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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Critique Corner 
Thread started 17 Apr 2011 (Sunday) 02:02
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Please critique my Skin retouching skills

 
XxDJCyberLoverxX
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Apr 17, 2011 02:02 |  #1

I shot my friend, Natalie, a few days ago. I'm always trying to improve on my photography and PP skills. For some reason, I can't pinpoint what exactly is "wrong" or unnatural (if any) with my PP skills this time around.

It would be great of all of you can help pinpoint me in the right direction: skin smoothing, color, crop, etc. I'll show the processed image first, then the raw image afterwards.

Finished Image:

IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
HTTP response: NOT FOUND | MIME changed to 'image/gif' | Redirected to error image by FLICKR


and then...

SOOC Image:
IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
HTTP response: NOT FOUND | MIME changed to 'image/gif' | Redirected to error image by FLICKR


Thank you,

Daniel

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Si19761
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Apr 17, 2011 03:35 |  #2

Hi Daniel, I'm certainly no expert but I've spotted a couple of areas where it could be improved.

Firstly, she looks to have a halo around her head. On her left hand side just above her shoulder it is quite noticeable and there is a very definate line between the background and her hair. Secondly, there are a number of shiny areas on her face and forehead, especially above her left eye. Maybe that could be improved on.

I do like how you've improved the areas around her eyes and gernerally you've improved the image.


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Aquaman
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Apr 17, 2011 07:06 |  #3

I noticed the halo too. (Not the intentional halo in the background, but the one tight around her hair). I suspect you used a mask, and the white background from the original shot was caught in the mask.


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Crocodile101
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Apr 17, 2011 09:41 |  #4
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Her skin tone is a little strong. When cutting out a person, soften the edges a little.
take a photo without the shadow for an easier clip or include the shadow in your background.


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District_History_Fan
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Apr 17, 2011 10:08 as a reply to  @ Crocodile101's post |  #5

Hi Daniel.

The image would look much more natural if the lighting had been done differently instead of trying to do it in post. She needed a speedlight zoomed/snooted for the background and a high enough shutter speed to drop the ambient light around the "spot" behind her. As it is, she looks almost Photoshopped into the photo. The halo is a selection issue in PS.

As for the skin smoothing, I think you handled it pretty well. A problem could be that the light on her face may have been a bit harsh and she has hot areas on her cheeks and forehead. Once again, a nice diffused light source may have helped. Some folks have oily skin and the bright areas this can produce can certainly be a challenge.

Keep in mind, those comments are meant to help and are not coming from someone that is not really into portraiture.


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XxDJCyberLoverxX
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Apr 17, 2011 10:40 |  #6

Thank you everyone for your comments. They really help. As far as the halo goes, i dont know how to use Photoshop too well to avoid it. Yes, i cut out the person using masks, but i dont know how to "soften" the cut to make it more natural? I dont have a studio or anything, so i just find a white wall to shoot and find that the background is boring most of the time, so i replace the color.

Can anyone suggest how i can avoid making the unintentional halo? Her skin is really oily, so even with a diffused light source, there were hot spots. I tried to even out the spots in Lightroom.


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District_History_Fan
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Apr 17, 2011 10:59 |  #7

XxDJCyberLoverxX wrote in post #12239082 (external link)
As far as the halo goes, i dont know how to use Photoshop too well to avoid it. Yes, i cut out the person using masks, but i dont know how to "soften" the cut to make it more natural? I dont have a studio or anything, so i just find a white wall to shoot and find that the background is boring most of the time, so i replace the color.

Can anyone suggest how i can avoid making the unintentional halo?

My advice would be to avoid the complex PS selection altogether by moving the subject farther from the wall, use your 430EX to light the backdrop (using colored gels would add punch) and light the subject with another Speedlite. The ultimate setup for this shot would be three lights, backdrop, key and fill. Two of those lights would obviously need to be off camera (backdrop and key).


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Crocodile101
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Apr 17, 2011 12:17 |  #8
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If you have time, do your work before the shoot placing lights, composition, pose and so on. ps is for mistakes or enhancement but not your doit all there program.


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SmilingFox
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Apr 17, 2011 14:04 |  #9

The skin looks a little much to me. I wouldn't think that if it were so smooth or waxy looking. The halo is quite noticeable as well. Ill be honest, when I have to crop someone out, I use Topaz Remask. It does a better job than I can do by hand, in the same amount of time. For next time though, she should be moved farther away from the bg, there won't be as much of shadow and it won't be as noticeable either. Keep Shooting!


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XxDJCyberLoverxX
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Apr 17, 2011 14:46 |  #10

Great! Thank you everyone. I learned something new. I didn't know that if you remove the subject from the wall/bg, that the shadows would be less apparent. How far does the subject usually have to stand away from the wall before the shadows disappear?

I'll fix the skin also. Sometimes my judgment gets a little hazy after a few hours of staring at the computer screen and editing pictures.


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XxDJCyberLoverxX
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Apr 17, 2011 22:38 |  #11

I know there is no replacement for good preparation and good lighting, but I did some research on reducing halos in Photoshop and tried it again with my picture.

I think the new background "might" help a little with the halo, but is there a positive difference between this edit and my first one? I reduced the saturation of the skin tone to make it more realistic. I need all of the constructive criticism I can get. Thank you POTN!

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SmilingFox
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Apr 17, 2011 23:24 |  #12

The bg is much better than before. The skin tones do look a bit better too!


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StephenAndrew
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Apr 18, 2011 00:03 |  #13

I agree, the new edit looks much better.


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XxDJCyberLoverxX
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Apr 18, 2011 01:26 |  #14

Thanks SmilingFox and StephenAndrew. I'll jot down this PS process, the lighting advice, and make sure to apply it the next time I have a shoot.


Daniel
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Crocodile101
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Apr 18, 2011 08:34 |  #15
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very good!. Learn to soften (blur) the edges of the mask, they are still sharp and noticeable.


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Please critique my Skin retouching skills
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