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Portrait Correction: I need some advice pls

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Old 08-19-2005, 07:59 AM
Bibyrox's Avatar
Bibyrox Bibyrox is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Bucharest, Romania
Posts: 6
Exclamation Portrait Correction: I need some advice pls

Hello RP!
I'm new to your site! My name is Roxana (Biby is my nickname) and i'm from Romania. I'm a newbie in PS (7.0).
I've read all of yours tutorials and I tried to do something with a picture I had. I'm not really satisfied but I think it's a good start... What do u think???
Anyone can explain to me what I did wrong and how can I fix it?

Thank you very much for your attention and.. sorry for my english!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg bride_original.jpg (48.9 KB, 73 views)
File Type: jpg bride_retouch.jpg (49.3 KB, 77 views)
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Old 08-19-2005, 12:14 PM
CJ Swartz's Avatar
CJ Swartz CJ Swartz is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Metro Phoenix area, Arizona
Posts: 3,344
Blog Entries: 19

Welcome to RetouchPro!

Here is my answer to your question:

What many of us tend to do when we are newbies is to do TOO MUCH. I know I took away too many wrinkles from my family photos when I started practicing retouching -- trying to make them look like they were teenagers instead of the wise old people they really were. We need to remember that perfect skin is NOT realistic, and that taking away all of a person's "imperfections" leaves them looking like a plastic doll -- not themselves. Real skin has pores to let the body breathe -- it's not just a slick, smooth layer. Reduce the shiny spots, smooth out the skin a bit, possibly 'heal" the rough spot above her upper lip, but don't smooth her skin so much, and do not erase her moles completely -- they are part of her.

Your selection near her hair on the right side (facing the photo) needs some work -- the color from the background shows through her hair and around the outside of her hairdo and does not match the black background surrounding the rest of her face/figure. You could also choose not to hide the background completely -- just blur it and darken it or change its color -- but that's your choice.

I'm not suggesting that my version is done, (my selections always "need more work" ) but it gives an idea of how you can fix the photo without changing the person so much. I have used a Selective Color adjustment layer to remove some of the cyan and the magenta from her skin tones (reduced the magenta in the Red option, and cyan (and a bit of black, I think) from the Neutral option.

There are many opinions of WHEN ARE YOU DONE with the retouching of a photo -- you will have your own opinion, and that is fine. If you are doing work for hire, the client may have a different opinion. But try doing a bit less the next time, and see if you like the results.
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File Type: jpg Less-is-More.jpg (97.3 KB, 59 views)

Last edited by CJ Swartz; 08-19-2005 at 12:23 PM.
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Old 08-19-2005, 02:14 PM
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Flora Flora is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Milan, Italy
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Hi Roxana,

Welcome to RP!

I couldn't agree more with what CJ has said ... I've learnt that 'less can be much more' when retouching a picture ... specially a portrait....

I noticed that you corrected the 'double chin' and changed the jaw line as well .... These corrections haven't been 'blended in' with the rest of her face and are another 'dead giveaway' for retouch ....

Like CJ, I'm also very much for trying to keep the look as natural as possible ... but sometimes, particularly with brides, I just love to get that very soft, romantic, dreamy look ....

After correcting shiny spots and pushing the distracting background further to the back by partially desaturating, darkening and blurring it, I just run the Diffuse Glow filter on the bride only.


great job!!
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File Type: jpg F_bride_original.jpg (98.5 KB, 55 views)
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Old 08-19-2005, 02:35 PM
2menelo 2menelo is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 6
Hop it helps

Hey Biby, I am new to photography and this site, but I would be glad to put my 2 cents in. It appears the contrast was lost with the softening effect and if you use layer mask to punch up the contrast with curves or layer blending you could control the effect through the mask and its opacity. And notice through her hair you can see the old background - there again you can use a layer mask with levels then fill with black and paint in with white to reveal the levels adjustment. Some of the softening is probably being exagerated by saving for the web, so I am sure your image looks sharper on your computer.

Great lighting on the shot, her eyes and crown are great.

Just one newbie thankful for layers & Ctrl-Z
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Old 08-19-2005, 02:42 PM
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goose443 goose443 is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 225
Healing Tool

A good tip when clearing the initial blemishes and shiny spots with the healing tool is after every stroke with the tool, go back and fade it a little using edit:fade to bring back the dimensionality of the face. Often times in clearing up blemishes and skin problems you also end up loosing a lot of detail and dimensionality in the face. Remember that although you don't want the face to be shiny, the shine corresponds to a highlight and you don't necessarily want to remove that highlight completely. Here is a small section of the photograph.
First: untouched
Second: cheek highlight "healed"
Third: cheek highlight "healed" and the faded back to about 70% to bring back some of the dimensionality.
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Old 08-19-2005, 03:28 PM
leuallen leuallen is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 145
What they said about keeping it natural and not plastic.

Here is my version. This was a lot of work involving many steps, not a quicky.

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File Type: jpg bride_original-LL.jpg (98.5 KB, 39 views)
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Old 08-21-2005, 06:40 AM
Bibyrox's Avatar
Bibyrox Bibyrox is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Bucharest, Romania
Posts: 6
Thumbs down

Thank you all!!!! Great job!!!
I'll follow your advices and.. practice, practice.. practice! It's the only way to learn!
I love this site!!! You're amazing!!!!

Kisssssss muahhhhhhhh
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