Forums > Digital Art and Retouching > The Eyes have it ?... or not !

Retoucher

OriginalArtography

Posts: 11

Abingdon, England, United Kingdom

Hi all, I am new here but want to get involved. So if you like my work, please be a friend, drop by, comment or contact me.

I have seen many posts, some really great work, but in my opinion, and I know it will be one opinion of millions, with all the retouching of skin, smoothing, color changes etc the eyes get missed.

I have included a couple of examples, where the flash catch light over powers the eyes. Wider pupils are said to be sexier, more appealing, and the eyes lead deep inside the model soul and the big square flash lights hide this. (All Credits to the photographer and model, sorry I lost the original thread to mention you by name)

Do you agree?
Are the eyes improved with my retouched catch lights?

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130112/02/50f134f2a073a_m.jpg

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130111/04/50f003b0e0455_m.jpg

Love to hear what you all think or is it...

"In the eyes of the beholder!"

Barry

Jan 12 13 02:11 am Link

Photographer

Rick Benson Photography

Posts: 22

Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia

I do agree with you regarding the reflection of studio lights in the eyes and i do often try to modify or limit the effect they have.

Would ask you why just the one catch light and why always in the pupil. I also think the catch lights are a bit too white, could have the opacity lowered i feel.

Jan 12 13 03:32 am Link

Retoucher

OriginalArtography

Posts: 11

Abingdon, England, United Kingdom

Thanks,
Yes I agree, in my defense here, I only took a few minutes playing here, to show what I meant. I usually add them as a separate layers and move them around, and as you say change size and opacity until the eyes sparkle.
Its amazing how the same layers in different places changes the look of the finished image. 

Barry

Jan 12 13 03:44 am Link

Retoucher

AKMac

Posts: 329

London, England, United Kingdom

But Barry, You've made them worse, not better smile

Jan 12 13 04:53 am Link

Retoucher

OriginalArtography

Posts: 11

Abingdon, England, United Kingdom

Hi,
Really?
I did say there would be 1000's of different opinions and I did this as a discussion point, rather than "look how good I am"

As a new guy here I was looking at loads of forum posts, images etc, and I kept seeing some really nice work, sometimes stunning, but IMO there was SOME that were spoilt by not looking into the eyes and dealing with the distracting flash reflections. That finishing touch.

I would NEVER say any image is right or wrong. I have had to many conflicting opinions on my photographs/art when entered into competitions. Some people LOVE it, rave about it, then the next person misses the point altogether and just passes by as if it did not exist!!!

However sincere thanks for taking a moment of you time and commenting, maybe expanding on why you think I messed them up?

Barry

Jan 12 13 05:10 am Link

Retoucher

AKMac

Posts: 329

London, England, United Kingdom

It's very difficult to explain in words. It's just such an incredibly subtle and difficult area to deal with. The elements that you need to be aware of, and in control of, to make the operation work are Position, Shape, Size, Colour, Tone, Gradation, Edge Sharpness and Texture. Also the change has to be in keeping with the original lighting. If it was obviously lit with a large beauty dish with a big reflector below the face and you change the highlight to a small bright circle, it isn't going to be believable, no matter how skilfully you render it.

Jan 12 13 05:55 am Link

Retoucher

Peano

Posts: 4106

Lynchburg, Virginia, US

AKMac wrote:
Also the change has to be in keeping with the original lighting. If it was obviously lit with a large beauty dish with a big reflector below the face and you change the highlight to a small bright circle, it isn't going to be believable, no matter how skilfully you render it.

Hany Farid, a specialist in image forensics, says that's a mistaken idea. View this video beginning at about 26:30 for a minute or so. He shows a cover photo on a magazine, a composite that gets the shadows really wrong.

Farid says his colleagues who study human perception tell him "there have been studies that say your brain doesn’t care about physics. Basically, inconsistencies in things like lighting, shadows, and basic physics your brain simply ignores. It doesn’t actually care about it. And it can be really wrong, and it doesn’t have that pop-out effect like something’s wrong with this thing."

This doesn't mean we shouldn't try to get things right. What it does mean is that we may waste a lot of time and effort on details that will be noticed only by technical types (like most of us) who are looking for problems and doing "the cognitive exercise," as Farid puts it.

Jan 12 13 06:10 am Link

Retoucher

Ovidiu Oltean

Posts: 179

Sibiu, Sibiu, Romania

First you have to understand light, i like the originals, your versions look very creepy.

Photographers : Stefan Bouson and Yulia Gorbachenko.

Like Natalia Taffarel said in an article she wrote : " Don’t fix it if it ain’t broken. "

Jan 12 13 07:09 am Link

Photographer

Billy Bui photography

Posts: 116

Humble, Texas, US

AKMac wrote:
But Barry, You've made them worse, not better smile

agreed....

Jan 12 13 07:16 am Link

Retoucher

Mike Needham Retouching

Posts: 369

Cheltenham, England, United Kingdom

If it was obviously lit with a large beauty dish with a big reflector below the face and you change the highlight to a small bright circle, it isn't going to be believable, no matter how skilfully you render it

I tend to lean towards this side of the argument. Catch-lights are just that, natural reflections caught in the eye, to try and manufacture a believable alternative is a big ask. Instead of replacing, work with what you have. Enhance, not replace.

Jan 12 13 07:17 am Link

Retoucher

Kristiana-Retouch

Posts: 289

London, England, United Kingdom

omg I totally had numb blackout moment with this post big_smile
I didn't read thread at first and thought your before actually was after and it looked normal and attractive to me (as far as we speak about light reflection) big_smile

But for your try - well I would say - NO! Wrong way to do this. It's better to improve and enhance what's already there.

Jan 12 13 01:39 pm Link

Retoucher

Brenden Murphy Photo

Posts: 50

San Jose, California, US

I agree with most of the post above. Catch lights give "life" to the eye, when you illuminate them or reduce them it can make e eyes look dead. I prefer the original versions.

Jan 12 13 03:43 pm Link

Photographer

D A N I E L

Posts: 136

Silverdale, Washington, US

Honestly, we are the only ones that pay attention to catch lights, nobody else care about them or even notice them. That being said, if I was to change them I would just minimize their effect not remove them and place new ones.

However if you really want to change them, then keep in mind that the new catch light would look better if you place it near or towards the direction of the old one, Peano said it, we all get fooled but try to keep things real or right.

I know that in beauty is better to have smaller pupils, that way you get to see more of the eye color, check most of the magazines and you'll see those pupils really small.

Jan 12 13 05:27 pm Link

Photographer

Mask Photo

Posts: 1404

Fremont, California, US

Brenden Murphy Photo wrote:
I agree with most of the post above. Catch lights give "life" to the eye, when you illuminate them or reduce them it can make e eyes look dead. I prefer the original versions.

QFT

also, i tend to dislike large pupils, as they diminish the color of the eye

Jan 12 13 09:04 pm Link

Retoucher

OriginalArtography

Posts: 11

Abingdon, England, United Kingdom

Thanks all for your input.
Whilst I still generally disagree, that reflections that over power the eyes, are best changed, I will take on board your comments, and the fact that most if not ALL you prefer NOT to change the reflection, but modify it.

One thing is clear, that nearly 200 people viewed the images, and only a few of you engaged with an opinion.

Maybe in time I will get a few to see it my way.. but as I said earlier, there is never a right way, just a preferred way.
The photographer. model, retoucher will know what they prefer... I also know the person paying the bills will definitely and always be right...(even when they are wrong!)

Many Thanks. Feedback, good or bad, positive or negative is better than silence.

Barry

Jan 13 13 12:15 am Link

Retoucher

Ionut Matache

Posts: 67

Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania

You have no right to use them in your portfolio, why do you use?

Jan 13 13 01:18 am Link

Retoucher

Ovidiu Oltean

Posts: 179

Sibiu, Sibiu, Romania

Ionut Matache wrote:
You have no right to use them in your portfolio, why do you use?

+1

Jan 13 13 07:33 am Link

Photographer

DaVincent Photography

Posts: 13

Southampton, England, United Kingdom

AKMac wrote:
If it was obviously lit with a large beauty dish with a big reflector below the face and you change the highlight to a small bright circle, it isn't going to be believable, no matter how skilfully you render it.

This is absolutely spot on. The casual observer will not consciously look at the catchlight, but most WILL instinctively know if it's not correct. A very large light source will result in a large catch light, a small white perfectly round dot just won't convey that.

Position of catchlight on the eyes surface changes relative to each other, relative to distance and position of light source, its subtle but again, it will tally as untrue. All of yours the replacements are in exactly the same position on both eyes - just doesn't work at all.

Jan 14 13 06:50 am Link

Retoucher

Peano

Posts: 4106

Lynchburg, Virginia, US

DaVincent Photography wrote:
The casual observer will not consciously look at the catchlight, but most WILL instinctively know if it's not correct.

Do you have any evidence for this?

Jan 14 13 10:45 am Link

Photographer

DaVincent Photography

Posts: 13

Southampton, England, United Kingdom

Peano wrote:
Do you have any evidence for this?

That would require me delving back into my education folders and they were put away a long, long time ago and it's not important enough to me to be THAT enthusiastic about it wink .  I read your post earlier and know exactly what you mean, seen his stuff before, he boggles my mind, it's amazing stuff. The research we did was no where near as scholarly but did have some good grounding and edits with (deliberately placed) faults got lower scores than those without.

As a quick bit of ad hoc I just showed my wife them and asked her if anything was wrong - she didn't spot the edit, she just said they looked cross eyed, showed her the originals after and she said 'oh that's better'. Not exactly scientific but it was easier than going in the loft for my files LOL

Jan 14 13 11:52 am Link

Photographer

Ren Murray

Posts: 542

Salem, Oregon, US

I like the original catchlights, personally. Also, as a photographer who studies photos and breaks them down to understand the lighting, when the catchlights are altered it makes it tough for me to figure out how a photo was lit. Not that that matters to anyone, but that was my first thought when I saw this post.

Small, beauty dish style catchlights that sit off to one side of the pupil in a photo that has soft, subtle shadowing from a large lightsource that is not represented in the eyes makes my life difficult people! smile

Jan 14 13 12:06 pm Link

Retoucher

AKMac

Posts: 329

London, England, United Kingdom

Most of my work is done for photographers, very often the ones who took the shots, so my attitude is that it has to be right. Regarding the quoted research, I'm not surprised by the brain's passive acceptance of just about any ambient or incident lighting presented to it. Unlike the photographic studio, where lighting is controlled and comes from clearly identifiable sources, many everyday situations, both indoor and out, involve a whole complex of direct, reflected and bounced light, and overlapping shadows. It's hardly surprising that the brain has evolved to focus its attention on other things.

Jan 14 13 12:46 pm Link