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New to retouching photos

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Old 08-01-2006, 06:18 PM
Karmacode Karmacode is offline
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New to retouching photos


I'm 18 and I want to become a digital airbrusher for photoshoots and stuff like that.

Please take a look and some of the restorations I've done so far.

I'm still an amateur so any constructive criticism would be appreciated.

I recently bought a book Katrin Eismann so hopefully that will help me improve my skills.


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Old 08-01-2006, 07:57 PM
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byRo byRo is offline
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Hi there, Derek, welcome to RetouchPRO.

I'll accept you invitation to critique.....

1) A very good idea, well executed - this is definitely the best of the bunch. I'm pretty sure that the shadows are all wrong - but this doesn't hurt at all. One slight nitpick would be the little orange spot that is exactly on the edge of the front leg - found that a bit distracting, but overall... Very good work!

2) Great work on all the non and less important parts, background, hair, clothes shoulders. Trouble is, in portrait images the eyes are all-important. If the eyes don't work, then you're in trouble. The eyes are a bit strange in the original - they just got stranger. After the eyes comes the mouth, whitening the teeth is usually correct but here they seem to be glowing!

3) OK, now you got the eyes and the mouth but lost all the rest. The hair looks totally un-natural. Now the nose.... I can only think that you made an honest mistake and haven't really looked at your retouch. I've never seen (and don't want too) anyone where the end of the nose os closer to the eyes than to the mouth.

4) Nice work. The eyes, again, need some fixing. The reflection from the frontal lighting is right in the centre of the eye. Move that highlight out a little and you've got a much better eye. You did a good job with the bust and the upper arm however you cannot forget that besides retouching the people you need to fix the clothes too. The creases over the bust in the middle of the image give the impression of an ill-fitting dress.

Good start.
Don't give up.

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Old 08-01-2006, 09:07 PM
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mistermonday mistermonday is offline
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Posts: 3,028

Hi Derek,
Ro hit pretty well all of the critique points so I will only add a couple of comments.
Image 2 looks like it had a lot of blue and green light incident on the subject. There is a heavy blue cast int he hair and the background. This cycan color cast is on the teeth and spreads down to the neck. It looks like that same light source has hit the fluid in the bottom of her eyelids and reflected upward giving that weird look only in the bottom of her eyes. The main Iris color looks natural but in retouching it you have boosted the contrast to where the color is not natural and some detail has been blown away. You have also accentuated the hot spot on the forehead as it is blown out to 100% white.
On image 3, I need to disagree with Ro on the eyes. The shape of the pupil of her left eye is irregular and the cornea is flat and unnatural looking compared to her right eye. Finally the art of retouching is to enhance without making radical reconstructions to the key facial features. The face looks like it has gone through major plastic surgery with the noise being significantly disproportioned.
Your efforts are to be commended. Keep plugging away at it.
Regards, Murray
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Old 08-02-2006, 12:47 PM
Karmacode Karmacode is offline
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To be honest with you, I don't know much about lighting. I've never taken any photography classes or anything like (yeah- I wasn't kidding when I said I was an amateur! ) but I'll have to look into learning more about that. I just received Katrin's book in the mail today so maybe that will help me out.

As for image #3...I realize I messed with her nose way too much. I was kind of just experimenting on that one to see if I could do plastic surgery in photoshop

Anyway- thank you both for your well-written feedback!
I'll definitely try to improve the areas you mentioned in my later works and hopefully start building a real portfolio.

Last edited by Karmacode; 08-02-2006 at 12:54 PM.
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Old 08-02-2006, 06:35 PM
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blue dog blue dog is offline
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Location: Princeton, NJ
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Welcome Aboard

First, I am not the Pro that many folks here are. In fact, I only took this up 9 months ago myself, looking for a 2nd career (before the first killed me.). Its important to know where comments originate. Also, Critiques are No-Holds-Barred. Most won't mince words. I've often got better, more meaningful results by posting something under Help and asking for suggestions. I will assume that you were always going for the 'real' look.

Oh, I never read any other critique when I give one. I am testing myself her too.

1. Example. Skin tone is definitely too Cyan - Maybe that's exactly what you wanted. (?) Skin is unrealistically plastic. Fine nose job but you crossed her eyes in the process. EYES MUST BE CORRECT! Nice shadow work on legs. Eyelids are much too heavy underneath.

2. I'm thinking that you like the blinding light! Again, you give a good nose job. Eyes are fine - looks like you only changed the color. Nice hair coloring. Tough one. On a younger person, especially a woman, you have to be careful to not go to far. I still has to look like the person! Some women will be insulted if you fix too much; there must be that much wrong! Honestly, it looks like you stuck a flash 6 inches from her face. Also, face is too flat - which would be a real world result of too close a flash. Blown out skin tones!

3. Okay. I'm not going to repeat myself - assume same criticisms and kados for skin, hair lighting, etc. That's a great nose for someone about 35 years younger and with a MUCH smaller face. Proportion is all wrong. If for some reason you really wanted to do that then you would definiely have to shorten the distance between her nose and lips, probably then shortinging her jaw. Left eye needs a highlight - looks dead.

4. Too heavy handed. Not the same girl anymore. If you remove a bunch of little moles, leave the bigger ones that people see everyday: on neck and left breast. Mouth is wrong.

You doing really good for a beginner. You will be much better if you work through Katrin's book.
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Old 08-03-2006, 09:43 AM
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PatrickB PatrickB is offline
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Hm, I can't add anything than all the others did beside a question:

Is it art as in heavy airbrushing or portrait and beauty retouching? For the latter, you lack some skills and overdo far too much. For the airbrushing you got a lot of skills and do the right thing in my eyes (I'm referring to the first one. It looks really good, maybe the eyes yes, but the approach is excellent).
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Old 08-03-2006, 05:37 PM
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Littlecoo Littlecoo is offline
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G'day Karma,
Taking photography lessons is an excelent idea, the knowlege and skills you gain will definitely put you in good stead.
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Old 08-04-2006, 12:53 PM
maureeno maureeno is offline
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In image number 2, you may want to shape that right shoulder. It's to OUR right as we look at the image. It certainly seems she's taken her own photo, and the giveaway is the shoulder/upper arm is outsretched and higher than the left (which would actually be HER right shoulder.)

So, perhaps you can reshape that shoulder by cloning the background.

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Old 08-05-2006, 12:31 PM
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shellby shellby is offline
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Back it off a lot

Less is more. Try and tone down the retouching. Remember that your subject will still want to look like the same person so don't change the shape of the face too much. Good luck and keep it up!
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