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Photographer
Rob Richards Photo
Posts: 8
Blackburn, England, United Kingdom


I keep seeing these ads for portrait professional and as most of my work is portraits I keep wondering if it is actually worth buying.  I have  LRoom 3 and CS3 but I have to admit I am not a pro at using both.  I ideally like to shoot clean, however, skin touching closeups etc can be really fiddly and time consuming for me so is it worth buying?
Feb 09 12 12:29 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Martin Philippo
Posts: 968
Noordwijkerhout, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands


Rob Richards Photo wrote:
I keep seeing these ads for portrait professional and as most of my work is portraits I keep wondering if it is actually worth buying.  I have  LRoom 3 and CS3 but I have to admit I am not a pro at using both.  I ideally like to shoot clean, however, skin touching closeups etc can be really fiddly and time consuming for me so is it worth buying?

Retouching little blemishes on skin are best done with clone stamp of healing brush in my humble opinion.
I must say I do use a similar program (Imagenomic Portraiture) but only after I've done  most of the work by hand. I use it just to give the image a touch of softness, nothing more.

Feb 09 12 12:39 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Harmon Photography
Posts: 261
Maryville, Tennessee, US


I do the same as Martin. I retouch blemishes, etc. manually and then I use Portrait Professional for smoother skin.
Feb 09 12 12:43 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
C2C Images
Posts: 42
Naples, Campania, Italy


I am using CS3 and LR3 but find that skin retouching with Portrait Professional 10 is excellent.  You can turn off the other options (eyes, lips, hair, reshaping of the face, etc) and the software is still worth the investment just for the skin.  If you do a lot of portraiture of subjects who are not 20 year old models, it is even more worthwhile.  I typically use the spot tool to remove major blemishes and lines then PP 10 to smooth minor wrinkles and most of the skin pores - a great time saver!
Feb 09 12 12:46 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Rob Richards Photo
Posts: 8
Blackburn, England, United Kingdom


Thanks for the quick replies.  Is it worth getting the studio version or do you just use TIFF's?
Feb 09 12 12:49 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
FotoMark
Posts: 2,978
Oxnard, California, US


If you buy Portrait Pro 10 you can upgrade to 11 for free. I do skin touchups by hand but use Portraiture for smoothing the skin, very sparingly. It does a great job as long as you don't overdo it.
Feb 09 12 12:50 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
P O T T S
Posts: 5,239
Lake City, Florida, US


I own it and have used it, but the real issue I find is that half the face will come out great, and there there will be an area that just looks really "waxy". Sometimes its great, other times not so much.
Feb 09 12 01:00 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Martin Philippo
Posts: 968
Noordwijkerhout, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands


P O T T S wrote:
I own it and have used it, but the real issue I find is that half the face will come out great, and there there will be an area that just looks really "waxy". Sometimes its great, other times not so much.

This can be solved if you use the filter in a copy layer. Then apply a mask and cover the parts that look too waxy fully or with a percentage opacity.

Feb 09 12 01:17 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Rob Richards Photo
Posts: 8
Blackburn, England, United Kingdom


I understand I can get v11 but is the regular version worth getting or should I go for the studio or top version?
Feb 09 12 02:19 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
P O T T S
Posts: 5,239
Lake City, Florida, US


Martin Philippo wrote:

This can be solved if you use the filter in a copy layer. Then apply a mask and cover the parts that look too waxy fully or with a percentage opacity.

If I have to make multiple layers and masking issues, why not just do it in PS?

Feb 09 12 02:40 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
RacerXPhoto
Posts: 2,458
Brooklyn, New York, US


Rob Richards Photo wrote:
Thanks for the quick replies.  Is it worth getting the studio version or do you just use TIFF's?

Why not try it for free before buying ???
Download the free demo
I wasnt impressed

Feb 09 12 03:16 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Rob Richards Photo
Posts: 8
Blackburn, England, United Kingdom


RacerXPhoto wrote:

Why not try it for free before buying ???
Download the free demo
I wasnt impressed

Thanks for all advice, have downloaded the trial  and will give it a whirl!

Feb 10 12 10:30 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Carlos Ignacio M
Posts: 21
Houston, Texas, US


Rob Richards Photo wrote:
I keep seeing these ads for portrait professional and as most of my work is portraits I keep wondering if it is actually worth buying.  I have  LRoom 3 and CS3 but I have to admit I am not a pro at using both.  I ideally like to shoot clean, however, skin touching closeups etc can be really fiddly and time consuming for me so is it worth buying?

WHATEVER YOU DO, IF YOU SHOOT LARGE FILES DO NOT BUY THE PORTRAIT PROFESSIONAL STUDIO PRO 64. IT IS A VERY BAD PROGRAM. THE PROBLEMS ARE TOO MANY TO LIST.

Nov 13 12 05:57 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Kristiana-Retouch
Posts: 287
London, England, United Kingdom


I haven't tried it by myself, but be careful - it's so easy to make fake and blurry photos with them.
Nov 13 12 07:51 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
JMHSPhoto
Posts: 412
Windsor, Ontario, Canada


Martin Philippo wrote:

This can be solved if you use the filter in a copy layer. Then apply a mask and cover the parts that look too waxy fully or with a percentage opacity.

I agree with this.

If I have a large amount of work to do on a shoot. I will batch process this and using a mask, just take the (what I see as ) improvements to the images, leave the rest behind the mask.

There is a time and a place for everything...

Nov 13 12 11:52 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Megan E Griscom
Posts: 421
Bordentown, New Jersey, US


Before I got CS6 I used PP a lot. I rarely use it now but it is useful for a final softening of the skin, and more affordable than Portraiture which is about two hundred bucks. If you use raw files u have to upgrade to a more expensive version.

I use it on the lightest setting, and the hair tidy is helpful at a level of no more than 15.

It also alters the features but be careful as it can make the lips look funny sometimes. I often go back into liquify and have to tweak the lips back.

But again its helpful for skin smoothing, eye color and hair smoothing.
Nov 13 12 08:19 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Mike Needham Retouching
Posts: 369
Cheltenham, England, United Kingdom


It also alters the features

This alone should be a reason to steer clear I feel. I can't speak as to the work-flow benefits, but plug-ins such as this scare me rigid, I feel it takes away control and replaces it with sliders that are guestimates.

Nov 14 12 03:49 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
terrysphotocountry
Posts: 4,046
Rochester, New York, US


I use picture professional #10 with CS 3. It's great for face work.
Nov 14 12 05:32 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Smedley Whiplash
Posts: 17,242
Billings, Montana, US


I recommend it. It isn't necessary on everything you shoot... like models. They are usually beautiful anyway, so it's not going to give you anything she didn't already show up with.

But, for regular folks, it works pretty damn good. Not just for skin, but also for enhancing facial symmetry, but use it sparingly... you can turn someone into an alien if you use it at 100%.

I developed a setting that I called "freckles", the primary goal being to have the program distinguish between freckles and pimples, so it's a nice subtle skin smoother and overall skin color homogenizer, but it leaves the pores and freckles intact. And it does it a hellova lot faster then I could do it by hand.


Finally found an article about v11 improvements:
http://betanews.com/2012/11/14/portrait … -ugliness/

Can't figure out why their site doesn't elaborate on the new features.
Nov 14 12 08:05 am  Link  Quote 
Model
Tony Collins
Posts: 47
Tampa, Florida, US


I think it's great for testing the waters in retouching. I've used it a few times just to get myself acquainted with the processes of what post production my entail but I've always ended up taking what I've done in PP and going to Photoshop afterwards anyway (mainly out of habit).
Nov 16 12 05:07 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kawika Photography
Posts: 110
San Diego, California, US


I have both Portraiture and Portrait Pro and imo, Portraiture is superior. Mainly because you can use the default setting on a cloned layer (I have it as an Action button) that processes in 5 seconds which gets you 90% of the way there. Then just set opacity, erase parts you want sharp and flatten and clone parts you want to fix and you're done.

Portrait Pro on the other hand has a really slow interface to identify all the face parts. Once you're done there's a ton of adjustments you could do but I don't let pictures get that far in the workflow unless they're technically correct. If I had to do major adjustments then I screwed-up at the shoot and I have to question if the picture is really worth trying to save. I hope that helps.
Nov 16 12 05:51 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
NotoriousRetouch
Posts: 32
San Antonio, Texas, US


I have not tried the program, so my advice may not be the best. But I have seen reviews for it, and honestly I would say to try and master a program that gives you more control over your work (like PS). You do not need to be hardcore at PS, but at least know the basics. I know professional photographers who use Photoshop in its simplest form and still come out with a great looking/clean portrait. I prefer having the ability to fine tune my work and have as much control as possible over what I do on images.
Nov 16 12 06:57 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
JulianRancePhotography
Posts: 279
Charlotte, North Carolina, US


I have been using PP for a little over two years and absolutely love it.  I run it as a plug-in in Aperture and it definitely fits my workflow.  However, I don't use it all the time:

-No MAU on the shoot, I'll fire up PP
-With a MAU present on the shoot, I may still use PP to balance out skin tones - especially full body work
-Each subject/model is different, some I can simply use a few basic tools in Aperture to remove blemished and smooth their skin, in which case, I will skip PP.

One grip I have is the wait times as the image is being assessed to locate facial features.  However, once it has a lock on the subject's face [sometimes it has to be done manually] it's smooth sailing. 

I have presets for all my favorite llamas that I work with which makes it much faster to work on their edits.  The only thing you have to remember is, it's not a shortcut or workaround for bad photography - actually, you have to be more careful with your lighting and exposure as the software can be tricked by shadows and under-exposed areas.

Used in moderation, it is a monster! 

Here is a sample of a head shot I recently edited with PP...

http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/155941_459388294099695_772589567_n.jpg

Same llama without PP... 

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/121109/00/509cbee36d4d3.jpg

As you can see she was already a winner and the jury is still out on whether I did her any justice with my PP edits!  Either way, I still love using it!
Nov 19 12 10:00 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Gulag
Posts: 1,219
Duluth, Georgia, US


Mr Jay wrote:
I have been using PP for a little over two years and absolutely love it.  I run it as a plug-in in Aperture and it definitely fits my workflow.  However, I don't use it all the time:

-No MAU on the shoot, I'll fire up PP
-With a MAU present on the shoot, I may still use PP to balance out skin tones - especially full body work
-Each subject/model is different, some I can simply use a few basic tools in Aperture to remove blemished and smooth their skin, in which case, I will skip PP.

One grip I have is the wait times as the image is being assessed to locate facial features.  However, once it has a lock on the subject's face [sometimes it has to be done manually] it's smooth sailing. 

I have presets for all my favorite models that I work with which makes it much faster to work on their edits.  The only thing you have to remember is, it's not a shortcut or workaround for bad photography - actually, you have to be more careful with your lighting and exposure as the software can be tricked by shadows and under-exposed areas.

Used in moderation, it is a monster! 

Here is a sample of a head shot I recently edited with PP...


Same model without PP... 



As you can see she was already a winner and the jury is still out on whether I did her any justice with my PP edits!  Either way, I still love using it!

The 2nd one looks much more natural to my eyes while the first one looks fake and terrible.

Nov 19 12 11:01 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kevin Connery
Posts: 16,637
El Segundo, California, US


Moderator Note!

mshi wrote:
The 2nd one looks much more natural to my eyes while the first one looks fake and terrible.

As you've been reminded before, site rules state that "If someone has not asked for your critical opinion of their work, please do not give one."

Nov 19 12 11:22 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Drew Smith Photography
Posts: 5,209
Nottingham, England, United Kingdom


Or..

.. you can go to Blur in Photoshop and then Surface Blur and use that. Combine that with a Layer or two and you have similar, cheaper method of 'blurring/softening' (call it what you like) your model's skin.
Nov 19 12 11:55 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Rich Arnold Photography
Posts: 938
Los Angeles, California, US


I own PP but once I started using Portraiture, I never touched it again.
Nov 21 12 01:12 pm  Link  Quote 
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