After and Before Forum; One Photo Focus Cee

Each month the After Before forum take a break form editing our own photos and take up the challenge of editing a member of the forum’s photo. This month One Photo Focus picture is by Cee from Cee Photogrpahy.
I was quite excited to know what picture would be chosen for the challenge, Cee put a poll on her blog and when I saw the picture of the house with the tree in font I knew what I wanted to do. Hide some Easter eggs.


First I created a new document 500px square with a transparent background.


Using the elliptical shape tool I drew an oval. Taking the convert point tool, I reshaped the top and the bottom of the oval. To get the final egg shape I used the direct selection tool to move the anchors on the side down.


To give the image a 3d feel I began working on blending options, first by adding a gradient overlay. In the gradient I kept the light colour the original red and the dark colour a slightly darker red of the same saturation.


Next I added inner glow with an opacity of 100 and size of 16. To get the right colour I clicked on the colour picker and and dragged the colour from yellow to red but left the tone the same.


The last layer style effect was an inner shadow. I set the angel to -90 the distance to 15 and sized it to 81.


I imported some Polish folk art, which was converted to black and white, I selected the white areas and deleted them leaving a black cutout.


I applied image transform and used arc set at -24 to add a curve to the design.


I applied a second image transform to scale the design so it would fit on the egg. I inverted the layer to make the design white and then reduced the fill of the layer to 50%. I added a layer style and applied a dark grey stroke of 1px.
To make everything come together I ctrl clicked on the egg layer to create a selection exactly the same as that shape and apply the selection as a layer mask (while the selection is active I then add a layer mask) to the folk art layer.

If I wanted to change the colour, I just need to add a hue and saturation layer and modify the hue.


I opened up Cee’s image in Camera Raw and made some basic raw adjustments. I opened the image in Photoshop and applied a hue saturation adjustment to make the greens and blues pop a bit more.


I imported all the Easter eggs I made using the earlier steps. I created three different designs with 5 colours. I put them all in a folder just to keep it nice and neat.


I placed the eggs around the image, not re-sizing them, to put them in the right place compositionally.


I turned off each egg layer and then one by one blended them in with layer masks. I used mixtures of polygon and marquee selection tool to make sure I can mask inside straight lines. To blend into the grass and tree, I used Photoshop’s Grass and Leaves brush; I didn’t modify the Grass brush, with the leaves I adjusted the scatter and jitter to make the brush less uniform.



I added a curves adjustment to add a bit more of a vintage tone to the colours.


I sharpened the image using the high pass method and filled a new layer with 50% grey and then added noise for a bit more texture.


I added some liberal dodging and burning to the image still keeping with the vintage tone and to add a snap shot vibe.
The eggs were not matching the image sharpness so I grouped them into a smart object and applied a slight Gaussian blur.


Although the magenta green toning looked alright after a few days I cam back to the image and it wasn’t working for me. I wanted a feel of a vintage snapshot and this was too vibrant. Grouping the eggs and background layer together I merged them into a smart object and applied  Alien Skin Exposure 4 with a vintage Kodachrome Slide.

one-photo-focus-april Benjamin RoweOver the last few After Before challenges I have made last minute changes to the image. I think it is really telling me to have some breathing room in editing. I much prefer how the eggs colour blend into the picture and also some I can no longer see straight away even though i know where they are. The only other thing I would change is the shape of the eggs as looking back they feel a bit pointy on the top.

What do you think of my Easter themed image, Let me know in the comments below.

Hope you have a great Easter, but before you break open the chocolate eggs check out what everyone else did for April’s One Photo Focus.

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26 thoughts on “After and Before Forum; One Photo Focus Cee

  1. I adore your Easter Theme image Ben. So very creative. It must have taken you a long time to come up with your final edit. I thought about making it a Christmas scene, but I had no idea where to start or do it. So I didn’t even attempt it. I hope you had some fun.

    • I spread the editing across sessions. I would say it took about two hours. The most time was taken hiding the eggs. With crista you would need to create snow, a snowman, Christmas lights and decorations not so easy as that is a lot of elements. It would be a good challenge though.

    • It took about 2 hours roughly to do it all, creating the first eggs of each design took some time but the different colours only needed a slight adjustment on the hue saturation layer. Also hiding the eggs took some time. I hope you had a good Easter.

  2. Okay, Ben, I should have known you would have “made” your own Easter eggs instead of just finding some to copy and paste. I love that you decorated them with Polish folk art, by the way! Awesomely creative and I had fun “searching” for those beautiful eggs 😄🐰 Hope you had a wonderful Easter!

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