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

What improvements could be made?

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  #1  
Old 10-04-2008, 08:58 AM
messyworm messyworm is offline
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What improvements could be made?

Hey, I'm new to photoshop (about 6 months experience) and recently have become interested in retouching photos especially portraits. I have attempted to retouch the below picture and my result is on the left. I was aiming for a clean, fresh feel to the picture. Can anybody say what else could be done and any thing else which i could improve upon?

Would be cool to see what other people would do to either picture aswell, so feel free to post it!

Thanks and hello to everyone!
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File Type: jpg untitled3.jpg (36.3 KB, 145 views)
File Type: jpg Pre-Retouch.jpg (30.6 KB, 128 views)
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  #2  
Old 10-04-2008, 09:46 AM
Ph03n1x Ph03n1x is offline
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Re: What improvements could be made?

Fro me lips and eyes don't look natural :/ They are too bright
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Old 10-04-2008, 11:45 AM
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Swampy Swampy is offline
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Re: What improvements could be made?

I think you've gone a little overboard in the drama. The shadows are plugged and the highlights are blown out.
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Old 10-04-2008, 12:58 PM
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swarbees swarbees is offline
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Re: What improvements could be made?

just a levels adjustment and slight color -- worked a little digital makeup but not much---and a crop

I don't know if cropping was a good choice since it followed the rule of thirds but it just seemed like there was a lot of empty space??

anyway here is where I ended up
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Old 10-04-2008, 05:19 PM
tom60634 tom60634 is offline
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Re: What improvements could be made?

i can see where you are going with your version, but it seems the monotone blue background may be striking but it darkens a golden beauty. I tried to warm the skin tones and vary the background. Not as dramatic as your version, but quick and fun to do.
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Old 10-04-2008, 07:10 PM
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swarbees swarbees is offline
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Re: What improvements could be made?

I prefer the warmer skin tones but I still think the shadow areas are too dark--but the warmer light is attractive--
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Old 10-04-2008, 07:46 PM
tom60634 tom60634 is offline
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Re: What improvements could be made?

I agree that my rendition may have darkened the shadows too much, but I was following messyworm's lead and the only problem that I had with her rendition was the pale, almost milky white, skin of her subject with the bright blue backgound.

The other item that led me towards the darkened shadows was the artful pose of the model's hands, they seem to be displaying a tension that made the darker shadows seem meaningful(?). The shadow lines of face and hand parallel each other and it seemed appropriate to emphasize them.
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Old 10-04-2008, 10:37 PM
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swarbees swarbees is offline
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Re: What improvements could be made?

but you could improve the color and the shadow detail -- so why not go for that -- here is a warmer version of my cropped (maybe not great crop) with shadow detail enhanced--
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Old 10-04-2008, 10:54 PM
tom60634 tom60634 is offline
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Re: What improvements could be made?

very nice! opening up the shadows, seems to have put more of an expression on the model's face that wasn't quite noticeable prior to your changes.

considering the limited amount of pixels you were working with, it's a very agreeable rendition.
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Old 10-05-2008, 12:17 AM
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Sweetlight Sweetlight is offline
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Re: What improvements could be made?

Everyone had some really good tips for you so you should be set to go. I just added a few tweaks of my own.
Af far as cropping goes, that is always going to be a personal taste thing and much like you I like using open negative space to add a bit of tension to the image therefore I left your crop. I like deep shadows like you have but the problem here is they closed up on you and in a real world printing situation you would have a problem with the paper holding that much black. I made it appear like I opened up your shadows a bit on the right side of her face and head (her right) but I actually just painted a little bit of light in there to fool the eye.
I know it's hard when you are shooting but be aware of those fly away hairs and have your stylist or model lay some more spray on it if she needs to. I removed a bit of it but it's easier during the shoot in most cases. Another problem with your shadows closing up is her hair on that side now just turns into a lump of something and it becomes distracting. You don't need much light over there just a reflector or piece of foam core on that side would have worked fine, just enough to open it up the slightest amount. I like your background light but I'd be interested to know if that is really the color gel you put back there. To me it looks like you had a shift in your processing. Her skin tones held up well but it got really cyan back there. I just opended up the hue/saturation dialouge, dropped down to cyan and clicked on the background then took down the saturation about 15 points.
I removed an off colored blotch on the left side of her nose and took away that strand of hair that was draping over her right shoulder that was a bit distracting. Overall her pose is nice and your lighting is nice as well.
I went ahead and used a Photoshop trick I know that emulates the old Hasselblad soft focus filters. We have all kinds of nice filters these days and abilities within the computer but those old Hassy filters had something about them that just made an image sing. Quickly this is the process for that. After you have worked your image, fixed your dust, color and exposure I make a duplicate layer. On that layer I make the opacity around 30 and change the mode to darked. Give it a gaussian blur of about equal number of the image size ie: if your image is about 4 megs then use 4 on the blur. Duplicate that layer then make your opacity about 70 and your mode change goes to lighten. Merge those two layers. You now have a nice soft image. Now I use a very soft brush and about 90% opacity I erase her eyes and lips and anything else you want sharp, like here I did her earring. Now using the layers pallette adjust your opacity 'til you find the softness you prefer. Sometimes I add a white diffuse glow then fade that til I like it.
Hope this helps.
Nice image.
c
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