Flexible Edits

Non Destructive Layer Using an Adjustment Layer

Look Both Ways

This was taken at a railroad crossing near my home. It was about 6:30 in the evening and the sun had just set. I had my camera on a tripod low to the ground. In Photoshop I created an adjustment layer using Levels. In the blending mode I selected Multiply, and then clicked on the mask in the adjustment layer to select it. Then I used the paintbrush tool to lighten different areas of the photo. In Lightroom I cropped it, increased the clarity, and added a slight vignette.


Look Both Ways – Edited

BridgettePatterson_Flexible Edit_LookBothWays_Original

Look Both Ways – Original

Non Destructive Editing – Smart Filter

Orange Pop

In Photoshop I duplicated the layer first. On the duplicate layer I created an adjustment layer, where I used the quick selection tool to make a cut out of the flower. I them selected the background. I made this layer a Smart Filter, so I could edit it independently from the foreground (flower). On this layer I lightened the background, and then I added a new layer where I used  a paintbrush to add texture over the top. Finally, I cropped the image to bring the flower head up close to make it the focus of the viewer’s attention.

BridgettePatterson_Flexible Edit_OrangePop

Orange Pop – Edited

BridgettePatterson_Flexible Edit_OrangePop_Original

Orange Pop – Original

Blending Modes – Non Destructive Editing, Dodge and Burn


I LOVE dodge and burn! In photoshop I first created a duplicate layer of my original. Next I added an adjustment layer, and hit shift + cmd N  for an edit window to appear, where I changed mode to overlay, and checked the box below to fill with 50% gray. Then I selected the dodge tool, and I lightened the areas that were too dark. I selected the burn tool to darken the areas that were too dark. Fun!

BridgettePatterson_Flexible Edit_Thornton_Original-2

Thornton – Edited

Thornton - Original

Thornton – Original


My granddaughter, Brylie was my lucky subject for this photo. Using the same techniques as above in Photoshop, I used the dodge tool over her eyes, and whitened her teeth slightly. I used Lightroom to add a slight vignette, used the spot tool to increase the sharpness on her eyes, eyebrows and mouth, and then increased the luminance to make her skin softer. I also increased the clarity and changed the temperature to decrease the gold tones.

BridgettePatterson_Flexible Edit_Brylie

Brylie – Edited

BridgettePatterson_Flexible Edit_Brylie_Original

Brylie – Original

2 thoughts on “Flexible Edits

  1. Hey Bridgette! These edits look great. I really like “Look both ways.” I found it really fun to use all the different layers. I’ve used some before but I’d never converted to a smart object and used those edits. There are so many options with smart objects! I also loved your photos of the old radio for your perspective of 12. Great shots and great object choice.

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