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Photo Retouching "Improving" photos, post-production, correction, etc.

High-end digital retoucher in NYC

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  #11  
Old 09-22-2005, 09:35 PM
leuallen leuallen is offline
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Chris,

If you use black to burn and get that grayed over skin color can you not just use a low opacity brush with mode set to Color, and pick a good color surrounding the grayed area and brush over it to restore the color. Seems to work for me but then I am not high end.

Larry
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  #12  
Old 09-23-2005, 05:54 AM
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byRo byRo is offline
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To dodge and burn using a soft-light layer, and avoid getting distracted by the off colours, make a duplicate of the original layer and place it above the soft-light layer with blending set to Colour. Now you'll only be tweaking the luminosity.

The hue of skin varies very little with the luminosity, but if you are doing some heavy dodging / burning you'll probably have to correct the saturation, in which case Larry's tip will help - if you have a reference tone to copy.

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  #13  
Old 09-23-2005, 07:38 AM
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cricket1961 cricket1961 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leuallen
Chris,

If you use black to burn and get that grayed over skin color can you not just use a low opacity brush with mode set to Color, and pick a good color surrounding the grayed area and brush over it to restore the color. Seems to work for me but then I am not high end.

Larry
Larry

What you suggest would work but with one caveat. You are doing twice as much work. When doing the initial painting with white and black(or the color of your choice) you are using a low opoacity brush to begin with on RGB images. You will find that with CMYK images that opacity will increase.
The graying out that occurs with a black brush is really pretty minimal. But the retouchers who are very anal will notice it and be bothered by it.
You could do what Ro suggests, but you really need to keep the number of layers down when doing retouching. Also if there needed to be any kind of healing brush work or stamp tool work done you will find that you have to really figure out more logistics than you want to deal with. At this point most retouchers will create a merge of all layers and place it on top, effectivley losing the adjustability of all layers beneath.
If th esoft layer technique is done correctly there should be no introduction of oversaturation into the image. THe softlight layer however is a excelent way of getting rid of a cast in any direction by usiing a selection and curves. Locally with a brush and going into individual channels.

Chris
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  #14  
Old 09-23-2005, 09:36 AM
heyrad heyrad is offline
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Everything being discussed here so far can be considered a great way of achieving the end result. The important consideration here is flexibility. If you use a GRAY layer in an overlay/soft mode, you can dodge and burn with white or black till your heart's content.. The problem is, that if your dodging and burning are on the same layers-- no flexibility... If you REALLY wanna get your hands dirty and do things the smart way...-conrad

Last edited by heyrad; 08-09-2006 at 05:25 PM.
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  #15  
Old 09-23-2005, 10:04 AM
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cricket1961 cricket1961 is offline
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Conrad

Nice detail. One thing to add is that the layer filled with Gray should alway be underneath any color adjustment layers. Otherwise all hell breaks loose.

I am with you about thte credit stuff. I have one photographer who gives me credit on everything he gets published. One out of many.
I talked with Melvin Sokolsky, a sometime client of mine about just this thing.
It was just a talk in general that he started. He had a retoucher in California that asked him to give him credit for the image since he made it look good.
Melvin took all of his work away from him. His opinion is that he took the shot, it is his vision of what it should be, and his direction that the retoucher is following. Therefore it is 100% Melvin's shot and the retoucher was just another tool to get there.

I understand his point of view. But as a retoucher, I have seen to many of th ebig name photographers come in with half assed images that were lacking from proper photography technique and making them look stunning. Just to see that they get credit as a incredible photographer who really understands the use of light and shadow.

I'll join that orinization if you start it Conrad.

Chris
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  #16  
Old 09-23-2005, 10:15 AM
heyrad heyrad is offline
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I don't use a Gray layer when I've got my D&B set... It replaces the need for a gray layer. Although... A gray layer can replace my DARKEN/LIGHTEN curves for those who like useing the overlay method..

Now, as for the credits. There are a few mags(mostly European) that will give the retoucher credit and that's wonderful. Don't see it here too much. In regards to art buying and retouching. I don't believe in asking for something that i dont deserve. If a photographer sits with me and directs me to his final vision, then that's fine... it's his work. HOWEVER, about 35% of the time a photographer will simply ask me to perform "MAGIC" on his/her image... and that's when it gets mirky because the photo then becomes MY interpretation and thus credit should be due. I was talking to a French collegue recently and he was talking about Pascal over at Box and how he's trying to get rights to images. He's way over the top anyway, has more money than God and turns away people because it's a Tuesday and hasn't had his coffee yet(this is all rumor, not necessarily fact).

This new organization would have to have some influential people in it to work. Remember... right now i'm the little elf in the dark room, Michael Thompson and Steven Miesel don't have my home phone numbers(yet) and leverage is the key to any successful coup... So I plan and strategize and wait to pounce. Glad to know I've got some brave soldiers like yourself lying in wait
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  #17  
Old 09-23-2005, 11:24 AM
Cassidy Cassidy is offline
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hey guys, tips and clues well appreciated by many I'd think. So thanks
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  #18  
Old 09-23-2005, 11:32 AM
Cassidy Cassidy is offline
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Heyrad, other than all else, classy stuff
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  #19  
Old 09-23-2005, 11:34 AM
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cricket1961 cricket1961 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heyrad
I don't use a Gray layer when I've got my D&B set... It replaces the need for a gray layer. Although... A gray layer can replace my DARKEN/LIGHTEN curves for those who like useing the overlay method..

Now, as for the credits. There are a few mags(mostly European) that will give the retoucher credit and that's wonderful. Don't see it here too much. In regards to art buying and retouching. I don't believe in asking for something that i dont deserve. If a photographer sits with me and directs me to his final vision, then that's fine... it's his work. HOWEVER, about 35% of the time a photographer will simply ask me to perform "MAGIC" on his/her image... and that's when it gets mirky because the photo then becomes MY interpretation and thus credit should be due. I was talking to a French collegue recently and he was talking about Pascal over at Box and how he's trying to get rights to images. He's way over the top anyway, has more money than God and turns away people because it's a Tuesday and hasn't had his coffee yet(this is all rumor, not necessarily fact).

This new organization would have to have some influential people in it to work. Remember... right now i'm the little elf in the dark room, Michael Thompson and Steven Miesel don't have my home phone numbers(yet) and leverage is the key to any successful coup... So I plan and strategize and wait to pounce. Glad to know I've got some brave soldiers like yourself lying in wait
Conrad

Hmmm. They(and a few others) do have my cell number. Not nice that they do always : )
Pascal works much differently then us. He has contracts with everyone, most especially with the Photographers. He really does have the rights to many many things, and for this reason, Mario Testino and others are shopping around for new retouchers. They are starting to dislike his style of look and want to have their own shine through.I have meetings set up with many to get their work in here. Fingers crossed. Luckily I have done a lot of work for them already.

I think we can make it work. Just need to get it started.

Chris
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  #20  
Old 09-23-2005, 11:46 AM
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byRo byRo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heyrad
I constantly see credits going out to stylists, hair, makeup and often times their assistants, but NEVER do you see credits to the retoucher. The retoucher NEVER gets the credit ....
I'd say there's a Catch-22 situation in there somewhere.

Not sure exactly, but when things like this happen it's often because it's the logic that runs that way. (and saying "Catch-22 situation" makes you look fiendishly clever ).

Something like... if you are a really good retoucher and you get your name associated with an image, then that'll end up meaning that the original photographer could be (or was) crap. BUT, this is the guy that's paying you the money.

go figure......

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