TEACHING MYSELF GRAPHIC DESIGN: IMPROVING CRAPPY IPHONE PHOTOS

Woohoo! These are the kinds of tutorials that make you feel accomplished after you complete them. Case in point: the Photoshop Curves workshop on Lynda.com 

I took this iPhone shot with crappy, grainy, low-light and competing background clutter, but WONDERFUL facial expressions and poses. And HELLA improved it!

ORIGINAL: Grainy, low-light, blown-out window, distracting lantern in upper right corner

ORIGINAL: Grainy, low-light, blown-out window, distracting lantern in upper right corner

IMPROVED: brighter, more detailed, window toned down, light above man's head removed

IMPROVED: brighter, more detailed, window toned down, light above man's head removed

This took an hour or so of fiddling around with several curves adjustment layers to improve brightness/contrast and color cast, masking of the window to tone down the highlights, the clone stamp tool to add more foliage, patch tool and some clone stamp to get rid of the lantern. 

I think it is awesome-sauce. What say you?