I actually made this magazine cover graduation (from Kindergarten) announcement before I started this blog, but wanted to post the before and after anyway, now.

"Before Image"

Final Graduation Announcement

Here are some things I did with the original image:

  • Extended some areas to fill the space.
  • Painted out some areas that seemed distracting in the background.  (If I were to do it again, I probably would have also painted out the big “C” on the left side, that goes behind her hair).
  • Painted in some darker areas to make the subject pop out more.
  • Added contrast to the subject (duplicated the layer and put it in overlay mode, masking out everything but her)
  • Brightened up the diploma, and added some glow to it, since it’s one of the main focal points of the image.
  • I used a vector mask in the shape of a triangle (plus a little odd-shaped piece for the tassel) to cut out the title with her cap.

It should be stressed again that these changes really weren’t about making the image “better” as much as making it more like what we think of as a magazine cover image.

As always, visit the gallery to see the final announcement a little larger.