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A little different, Time, Fortune... retouching men.

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  #1  
Old 10-22-2007, 12:42 PM
seedomo seedomo is offline
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A little different, Time, Fortune... retouching men.

Well it's my first post here. I am an assistant/retouching in NYC and work primarily for magazines like Time, Fortune, Premiere, Oprah, New Yorker. Mostly we shoot powerful men. I've learned many new techniques as I've paged through the many posts. There isn't a lot of retouching shown for men, especially shots of celebrities and CEO's and polititians that grace the pages of many editorial magazines. So I will be posting many of the jobs I've worked on in the past to get some new ideas on retouching. So the first image www.domophoto.com/stern2 is an image of Mr. Lauder (Este Lauder family) who just recently paid the most money ever for a painting, $130 million. I've included this as my first post since the lighting was so bad and flat combined with the guys unpleasant flat face contours. My job was to create interest where there wasn't any. How do you think this came out and are there any suggestions to improve it.

This web page shows two images; the first represents new techniques I've learned while browsing through the various posts, the second reflects what I would have done before learning these new techniques.
www.domophoto.com/stern2
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Old 10-22-2007, 02:53 PM
madclark madclark is offline
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Re: A little different, Time, Fortune... retouching men.

I would clean up all the crazy stray hairs, add a fix layer and do the age spots and blemishes by hand, add a color layer and brush in here and there to even the skin color and using the blending properties to affect only the sallow parts.

And I cheated some and morphed out his pointy head as well as tightening the joweliness and made his throat actually fit his collar.

I always think addressing individual parts by hand rather than global fixes is better in the long run. It took me about an hour to do this. And I know it might be a little too clean considering how he looks in the original, but seems appropriate given who he is.
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File Type: jpg Mr-Man.jpg (58.3 KB, 208 views)
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Old 10-22-2007, 03:15 PM
seedomo seedomo is offline
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High Res Download Attached

Thanks for the interest in this image, since its quite boring compared to the hot women of fashion normally the focus of our retouching. But I think this is interesting as the focus is the person's character, not their beauty. Character may include leaving some imperfections to add drama.

Thanks for the effort to show me what you would do to better it. It's always shocking to be made aware of things I never saw the first time around.

For anyone interested in playing with it I have linked to the high res images to play with.
HIGH RES DOWNLOAD BELOW
www.domophoto.com/stern2/ZR8A5526_after_high.jpg
www.domophoto.com/stern2/ZR8A5526_high.jpg

Last edited by seedomo; 10-22-2007 at 09:05 PM.
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Old 10-22-2007, 04:53 PM
madclark madclark is offline
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Re: A little different, Time, Fortune... retouching men.

I truly appreciate realism. In some of my other posts I argue strongly with the people who prefer a perfected image. I highly disagree with those who want to completely replace skin tone and eliminate every wrinkle and imperfection.

However, I also appreciate someone looking the best they can within that concept. Especially in a formal portrait, I think the subject should look as good as they could had the lighting, makeup and photographer been the best possible. This poor fellow, rich as he is, looks like someone drug him in from the street and snapped the picture with a point and shoot. His hair needs cut, or at least groomed, his skin is sallow and dull and he generally looks like someone's senile 80 year-old grandfather in a second hand suit rather than a captain of industry.

A good makeup artist would have prepared his hair and used some light makeup to brighten his skin tone and reduce blotchiness. A stylist as well would have made sure his clothes fit properly. Good lighting would have given the image more initial depth and a knowledgeable photographer would have posed him better to de-emphasize his jowly neck and pointy head.

I love to have pictures that emphasize a person's character, but my personal goal is to make sure that the character represented is appropriate. If this is Mr. Ronald Lauder, who is only officially 63 years old, he looks positively horrible. And especially noting that he's head of one of the most influential cosmetics companies in the world, this is a travesty of a portrait. My personal philosophy is to work to make a picture "right," not perfect.
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Old 10-22-2007, 05:11 PM
seedomo seedomo is offline
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Re: A little different, Time, Fortune... retouching men.

Wow, great reply. I couldn't agree more. The problem, as it always is, is time. The day we shot, was the opening of his gallery, so he had given us about 15 mins for 3 different setups. There was no stylist and no makeup, the unfortunate situation we find ourselves in all the time. That's where i come in... just got to work with what I have and try to make the best of a difficult situation. Do you think this retouching is about as good as it can be based on the original file? Or have I made it worse? And remember that the magazine is the client not the subject. I mean to say, if the picture makes him look so dramatic that he looks menacing, maybe that's something the magazine might be in favor of. Obviously you've got to balance the two, which is what I tried to do.
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Old 10-22-2007, 06:14 PM
Oh_Heck Oh_Heck is offline
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Re: A little different, Time, Fortune... retouching men.

Well, worked a bit to bring more detail out in his skin, and bring out some more pronounce highlights. Gave the man a little color cause he looks like he has one foot in the grave....or just rolled out of bed. Cleaned up the hair a little. Used layers set to hardlight/highpass to bring out some detail. Small twist to the corner of his mouth so he doesn't look miserable.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Rich800_orig.jpg (94.8 KB, 87 views)
File Type: jpg Rich800_002.jpg (97.6 KB, 167 views)
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Old 10-22-2007, 06:21 PM
seedomo seedomo is offline
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Re: A little different, Time, Fortune... retouching men.

Hell he looks pretty happy now. Great idea on the mouth. The color seems to have taken a pretty bad dive. Did you look at the after image after posting it? Maybe a wrong color space for the web, don't really know.
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Old 10-22-2007, 06:27 PM
seedomo seedomo is offline
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Re: A little different, Time, Fortune... retouching men.

Madclark, I just went back and looked at your images and was really impressed with the skin. Nice one. I'm still stuck on the contrast and color. I'd love to make it look more like this image from Amy Dresser's site. Paying CLOSE attention to how she dealt with the same drab colors from her original file. The attached images are the real inspiration I'm after.

If I could nail THIS, I would be stoked! Seems impossible with my skills.
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File Type: jpg ad2.jpg (36.7 KB, 194 views)
File Type: jpg ad1.jpg (37.8 KB, 187 views)
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Old 10-22-2007, 06:36 PM
Oh_Heck Oh_Heck is offline
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Re: A little different, Time, Fortune... retouching men.

Toned down the reds a bit.


Edit: Made one with a black background...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Rich800_003.jpg (99.3 KB, 56 views)
File Type: jpg Rich800_004.jpg (99.5 KB, 91 views)

Last edited by Oh_Heck; 10-22-2007 at 06:54 PM.
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Old 10-22-2007, 08:47 PM
BillFrey BillFrey is offline
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Re: A little different, Time, Fortune... retouching men.

Quote:
I'd love to make it look more like this image from Amy Dresser's site. Paying CLOSE attention to how she dealt with the same drab colors from her original file. The attached images are the real inspiration I'm after.
IIRC, Amy Dresser explained some of her technique at her site. She does selective highlighting. Here's my attempt at recreating her 'after' photo. The small size original file left artifacts and color patches that wouldn't occur if the original size was available. It didn't make sense to continue working with this size file.

hue/sat to desaturate; levels; painted highlights with a screen layer; painted lowlights with a multiply layer, selectively desat reds.

http://img153.imageshack.us/img153/8374/ad113sbsei2.jpg
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