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

Teach me how to do this!

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  #1  
Old 11-04-2006, 09:35 PM
stigma stigma is offline
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Teach me how to do this!

So after doing some browsing, there's a style of photography (post-processing really) that I've come to love and want to do. I need all the help I can get to help make my photos look like this guys': http://www.jeremycowart.com

They have this HDR look to them, without having to use HDR. I don't know how else to describe it. It looks a tiny bit "fake" and surreal.

Aside from lighting techniques, which I know plays a big part in it, I'm more interested in the post processing that went into and achieving that look using Photoshop CS2, as I don't have thousand-dollar lighting equipment.

I'm sorta new to Photoshop so if you could explain the steps in detail, that'd be great! If you can, post up some before and after photos you've made an attempt at!

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 11-05-2006, 12:14 AM
cspringer cspringer is offline
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Re: Teach me how to do this!

many look like Lucisart (google it) but not so heavy handed.
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  #3  
Old 11-05-2006, 08:24 AM
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superkoax superkoax is offline
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Re: Teach me how to do this!

on the band standing with the drive in sign screamin is that they have done a overkill on a sharpening and then taken down the opacity to a respectable level...but the light is a good way to start with the right feel...


Gerry
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  #4  
Old 11-05-2006, 11:16 AM
stigma stigma is offline
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Re: Teach me how to do this!

Post up examples of your work, if you can. Some before and after's.

There's more to it than just sharpening I've tried.
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  #5  
Old 11-05-2006, 09:13 PM
edgework edgework is offline
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Re: Teach me how to do this!

Quote:
Originally Posted by stigma
So after doing some browsing, there's a style of photography (post-processing really) that I've come to love and want to do. I need all the help I can get to help make my photos look like this guys': http://www.jeremycowart.com

They have this HDR look to them, without having to use HDR. I don't know how else to describe it. It looks a tiny bit "fake" and surreal.

Aside from lighting techniques, which I know plays a big part in it, I'm more interested in the post processing that went into and achieving that look using Photoshop CS2, as I don't have thousand-dollar lighting equipment.

I'm sorta new to Photoshop so if you could explain the steps in detail, that'd be great! If you can, post up some before and after photos you've made an attempt at!

Thanks!
What jumps out immediately is the skin tones: the reds have been desaturated, which is to say there is a higher proportion of cyan to magenta and yellow than would normally be the case. Usually, skin tones such as these would have about 20% cyan compared with magenta and yellow, whereas in most of these images the cyan values are double that ratio and even higher. For example, in image 05, even her rosy cheeks are reading 30C41M43Y. It's all carefully modulated however; there's never enough magenta pulled out to turn skin green or so much cyan added that things turn blue. Everything pulls towards a warmish neutral in pale tones and brown in the darks. But there's no red to be seen, even though caucasian skin is, essentially, red. The greens and blues seem to have been muted as well, but to a lesser extent than the reds, which suggests a trip into LAB at some point to target the a channel. A Highlight/Shadow adjustment to the lightness channel would also seem to be in order; though most of the images keep a nice contrast none of the shadows plug up. Selective color in RGB mode is useful for attacking the reds alone, particularly if the layer is in color mode, either by pulling out magenta or adding cyan, and adjusting the yellows to keep the skin from turning jaundiced. Hue/Saturation/Lightness might also work, as it too can target reds. It's a bit more of a battering ram than other approaches, however. A mask or two wouldn't surprise me, since in some places, reds in the background pop more than would be the case if there'd been a global desaturation.

Last edited by edgework; 11-06-2006 at 04:54 AM.
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  #6  
Old 11-06-2006, 08:25 AM
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Godmother Godmother is offline
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Re: Teach me how to do this!

Quote:
Originally Posted by stigma
So after doing some browsing, there's a style of photography (post-processing really) that I've come to love and want to do. I need all the help I can get to help make my photos look like this guys': http://www.jeremycowart.com

Thanks!
Everything said before is true, but We can't tell you how to get THERE if we don't know where you're starting.

May be if you post one of your originals, we can take it THERE and tell you how.
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  #7  
Old 11-06-2006, 09:23 AM
stigma stigma is offline
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Re: Teach me how to do this!

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Originally Posted by Godmother
Everything said before is true, but We can't tell you how to get THERE if we don't know where you're starting.

May be if you post one of your originals, we can take it THERE and tell you how.
Let's say from a picture straight-out-of-the-camera, having used NO studio lighting - only the internal flash, or maybe a tiny SB-23 flash - taken indoors. Then white-balanced and sharpened using Photoshop.

I'll try to post one.
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  #8  
Old 11-06-2006, 09:53 AM
pellepiano pellepiano is offline
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Re: Teach me how to do this!

Using the camera Flash will destroy the potential of your images, in my opinion. Having the light always come from the front will only make shadowless faces.

You can use very cheap Halogen lights or use natural light from a window for example, to make interesting and appealing portraits. Its so much easier to edit in PS when you have a good image to start with. It will save a lot of time too.

As for getting a sligthy surreal look, that is what can happen if you extract a model and use another image as a background, and especially nice is when you have a good background image and simulate that light on the model ( that you extract and put on the background ).

I use this a lot to make my images look less like photos straight from the camera.
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  #9  
Old 11-09-2006, 12:42 PM
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pierresplace pierresplace is offline
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Smile Re: Teach me how to do this!

These photographs are incredibly beautiful. What I'm seeing in them is a very powerful and creative use of light. Reminds me painting with light in PS.

A real pleasure to view also. Gets my own creative juices flowing again.
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