the original, lovely in its own way, SOOC - Straight out of Camera(phone):
the edited version, with just a few tweaks:
I still have absolutely no idea what I'm doing, but slowly but surely I'm learning, creeping towards the desired results. This was a particularly fine example, taken at the company Getaway this past weekend. (Please ignore the hair-twirling...I think just about every photo I've taken of her lately has her right hand up at her temple...). Note: This particular edit actually needed one more little layer, but I didn't know that until just now, too late to make the change for this post. For some reason what I see on my laptop, where I have Photoshop, is quite different from what I see on a desktop with a larger monitor, and I need to remember to compensate for those differences.
I haven't done it yet, but am always so tempted to go back through my old photos, taken with my crappy, old, original point-and-shoot digital camera when Samantha was born, and fixing all of those awful, formerly hopeless images. I may one day, but it will be one seriously BIG undertaking. I'm excited, though, to see what I might be able to get out of the project.
In the meantime, I'll keep on with the current backlog of images requiring attention, including about 200 from the big customer event my company held a few weeks ago. Maybe I have a case for getting Photoshop loaded onto my work computer now...