While I was preparing Hannah’s photos for sharing, I recorded my screen for nostalgia’s sake. Here are two short compilations. The video is sped up 4x, as it would probably be too long and boring at normal speed.

These videos are HD 720p encoded in h264 high, so the file sizes are huge, and you’ll need a decent computer to play them. The finer details of the photo adjustments would have been indiscernible otherwise.

Part 1[Download]
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Part 2[Download]
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In case you are curious, here’s a quick rundown of the basic steps I used for most of the photos:

  1. Duplicate Background Layer 1: Smart blur to smooth away noise. Adjust radius so edges are still well defined, which is usually between 0.5 and 2 (depends on resolution of photo, focus, and lighting). Set transparency to 20% – 50% and blending to normal. You want to see slightly smoother surfaces without any loss in edge detail.
  2. Duplicate Background Layer 2: Sharpening layer. There are several ways to do this; I use a high pass filter. The key is to make all the smooth parts of the photo a consistent gray color, with only the edges visible. Usually set to 40% – 80% transparency. Blending set to overlay.
  3. Duplicate Background Layer 3: Gaussian blur for saturation enhancement and halo effect. This can be nice, but you don’t want to overdo it. Increase the radius of the gaussian blur such that details are all blurred out but you can still see rough shapes. Transparency set to 10% – 30%, and blending set to soft light (overlay).
  4. Curves Adjustment Layer: This allows you to adjust tones and contrast; I use it mainly to enhance contrast, with transparency set to 10% – 40%. Sometimes I add another layer to lighten the photo if it is especially dark.
  5. Levels Adjustment Layer: This lets you adjust the brightness histogram of a photo. Usually the gaussian blur overlay and contrast enhancement makes the photo darker overall, so I use this to readjust the photo to match the original brightness. This is usually done by adjusting the midtone level to 1.1 (sometimes 1.15 or 1.2 if the original was too dark) and transparency anywhere between 20% and 90%, depending on the photo.
  6. Photo Filter Adjustment Layer: This allows you to adjust color balance. This can usually be avoided with a good camera, but sometimes the environment is too “warm” or “cold,” in which case you can use this to fix the color balance. You can also use this to apply “mood” lighting or effects to a photo, e.g. sepia tones. If I use this, I usually set transparency to 10% – 30%.