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

Posted, An Org Ring Photo, Before and After Challenge

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Old 10-10-2007, 12:03 PM
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SteveB2005 SteveB2005 is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 281
Posted, An Org Ring Photo, Before and After Challenge

Hi folks. Some of you like to play around with jewelry, to give you a break from all that skin texture, D&B techniques, so I'm putting up one of my org ring photos I shot recently. It was purposely underexposed about 1 stop in RAW, mainly for the stone. Then I usually shoot 3 shots of each ring, bracketing and focus stacking. As you can see, this ring needs some tweak and TLR (tender loving retouching) to get it to an online catalog look.

Here is the org and a tweak I did. Here was my workflow. BTW, I spend more time figuring out how to retouch and photograph rings than necklaces and bracelets, and these little devils take the most time to work with!

I started isolating and then selecting parts of the metal, desaturating to get it a neutral gray. If you think about it, metals like silver and platinum are basically based upon gray scale and give the illusion of shinyness and reflective. Then I experimented with sampling and filling various gray scales, airbrushing and making custom gradients. I tried different "lighting" as well. I sel the stones, feathered 1 pixel, saved sel in channels and did some basic masking. I applied a few blend modes, but liked multiply and screen and tweaked the opacity. I used also soft light and hard light and smart sharpen to make it pop a little more. I used the pen tool to cut a path and place it on a white background. I'm still experimenting, so you are welcome to try out your techniques, but please explain to us what you did and a time estimate of hands-on workflow. I love retouching jewelry, but always working at it to improve the workflow and anything to save time.

If any are interested, I have literally hundreds of high rez shots that need tweaks and retouching. If you need a few more to play with, I will gladly post some more and I will usually present my own before and after and explain my workflow. I wish there was a step by step jewelry retouching book or more tutorials that deal with the workflow, but they are obscure

BTW, one of the most challenging things with rings, is sel and getting perfect hard edged curves to paint and airbrush. If anyone has tips on how to do that, it would help us all I'm sure

Have fun, Steve
Attached Images
File Type: jpg rng1org.jpg (33.1 KB, 78 views)
File Type: jpg rng1ret.jpg (28.0 KB, 93 views)

Last edited by SteveB2005; 10-10-2007 at 12:13 PM.
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Old 10-10-2007, 02:44 PM
edgework edgework is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Brooklyn
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Re: Posted, An Org Ring Photo, Before and After Challenge

I think the soft gradient works against the effect, unless you're going for a brushed metal surface. Most things that reflect off shiny metal have hard edges. I tried to keep some of the original areas, just simplified. probably could have simplified the underside of the ring even more.
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