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

Photo Advice Please

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  #1  
Old 01-07-2007, 05:37 PM
CarnalSigh CarnalSigh is offline
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Photo Advice Please

Hiya folks. He is 98, she is 77. They've been married for a long time and my photos of them are the first portraits they had taken in like 30 years. On the adjusted version, all I've done is brighten their eyes, her teeth, and did a light gaussian blur over the entire pic to soften their skin and blur out some of the background. I did no adjustments to the skin tones. Do you suggest anything else? Rework the photo if you care to. I'm interested in what I could have done better or different. Thanks.
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File Type: jpg grandparentsADJx.jpg (63.0 KB, 113 views)
File Type: jpg grandparentsORIGx.jpg (73.8 KB, 112 views)
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  #2  
Old 01-07-2007, 08:43 PM
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Littlecoo Littlecoo is offline
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Re: Photo Advice Please

IMO your blanket use of gaussian blur on the subjects is not really a good idea, (you are trying to acheive softening effect, right?) It makes the image look out of focus. Perhaps a subtle diffuse glow or something similar may acheive the look you're after? I had a go at your image, trying to keep my adjustments subtle- mainly shadows/highlights adjustment to brighten up the image some more especially the background; levels adjustment layer to correct the overall colour; masked the gentleman's face and used colour balance there to reduce the red-magenta flushed skin; reduced the yellow of the lady's teeth using a curves adjustment layer; a little dodge and sponge (desaturate and low opacity) on the gent's eyes. In my 2nd attachment I desaturated the background about 70%.
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File Type: jpg grandparents2.jpg (99.3 KB, 61 views)
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  #3  
Old 01-07-2007, 09:29 PM
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Daviskw Daviskw is offline
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Re: Photo Advice Please

Hi there

I isolated the background and darkend and blurred with lens blur.

I softened the skin with a sceen layer blurred and a multiply to counter. Then a hide all mask and painted to softness back in.

Butch
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  #4  
Old 01-07-2007, 09:44 PM
Mike Mike is offline
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Re: Photo Advice Please

You did not do yourself any favors by posing them like this. First of all I would have picked a much better background without all the distracting things in it. Then I would have done a very different pose. I think with a little thought you could have positioned him so as to minimize the hand that is growing out of the side of his face. Some directional light would help with this.

Also remember that the only time you really want the subjects to look directly into the camera (especially one with a flash attached to it) is when they are getting a mug shot for some kind of ID card. Some nice directional soft light source would have made them look so much better and most likely cut your required time in PS down to almost nothing, and made for a better result than you are ever going to get using this image.
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Old 01-07-2007, 10:05 PM
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Lasa Lasa is offline
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Re: Photo Advice Please

I tried softening the image but I didn't like how it hazed this beautiful couple.
So I basically lightened them up via levels and hue/sat. mellowed a couple age spots..and dulled the background by desaturating it.
We should all look so good..!

Lasa
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File Type: jpg grandparentsORIGxLASA.jpg (98.9 KB, 40 views)

Last edited by Lasa; 01-07-2007 at 10:17 PM.
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  #6  
Old 01-07-2007, 10:06 PM
geru geru is offline
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Smile Re: Photo Advice Please

I think that when people are of the age these two are softening their wrinkles and smoothing their skin makes no sense and actually detracts from the subjects in the photo.

The only thing I did:

levels adjustment

Color balance adjustment layer (to remove some of the gentleman's face redness) then brushed with black to bring everything else back to original

Ran a small amount of USM to sharpen and enhance their age lines, they've earned them.
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  #7  
Old 01-08-2007, 12:32 AM
CarnalSigh CarnalSigh is offline
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Re: Photo Advice Please

Thx peeps......I got some good suggestions and ideas from your posts. Mike, fyi....he is very decrepit and unable to move hardly at all. The family wanted that pose from that angle, and she had to put her hand there to steady gramps. The house we were in is under construction. There are NO walls or better backgrounds to be had. It was one of those deals where it was take the opportunity I had, or not get any pic at all. Hence my request for advice on shining it up a bit.
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  #8  
Old 01-08-2007, 08:34 AM
Duffy Pratt Duffy Pratt is offline
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Re: Photo Advice Please

Both faces were way too magenta. The shirt is obviously white, but it's yellow in the picture. And her hair and his darker eyebrows are green. I did curves to get the faces and the shirt in balance, and did a slight sharpen in the Black channel.

But there was no way to pull the magenta out of the faces without boosting the green in the hair. So after the curve, I made a duplicate layer of the black channel and inverted it, then switched to LAB, pulled the magenta out of the hair using the inverted Black as a mask on the curve. First try at this got the darkest greens out of the hair, but there was still some green in the hair highlights, which I attacked with another A channel curve using Blend if sliders to limit by both to where the A channel was green or neutral, and where the luminosity was lighter than the shadows.

I made no local adjustments other than the Black channel mask.

(Edit: When I made the last changes in LAB, it moved the shirt to slightly magenta. I fixed that by moving the Blend if... sliders to exclude the whitest area.)

Duffy
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File Type: jpg grandparents1.jpg (97.8 KB, 44 views)

Last edited by Duffy Pratt; 01-08-2007 at 09:31 AM.
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  #9  
Old 01-08-2007, 08:41 AM
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Lasa Lasa is offline
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Re: Photo Advice Please

Duffy I like you're touch on it..very clean.
Lasa
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  #10  
Old 01-08-2007, 09:35 AM
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Daviskw Daviskw is offline
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Re: Photo Advice Please

Hi geru

From a person with many of those wrinkles believe me for themselves and family they don't need or want reminders of those badges of age... A softer picture is often desired.

I understand how photographers love the hard wrinkled true to life look but often families don't want it... I'll bet that is the case here... would be with me anyway... I see those damn wrinkles every day in the mirror and so do they... nice to be reminded of days gone bye.....after all that is the purpose of family photos...not to remind of infirmities and age.

Hmmmmmm....saying a lot about myself I think...oh well just another opinion.

Butch
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