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I am trying out a bunch of different effects on Photoshop 7 and have been pretty pleased with what I have done...
But there is one effect that I can't seem to figure out....
How do I make my baby/newborn portraits look bright and soft looking while also popping the color of the portrait....
Like the photo I have attached

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You can always try diffuse glow in the filters. Other then that you need to do a lot of editing to make the picture look good that is if its not that great looking. Or you can always try Photoscape, awesome software, really easy to use and you can easily achieve the same results.
http://www.photoscape.org/ps/main/download.php Free!!! Plus the photos were probably shot RAW and edited in Lightroom. Thats what I would do.
You mention Photoscape and Lightroom, how would you get this effect by using lightroom? I am trying to figure out which software to buy and if photoscape can do the same thing, I wouldn't need to buy lightroom. I really like it for taking noise out of a picture.
True, photoscape is a good program I use it to edit photos to give them a dramatic affect not like an HDR software. But lightroom is what I mostly use sense I shoot RAW. Yes you can process RAW files in photoshop but the quality is not the same and you get more options when using lightroom and you dont lose the quality of that image. Photoshop can do the same things as lightroom but like I said lightroom is mostly used to edit RAW files. Here is a example, the first one is a raw image were i did not changing the white balance, saturation, sharpness, contrast in the camera and kept it all normal so I dont wast time. Second is where I did a quick edit in lightroom. Third image I applied a filter in photoscape

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I could be completely missing something here but I'm pretty sure I could do this rather easily using either levels or curves. Keep in mind that the reason the photographer is able to do this work, in whatever program it is that he's using, is that the photographs were well lit to start out with. When you look at the work of the people whose photographs are admired like Jill Greenberg or Dave Hill they were all photographed with excellence in the camera before any software was applied. I didn't say that with the greatest grace, I'm very tired, but you get the idea. Great photographs begin with great camera work.
At the link where you got the reference image there is a blog offering the settings (for a fee) which work with Lightroom and Photoshop. http://www.iriscreationsphotography.com/blog/for-photographers/

Your introduction said you are trying effects on Photoshop 7, do you mean Photoshop Elements 7? If so, the settings offered do not work with the editor you have. Also, you will not find Curves, mentioned by Nathan. Levels is available in Elements and will serve you well. Shadows/Highlights which is also under the Enhance//Adjust Lighting group is also very useful.
Hello Heidi,
the simple answer is you cannot get the effect you are looking for with 'Photoscape'
It is a free download and the resulting output obtained with this software reflects exactly that.
As CC has mentioned these are presets, so will only work in a Raw editor such as Lightroom or ACR not inside Photoshop for which you will need 'actions'.
The other drawback is they are asking for a fee to buy the pre-sets.
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I would absolutely ignore this quote from Anatoliy:

"Yes you can process RAW files in photoshop but the quality is not the same and you get more options when using lightroom" - it is entirely incorrect and displays very little knowledge of editing.
Photoshop is used as an advanced editor to process mostly in .tiff format, the exported original raw file from either Lightroom or ACR.

Nathan in his comment is quite correct, the effect you are looking for is a result of good exposure and controlled studio lighting which is essential when taken to the editing stage in LR/PS/CS.

There is nothing in your url: melbourne-baby-photography-4.jpg
that cannot be done in Photoshop if your image is clean.
As Nathan suggested, Curves / levels adjustment whichever you are more familiar with - the softness and vibrancy can be achieved many ways in layers with different blending options, it's a case of learning the software.

If you must take the free software route i suggest
http://www.optikvervelabs.com -a few of the filters there are worth investigating and some are a bit cheesy or dated..
http://www.xero-graphics.co.uk/freeware.htm -especially the 'softmood' and 'porcelain' filters, but i recommend you use them in layers with opacity and blending.

regards,
Gary..
I'd never heard of Photoscape before this thread. I downloaded it to take a look. It seems like a pretty elementary program. I fail to see the advantage of it over either Adobe PS or LR. They (PS and LR) are available at very reasonable cost from a student bookstore at any college or university campus. We have both a university and community college and both will sell these progs to you whether you're a student or not.
Gary. I can't seam to figure out what you are trying to say about my point on Raw files in lightroom. As far as I'm aware photoshop and lightroom are adobe programs and the reason why adobe made lightroom is to edit Raw and/ or jpeg images. Photoshop is designed for more extensive editing like layers, masking, and so on. Have you ever watched, when you edit the same image in photoshop many times the image quality does degrade not like in lightroom. (when I'm comparing lightroom to photoshop , I mean white balance, sharpness, saturation, exposure, and so on, I'm talking about the stuff they have in common)

Now back to what you said. When you say "so will only work in a Raw editor such as Lightroom or ACR not inside Photoshop..." all I understand is Lightroom/ ACR =Raw editor not photoshop. But when you go on to say "Photoshop is used as an advanced editor to process mostly in .tiff format, the exported original raw file from either Lightroom or ACR." All I get is that (form what you wrote) you take a raw (original) file import it into lightroom or ACR and then you export the "original" file (meaning without editing) into photoshop. Seams like a wast of time, and then what is the point of adobe making lightroom when then have CS5?

Maybe you are having a bad day, or just didn't choose the right words but, when I wrote what I wrote I put time into it and said exactly what I meant. Plus EVERY photographer uses different methods when it comes to editing images, its whatever is easier and gets the job done.

Now as for photoscape, its a good program easy to use and for the most part you get great results with out having to put to much effort. Add a filter or couple, apply some bloom and the image is bright and for the most part the skin will look soft. So don't compare photosacpe to CS5 like its a point and shoot camera to a dslr, you get what you pay unless its free.

Well Heidi I guess you got more information then you expected. The setup used in the photos is simple main light coming form the side and a fill light probably form the front. You can easily take the same photo during the day next to a large window, set the exposure compassion to plus 1 or more, better to go manual setting. Have a high aperture or 2.8 or lower, if needed zoom in to give it the blurry background, and if all goes well easy edit in photoscape, unless you have to edit a lot and want to do it like a "pro", then better start learn photoshop fully. As for me I like to take the easier paths when it comes to editing unless I have no choice.
Anatoliy,

On the basis of your glowing recommendation, and what I saw on their web page, I downloaded a copy of Photoscape and installed it.

It does not convert the raw files from my Canon Rebel T2i. It attempts to but fails, resulting in about a quarter of the image appearing with a very purple color pallet. The rest of the image is missing. It did successfully convert the RAW file from another older camera but it does not provide any of the considerable control offered by Adobe's Camera Raw or Canon's Digital Photo Professional (included with Canon cameras).

Once an image is open in the editor the tools seem rudimentary. Although I like the crop tool at least as well as the tools provided by Adobe, many of the other tools do not offer the power, flexibility or control I am used to when using Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Paint Shop Pro, Canon's software or even the freeware GIMP.

My favorite feature is the animated gif creator which I think is pretty cool. I am not sure how much use I would really get from it but I think it may be fun to experiment with.
@ Anatoliy,
the 'OP' requested information on how to emulate the editing on the babies photographs in the URL attached.
I did not advocate 'Photoscape' as a solution because i also downloaded it along with Nathan and Camera Clicker and found the software to be extremely limiting in both the files and bit depth it operates in and also tools it provides.
Both Nathan and Camera Clicker refer to it as "elementary" and "rudimentary" and i totally agree.

"Maybe you are having a bad day, or just didn't choose the right words but"

No...
actually i was assuming that you were familiar with editing workflow, when i said i export from Raw into .tiff / .PSD format, obviously the raw has already been edited for white balance and exposure if needed, other photographers / editors will use more functions and some will not go any further after LH or ACR.
For myself and many others, the next step is to export as 16bit.tiff to take advantage of the more advanced features of Photoshop.

You wrote:
" Have you ever watched, when you edit the same image in photoshop many times the image quality does degrade not like in lightroom"

That is indeed what adjustment layers are used for in Photoshop, it is 'non-destructive' editing!

"so will only work in a Raw editor such as Lightroom or ACR not inside Photoshop..."

if you are 'lost' on the functions of presets and actions and where they are used you can read the URL above provided by Camera Clicker: http://www.iriscreationsphotography.com/blog/for-photographers or google the info quite easily.

"As for me I like to take the easier paths when it comes to editing"

and that's perfectly ok,
but some other people wish to allocate more time to learning correct editing / stylistic workflow :-)

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