So I posted a photo critique in the main photo critique forum.
Most of the comments went the way of over-shopping the skin to put it lightly. So I redid it, and posted it on my facebook page for feedback (initially).. But I figured I would be better served to go to the retouching experts for advice.
Note that I'm a Photographer first, but I do enjoy retouching almost as much. (But I'm new)
If you want to modify the picts to show me something, thats fine, but please include instructions on how to do it myself. Also, note that I'm looking for advice and don't want someone to do my homework for me.. Thanks.. :-)
Lets focus on one picture:
Here is the shot, which is in all probability over photoshopped..
Here is the link (or click the picture) http://www.modelmayhem.com/portfolio/pic/29766380
I put the original (not post process/retouched at all)on facebook here:
http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-a … 9661_n.jpg
And I put the newly retouched here:
http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-a … 6620_n.jpg
Or you can look at the whole facebook album here:
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set= … 849&type=1
So what can I do better?
Sep 01 12 04:24 pm Link
Orlando, Florida, US
What can you better? Do not use blur
Is way blurred and you didn't even heal her zits you can still see them.
Sep 01 12 05:02 pm Link
Angela Perez wrote:
Did you perhaps click on the link for the unretouched one? Previous posters described her as a melted plastic barbydoll.. I modified the link comment in my post to emphasize that it was not retouched (right out of the camera)..
Sep 01 12 05:50 pm Link
Amherst, Massachusetts, US
I think the biggest problem you're running into is pixelation on her forehead/around the shadows. it looks almost surreal- which is why people keep saying overprocessed .
Sep 01 12 05:54 pm Link
I think the biggest problem your facing is trying to get perfect skin without worrying about what it actually is that needs to be fixed.
Skin is blotchy due to blurring without actually correcting blemishes. The image has become over saturated which adds to the smudgy look, and then certain areas have been over sharpened giving it that crispy look.
My suggestion would be to start off small. Learn how to use the healing brush and clone tool and stray from using any blur until you understand skin retouching a little better. Secondly a more saturated image isnt a better one, especially when it adds to the problem. you said you are a photographer primarily... use this to your ability... understand colour and what it is you want the photo to look like. Too many people over photoshop when they are starting out because they get overwhelmed with all the features. Dont fix what isnt broken. Sharpening can really bring out a photo... over sharpening can kill an otherwise good picture.
Hopefully this helps...
Sep 01 12 06:02 pm Link
I appreciate all the responses, but what photo's are you referring to? When you respond it would be helpful to refer to the photo.. I am going to edit the post to have numbers right now, that will make it easier..
I use a Low Pass (blurring) and then I use the High pass filter to replace some of the skin texture. The first time I went a little tooo heavy on blurring, but the second time I went lighter..
As for using the healing brush, I did.. I assume that is what you mean by fixing the blemishes?
Sep 01 12 06:55 pm Link
I also start out with a high megapixel picture, 36MP.. After I do everything (except sharpening), I resize to a much smaller image, which I think looses detail that is actually there.. Probably adds to the softness?
Sep 01 12 06:59 pm Link
I was referring to #3 the newly retouched image. Using excessive blurring and then running high pass to resharpen is going to give you a crunchy look. Not to mention its counter productive. Learn to use techniques more selectively by utilizing masks.
When you resize you can add a touch of sharpening if the image seems soft, however there is a big difference between a soft image and a blurry image. I have been commenting on the blur that is making the skin blotchy. Usually downsizing in my experience doesn't soften an image, but rather the opposite.
Blurring the skin has become an out dated technique and looks cheap. Better techniques for skin cleaning are the frequency separation and pixel level dodge and burn which there is plenty of info on in the forums here.
Again I hope this is helpful.
Sep 01 12 07:50 pm Link
Plus maybe its just me, but i feel like the majority of your images are underexposed and flat.
Sep 01 12 07:54 pm Link
J Gagnon wrote:
I do use masks.. I have a skin mask that I use with different layers. Maybe you can be more specific on what the mask should have done for me?? Perhaps I'm missing something..
J Gagnon wrote:
The skin is blurry yes, but I would hope not the entire image as it has not been touched with any blurring methods except contrast, and slight color adjustments. I think the image on facebook is a little blurry because they compress the **** out of it.. Probably a bad choice to use it (facebook) in retrospect..
J Gagnon wrote:
Yes, it was, I will look into that technique.. Thanks..
Sep 01 12 08:10 pm Link
Orlando, Florida, US
You did not heal enough before blurring the skin. You can see the blotches under the blur. If you don't heal enough no amount of blur will get rid of the dark spots under it. What I would do is heal and clone first as much as possible. Then dodge and burn to even out the skin texture. I'm referring to both image #1 and #3 I also took a look at the unretouched file.
Sep 01 12 10:16 pm Link
Thanks.. I took in all the comments and made adjustments.. I put 5 choices on Facebook.. See the public album here (each picture has comments):
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set= … 849&type=3
Edit: I have removed the 5 choices and kep the final one..
Oh, and if you feel so inclined please "Like" my page with your regular (not fan) fb account.. I'm trying to get 25 fans so i can have a custom FB url..
Some things I learned:
1. Color of the "TAN" was just WRONG..
2. Too much coloration (Photoshop tan too dark)
3. Needed more Healing Tool.. And then MORE blurring, and more High Pass..
4. The size of the picture that you're working makes a BIG difference. (see note below).
5. Different areas should use different smoothing effects. I was being lazy and used one size fits all.. For example, on the chest I removed some smoothing..
6. After making what I think is the perfect image, I need to go away and look at it tomorrow, since my eyes and brain will filter and make me think something is good when it's really shit (case in point, the original shopped photo.. what was I thinking?)
Follow up to number 4, I found that I would get an acceptable level of detail on the 36MP image at full screen or bigger, but when I resize to 800px wide image, all that detail of the skin would be so compressed, I get the melted plastic barbie doll effect. By changing the opacity of the hi pass or lo pass layer after a resize in photoshop, I can actually dial in the requested effect, provided I slightly overdo the those layers in the first place.
I'm still not what I consider to be good at this, but hopefully learning and getting better.. And then there is a new technique mentioned above I still have to research.. I just wanted to learn this one first...
As always, comments welcome..
Sep 03 12 12:00 pm Link
Chester, England, United Kingdom
Out of the last 5 images in the album the 2nd is best to me (it's hard to tell on facebook, you should look into hosting on deviantart for these kind of examples).
It's not too blurry but not totally unedited.
Sep 03 12 03:17 pm Link
Chester, England, United Kingdom
https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.net/ … 0912_n.jpg
1) Heal tooled the spots (because of pixelation I actually painted the same colour as the skin next to some of the spots pixel by pixel)
2) Clone stamped anything else away including the distracting jet-ski
3) Ran Portraiture
4) Used dodge and burn on any left over dark spots, the eyes and mouth
Not perfect because I didn't have much to work with but just another method for you.
Sep 03 12 03:31 pm Link
Thanks Rebecca.. I fixed it, and removed the bad ones... I put the final pick on facebook..
I also got a new model which didn't require any photoshopping.. :-)
Well, I did have to white balance and sharpen a little. :-)
Sep 08 12 07:02 pm Link
Atlanta, Georgia, US
Vulpes Photography wrote:
That is the better choice. Learning is important but before I would edit a shot 5+ times I would need to be very sure it's portfolio worth in the first place.
Sep 08 12 07:19 pm Link