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Too much plastic surgery?

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  #11  
Old 09-05-2002, 02:05 PM
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G. Couch G. Couch is offline
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Location: Raleigh, NC
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Lots of good suggestions...I especially liked chiquitita's comment on the eyes and overall warmth of the image.

The main problem is that the poor quality of the original is creating a lot more work than might be necessary. For me, the flash in the original has deadened her hair and created some very odd skin tones in her face....all things that contribute to the "dead" look.

I'll quickly outline what I did in my version I posted earlier.

1. First thing I did was to select the "dead" areas on the face. By dead I mean areas with high levels of Black an Cyan....under the chin, left hand side of her face, etc... If you sample these areas with your eyedropper, you get values like- C: 37 M: 55 Y: 51 B: 10. The Yellow and Magenta levels are ok but there is way too much Black. Most Caucasians will have little if any levels of Black in their skin...unless they have been visiting a tanning salon everyday for 20 years! The highlights on her face look fine, so it is just a matter of selecting the shadows and "opening" them up. There are a couple of ways to do this...I made a selection, feathered it by about 5 pixels and used "color balance" and "selective color" adjustment layers to remove a lot of the Black and lower the Cyan a bit. I usually place samples at several points on the image so I can watch the adjustments in the info palette.

2. For the hair I just made a selection and duplicated to a new layer. I set the mode for this layer to Overlay and applied a Gausion blur of around 6 pixels. The hair was a little too dark after that, so I reduced the layers opacity to around 60%.

3. Her face still looked a little flat so I made a selection and applied a curves adjustment and if I remember correctly, another selective color adjustment layer. I probably ended up with too much red in her face but at least the shadow areas look a little more natural.

4. Cloned out the remaining reflection in the glasses. This is just a matter of personal preference. To me, the reflection just screams out "Camera Flash!" and eliminating it makes the overall portrait look a bit cleaner and more professional.
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  #12  
Old 09-06-2002, 09:03 AM
avprod1 avprod1 is offline
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Thank you

I appreciate all of your suggestions. I plan to play with the photo over the weekend. I will post again with a revision.

Greg and others, your attitude of teaching made it easy to see what you had done, I didn't mind that you posted.

BTW, the original was shot with my new Fuji 2-megapixel camera. Are there any posts about how to set up a camera for a better look? It doesn't have a flash sync port, so I can't use an off-camera flash.

Thanks!!!
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  #13  
Old 09-06-2002, 10:58 AM
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DJ Dubovsky DJ Dubovsky is offline
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Well, we do try to be constructive to help not hurt each other. And looking back at this thread you did get bombarded with alot of creative ideas to work with. Glad you thought they were helpful in your project. You've got a good foundation started and we hope we helped you with the fine tuning.

As for the camera shots, I don't recall a thread on that subject but I think that would be a good idea if you wanted to start one.
I think that Critiques/Opinions/Help requested forum would be a good place to start that thread. I know there are alot of photographers on this site who would really be able to give you some good tips on setting up the best shot.

Good luck and don't forget to let us see how you are coming along on this image.
DJ
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  #14  
Old 09-06-2002, 02:57 PM
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G. Couch G. Couch is offline
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Glad we can help...and can't wait to see your new version!

I'm the last person to ask about camera stuff...but I usually just try and shoot portraits in a bright enough room so that I do not need a flash. That way the colors usually seem more natural and I do not have to worry about any intense reflections from the flash. The original photo is not bad by any means...it's just a difficult one to get a "glamour" style from.
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  #15  
Old 09-06-2002, 06:57 PM
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pstewart pstewart is offline
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Easy Fix

So as not to disturb her natural lines, I did this without any retouching of her shadows and wrinkles, just retouched the hair edges, and (mostly) the eyes--for the face/skin, I ONLY worked on color. Without fixing the eyes, it would have been almost an instant project, since step 4 made a huge difference:

1. Duped it and erased away background with fuzzy eraser, removing unattractive bulge at front of shirt in the process.

2. Smudged hair at edges here and there so it doesn't look so cut out.

3. Did some color adjustment to get the gray out of shadows and reduce the excess red tones.

4. Duped it and did gaussian blur on top layer and set it to overlay mode. This softened most wrinkles while leaving facial expression lines intact, brought out the shadows to reduce the flat "dead" look, and also gave her a bit of a glow.

5. Duped and set to color mode and smoothed skin tones even more by painting over it with big fuzzy brush, copying desired skin tones from here and there. Also got rid of the reddish hair along face (caused by gaussian blur overlay) by sampling colors from other parts of hair and painting over this boundary with low opacity brush. Added lipstick at this point.

6. The pupils showed the "tiny/red/single dot" effect of direct single flash, so I redid the pupils, making them grayer and larger, then put them back on the irises and added two light spots, then used brightness/contrast to bring out detail and make the eyes sparkle.

7. She had no eyelashes showing, so I selected the eye area and duped just that. Then, since there were not enough pixels to continue, I duplicated the picture and enlarged the copy and worked on that. I added a narrow line of black eyeliner, used smudge tool to create subtle eyelashes, then erased away any noticeable boundaries, resized it down to fit, and aligned it back over eyes, erasing away anything that wasn't eyelash area, then collapsed.

8. Added new background with clouds filter and colors sampled from her hair to help the erased edges to blend in, then flattened.

Phyllis
www.innographx.com
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Last edited by pstewart; 09-06-2002 at 07:20 PM.
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  #16  
Old 09-06-2002, 06:58 PM
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pstewart pstewart is offline
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It's easier to see the difference with the original by its side, so here is a small pic showing that.

Phyllis
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