For the most part, most of my photos are edited with the same process. This particular photo ended up doing a lot better than any other I have posted, and I think part of the reason was that I posted different steps of the edit on my story.
To start off, I could not have done this edit, or any edit on my own. I try my best to have others look at my work as I edit. By having others look, I am able to fix things that wouldn't have come to mind.
Camera: Nikon D800
Lens: Nikon 85mm 1.8 @ 2.8
The first step was simple, colors. I always start my edits in Lightroom to take full advantage of the RAW file, although you could also use photoshop. For this photo, I started with my MT001 preset. I wanted to add more blue to contrast her yellow sweater, but not go too far with the teal because it would take away from the contrast in the colors. I brought out some contrast as well. The sky was too blown out for me to fix, so I decided I would get back to it in photoshop.
The next step is where most of my time went. I retouched the skin, not going to say exactly how, but I will say that it was not using frequency separation. I removed a spot on the bench using the clone stamp tool because it was a little distracting. I also added some bokeh to the right of Nicole to balance out the photo. Elliot mentioned that the bokeh on the right grabbed a lot of his attention and that it would balance the photo better if I added some more on the right. Adding it to the right really balanced out the photo after looking at it.
For the next step, I fixed the color on the photo. I changed the hue on the yellows to make them a little more orange. This added a little more contrast to the photo against the blues. I also dodged and burned the photo a bit in order to make it look like the light was a little stronger, for a future step.
The sky was too far gone for me to be able to bring it back out. I decided the best thing to do was to just find another one online and add it in. I added it in, changed the hue to match the other blues on the photo, and then blur it to make it look like it was originally there. After I also added in a little bit of flare on the left for the next step.
For the flare, I used two different layers. The first was to add a more general glow using a radial gradient. Then, for the second one, I set the same type of layer but more visible, and with a smaller radius. The first layer had a low visibility because it covered part of her face and removed details the more visible it was.
The final steps were some general adjustments to add in more contrast in the photo. I like photos with heavy contrast, so I added a bit more in. I also added a bit of vignetting and corrected the color last time. The layers I used for these, were hue/saturation, color balance, exposure and curves layers in photoshop.
Pier 7, San Francisco