost. For 95% of my pictures, I simply run the Boost action and call it a day.
This is a SOOC (straight out of camera) shot from Brevyn's birthday:
And here it is with Boost (and a bit of cropping):
The pictures I took of Britt holding Brevyn were back lit, and therefore dark. For these, I ran the "Slight Lighten" action two times, followed by Boost.
This shot was really, really dark, but I loved it, so I did my best to brighten it up a bit.
It turned out a little grainy and the background is blown out, but I still like the moment it captures.
The one picture I really wanted to get was Brevyn with her parents and birthday cake. I managed to snap two shots. The first was great of Brev and Britt, but Heith? Not so much.
Heith managed to keep his eyes open in the second shot, but by this point Brevyn was distracted and I liked her better in the first shot.
So I used some Lasso tool magic and swapped Heith's head from the second shot in to the first shot. After cropping and running Boost, I ended up with this:
Pretty cool, huh? This was my first successful head-swapping experience, so I just had to share.
My other go-to in Photoshop is the spot healing tool. It works wonders on blemishes, moles, flyaway hairs and, coincidentally enough, stains on high chairs.
So there's a peek at a few of my befores and afters. Any by the way, I have no idea what I'm doing so don't listen to anything I say. I'm sure there are 50 things I should have done differently to make these pics even better. But that's what practice is for, right?