Originally Posted by jam1212
Regardless of whether or not the post is ethical, I believe the main point here is the retouching, which, in my opinion, is pretty bad. While I believe I can see the direction you were attempting to take it, I think you darkened it way too much. Drama is all good and well, but when you completely obscure details, the drama turns into mush. Moving on to specifics, the high contrast you introduced did something strange to her nose, causing it to take on a very geometric appearance. Also, the general placement of highlights/shadows is a little off. You altered her bone structure as opposed to accentuating it.
To be honest, I think you took a very nice picture and made it worse.
Just my two cents.
Hm, we just looked at it again...the strange thing is that I didn't even touch her nose, so I'm not sure of what the geometric thing could be. I do think that the light and contrast makes her nose's shape stand out, as her nose has an angle just above the tip of her nose...which can be seen in the original image. I thought about changing that angle, but I didn't want to mess with it, as I was trying to use light principles to sculpt and shape...and frankly I thought her "original" nose was rather cute.
I did add more white to the bridge of her nose...is that what you mean by geometric? Other than that, I didn't touch her nose. The part of this image that I did think would get torn to shreds is the arm in the foreground, as the lighting is clearly off and anyone (whether or not they're interested in high-fashion/beauty imagery) would notice it. I gave up on trying to light the arm, as I thought the position of the arm in general as cause for optical confusion (at least for me).