What we have here is a lovely blonde bombshell of a gorgeous model, nice starting point, yay!
This does not get us home even after getting a nicely lit shot in the camera.
What went into the photo?
- Professional Model
- Key Light – Gridded Paul C. Buff 47 inch Octobox
- Nikon D90
- Nikon 18-200mm DX VR Zoom at 150mm
- ISO 200, 1/125 second, F13.0 Aperture
- In studio location
- High Key with White Muslin as back drop
- Post Processing with Photoshop CS5
What was the photo like before retouch?
We have in camera a pretty nice photo of a beautiful glamour model. Look closer, we notice the photo has lots of fly away hairs and other features which may be much improved with some fine tuning.
Also, the shot may be a bit busy … yes?
When taking a professional or advanced amateur level photo these days, the required quality bar on expected results is higher than ever on what is necessary to differentiate oneself from the GWCs ( guys with cameras ).
People’s expectations for high quality very much includes post processing our photos to look pretty close to what our clients and girl friends are accustomed to seeing daily on the web and in magazines.
Why? Because today the tools are there for us, or the guys who really love photography to do just so.
Today are many readily available tools in the forms of software, computers, instruction, etc.,
Blogs for example are just one of the available ways we obtain instruction to improve our skills and learning.
If we refuse to do the work, or to willing to pay someone to have it done, our results will never look so good as the persons’ who holistically learn and practice the full craft.
In photography, the full craft includes post processing.
The post processing discussion applies to the film and dark room purists too. Oh, yes! Even they too have their many secret little dark room tricks.
For us digital guys, it’s the things like Lightroom, Photoshop, etc.
If we have not yet learned our crafts demonstrably well, people will not have the necessary confidence to look their confident best when and as they are posing for us … if they will sit for us at all.
We are talking really about a circle in quest of ever more knowledge, which begins and ends with us learning our crafts ever better.
This constant learning is part of what helps keep photography ever new and ever interesting.
For me, for the longest time, for perhaps a year, this process of learning how to retouch a photo looked a whole bunch like me studying Photoshop in various ways and learning a whole lot of little.
That is until I finally buckled down to the Lynda training videos and learned a great deal very quickly about the arts of retouching.
How do you feel you have learned the most about retouching?
As we look are looking at this before shot, what are we feeling we might be doing to this photo in our post processing? Please feel free to share your thought processes and comments?
To view either version of the sample shots better (bigger), click on either of the photos.
Lets see …
We need elements to more directly draw in and hold the eyes … hmmm …
And to clean up the rough bits …
My Retouching Menu:
- Removed Skin Spots and Blemishes
- Removed Stray hairs, over eyes, in hair part, many places …
- Cropped a bit at the top … to make the hair part line cleaner
- Smoothed Skin & Removed Wrinkles, like on forehead
- Lightened Eyes
- Lightened Irises
- Converted to Black and White ( B&W )
- Darkened bright areas outside eyes’ area to keep eyes from falling off the page in the corners and sides
- Lightened eyes’ area to draw and hold eyes to this now bright island of interest
What are your thoughts and comments on the processing and results?
The following sample video demonstrates “Blend Modes and Masking” techniques similar to those used to darken and lighten portions of this photo, thus drawing interest into the model’s eyes and away from the photo’s originally bright corners.
Whenever you are ready for the full free Lynda tour, click one of the Lynda banners on this blog’s pages or use this link for your 7-day free trial to lynda.com.