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..