portrait enhancement in 3 easy steps

Mara enhancement

I have come to respect Aperture more and more as a superb photo management and non-destructive editor application. Not only does it excel with its file management, but the zillions of available plugins enable us to edit images from within Aperture. Here’s an example of a simple portrait enhancement using Aperture, OnOne FocalPoint and Nik’s Color Efex plugins.

Screenshot Aperture

The image was taken using available light from an XL lamp, so I first corrected the white balance in Aperture. I also retouched Mara’s face a little bit to get rid of the distracting streak of white line above her right eye.

Screenshot FocalPoint

The background was a mess, so I fired up FocalPoint and defined a blur area. With FocalPoint we can use many predefined settings, choose a lens setup, and even define how many blades the aperture of our virtual lens should have.

Screenshot ColorEfex

I then edited the applied blurred image with Color Efex Pro to give a glamour glow which enhanced Mara’s skin tone and gave her face a little bit of, well…, that glamour look.

And here’s the final result: Mara in her Vietnamese Ao Dai. All done in less than 5 minutes, all without leaving Aperture. I wonder how many minutes will it take should I use the Photoshop approach….

Mara enhancement final

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