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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Glamour & Nude Talk
Thread started 05 May 2017 (Friday) 22:01
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Beauty shots - facial hair (remove or not?)

 
starlights
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Post has been edited 6 months ago by starlights.
May 05, 2017 22:01 |  #1

Recently I did a beauty (headshots) shoot for a beautiful young client who appears to have a ton of soft fluff (facial hair) all over her face. Although the hair are skin colored, they are very noticeable when looking at 50% or 100%. She has great skin and the images themselves have come out great. My question is that should I attempt to remove all the facial hair, or just retouch the images without completely removing facial hair? It would be substantial work to retouch 20-30 images in PS if attempting to remove them completely.

Is there any smart technique for such an endeavor? I am fairly comfortable with PS but off late I rely on getting images right in-camera so LR would suffice in most cases.

Thanks for your advice!


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PineBomb
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May 05, 2017 22:21 |  #2

It would help to see a sample. You don't necessarily want to eliminate it entirely. Hair that interrupts lip lines and such are important to deal with. For elaborate retouching, PS (especially with a tablet) is much more efficient than LR.


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Dan ­ Marchant
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Post has been edited 6 months ago by Dan Marchant.
May 08, 2017 00:32 |  #3

starlights wrote in post #18347522 (external link)
....when looking at 50% or 100%.

What does the image look like when viewed at the proper viewing distance. Zooming in is for fixing problems, not finding them, because a problem no one will see when viewing the image normally isn't actually a problem and any time spent fixing it is time wasted.

If the client is going to use the images as headshots on a website (at web resolution) or printed on cards etc then no one will ever see the hairs. But, if the client also wants a really close crop of part of the shot, where the hairs will show up, then it might be worth doing some work.

Obviously the above does not apply when you are shooting glamour work or advertising shots where the client actively wants a fake zero defect look.


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F2Bthere
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May 08, 2017 08:51 |  #4

Every photographer needs to make their own call on this based on how well they know their client. My opinion: I think you want to decide this with your client.

If there is a temporary red mark on a clients face and you take it off, or reduce dark shadows under they eyes, take dust or loose threads off do clothing, a client is unlikely to mind or even notice. If you fail to take such things off, they are likely to notice them :).

When it comes to features which are a part of them, removing them without asking can backfire. Badly. Because you are making a judgement about there being something wrong with who they are. She, her family or her partner might love that "feature" which is not a flaw to them.

Making credible moves which reduce the emphasis on a feature is generally safe. So, if the hair stands out because it is darker and you make the color be closer to the color of her skin without removing it, you are making what is probably good move. If the hair is creating shadows or has highlights on it and you reduce or eliminate the shadows or highlights, again this is good. If the light is emphasizing the issue and you reverse the effect or if there is a way to light her that deemphasizes the issue and you edit so as to give the impression that is how that part is lit, that is also safe as long as it is credible. Same goes for protecting this region from contrast enhancing or sharpening effects.

Models will probably expect to be Photoshopped, but even so, there are lines better not crossed. I remember a rant about a photographer who removed a tattoo without talking with the model first :).


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saea501
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May 08, 2017 08:54 |  #5

Dan Marchant wrote in post #18348881 (external link)
What does the image look like when viewed at the proper viewing distance. Zooming in is for fixing problems, not finding them, because a problem no one will see when viewing the image normally isn't actually a problem and any time spent fixing it is time wasted.

Truer words were never spoken.


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Garry75
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May 08, 2017 16:10 |  #6

Dan Marchant wrote in post #18348881 (external link)
What does the image look like when viewed at the proper viewing distance. Zooming in is for fixing problems, not finding them,

You have just revolusionised the way I will edit from now on! This is such a sensible approach, thank you for your wise words Dan


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RDKirk
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May 08, 2017 22:22 |  #7

Dan Marchant wrote in post #18348881 (external link)
What does the image look like when viewed at the proper viewing distance. Zooming in is for fixing problems, not finding them, because a problem no one will see when viewing the image normally isn't actually a problem and any time spent fixing it is time wasted.

If the client is going to use the images as headshots on a website (at web resolution) or printed on cards etc then no one will ever see the hairs. But, if the client also wants a really close crop of part of the shot, where the hairs will show up, then it might be worth doing some work.

Obviously the above does not apply when you are shooting glamour work or advertising shots where the client actively wants a fake zero defect look.

Repeated for emphasis.




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tdlavigne
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May 09, 2017 17:50 |  #8

Depends on your arrangement with the client. If the client asks for the hairs to be removed then I'd do it, if I were being paid hourly for retouching. If it were a package deal (ie. fixed rate for the shoot and x amount of retouched images) then I wouldn't. This could all be moot though depending on the intended usage and size of the final images. If they're to be used on business cards it very well could be a waste to deal with, but if she's printing a 3'x5' photo to sit behind her at her desk then maybe that's another story.




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starlights
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Post has been edited 6 months ago by starlights.
May 19, 2017 19:43 |  #9

Thank you for responding guys. I apologize for not being able to reply sooner - just overwhelmed with my cybersecurity work.

Anyway - I agree that unless there is a problem at proper working distances, its not a problem, but I believe in this case there is a problem. I have attached a comparative sample, one is with normal processing in LR and the other one with touchup in PS using Nik skin softner. I think its a lot better after about 10 mins of touch up although not perfect. This was a free shoot for a friend so I am not planning to go overboard with the processing but didn't want to give images that were no good in my eyes. I will post proper processed samples here later, but for now here is a sample shot. Whats your opinion on both counts (unprocessed and processed). Thanks so much.

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Dan ­ Marchant
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May 19, 2017 22:36 |  #10

Yes the hairs in the original are noticeable, but your solution appears to be far to heavy handed. The middle of the subjects face is completely blurred, making the image appear very strange. I would suggest dialling it back to just reduce the appearance of the hairs slightly, rather than trying to eliminate them. Alternatively try using an adjustment brush in Lightroom just on the worst areas and then reducing clarity/sharpness slightly.


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starlights
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Post has been edited 6 months ago by starlights.
May 19, 2017 23:34 as a reply to Dan Marchant's post |  #11

The above sample was just a quick experiment - I agree its a heavy handed and in the actual edits I will dial back substantially in addition to lowering the layer opacity and masking areas. Moreover, perhaps due to being a screen capture the image I posted above is not as sharp as it shows on my computer. Thanks for your input, I really appreciate it.


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RDKirk
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May 22, 2017 12:16 |  #12

I don't know your attitude toward plug-ins, but applications like Portraiture and Portrait Pro will handle that particular problem with a couple of clicks.

Otherwise, you can manipulate the Photoshop "Dust and scratches" filter to clear up the hairs over the face (IOW, treat them like scratches).




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starlights
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May 22, 2017 19:34 as a reply to RDKirk's post |  #13

I am fine with plug-ins. The Nik software skin softening that I used is a plugin so no issues there. I have never used the dust and scratches filter in PS so that's something I would definitely like to try - thanks for pointing it out. I am hoping youtube can provide some info on its application.


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Iancentric
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May 22, 2017 23:33 |  #14

Just leave it in the photo. Your client knows she has facial hair, she would have dealt if she thought it was an issue.


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tdlavigne
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Post has been edited 6 months ago by tdlavigne.
May 23, 2017 02:06 |  #15

I hope you don't mind, but I tried my hand at it to see how doable it would be quicky vs being too involved to be worth the trouble. I found that trying Inverted High Pass (choose correct radius and don't forget to turn down opacity!) then masking out everything except the troublesome areas (left cheek mostly) and running Dust and Scratches on that (again, play with opacity and then use Blending Options to narrow the effect to the lighter hairs instead of skin tones). Finally Split Frequency separation to get rid of the last couple tricky spots and then also bring back some texture sampled from areas you might have lost texture in. Results look passable so far, and took about 5 minutes. I imagine if you took 15-20 minutes to do those steps properly (it's late, and I just wanted to see how I would do it if I had to) then it's definitely doable. The Plug-In unfortunately looks too heavily processed and blurred/smoothed.




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Beauty shots - facial hair (remove or not?)
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