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

in progress photo

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  #1  
Old 02-13-2010, 12:21 PM
larissamorales larissamorales is offline
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in progress photo

So Im working on trying to imitate a loretta lux photo for a school project. Heres what I have so far, opinions?
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File Type: jpg loretta-lux.jpg (58.8 KB, 120 views)

Last edited by larissamorales; 02-13-2010 at 12:38 PM.
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Old 02-13-2010, 12:34 PM
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flexmanta flexmanta is offline
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Re: in progress photo

You need a far better image to start with. Unless you work with a high res image, liquifying will only make it look blurry. Also, try to make a better mask. You can't allow the edge of the model to be more in focus than other parts of the image, especially hair. Nothing wrong with trying to imitate loretta lux, but it looks to me like you need to learn the basics first. Shouldn't try to run before you can walk, and Loretta Lux is about as complex as it gets.
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Old 02-13-2010, 12:34 PM
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Der_W Der_W is offline
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Re: in progress photo

You should really work on you cut out. The outline is too harsh and the hair looks funny ;-)

Apart from that I think that especially the background colors are too vivid.
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Old 02-13-2010, 12:39 PM
larissamorales larissamorales is offline
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Re: in progress photo

thanks for the feedback. I know I still have a lot to learn, but are there any books, or sites out there that you would recommend? Im experimenting with studio lights that I borrowed from my school, but other than that I dont know. I use a nikon d70, but despite using a tripod, using manual focus and using to remote sensor to compensate for camera shake, I dont know what else I can do to get that really detailed amazing image. Any tips? I attempted to fix the hair and make the focus match a little better
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File Type: jpg loretta-lux.jpg (56.5 KB, 61 views)

Last edited by larissamorales; 02-13-2010 at 12:50 PM.
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Old 02-13-2010, 04:50 PM
Caesium Caesium is offline
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Re: in progress photo

First, do not use manual focus. Unless you have perfect vision and the camera set up correctly, you will rarely get near the results of the proper use of auto focus. First and foremost, always use your center focus point. In some cameras it is over twice as accurate as any of the secondary focus points.

Next, get in the habit of grabbing focus and recomposing your shot. In nearly all cases in portraiture, the focus should be on the eyes (not nose, forehead, ear, or any other part that is in the vicinity of the eyes). Obviously this gets difficult at full length shots but with the image you show you should have no problem isolating focus to the eye. As the saying goes, the eyes are the window to the soul and no one likes dirty windows.

Another consideration is cropping. It is always nice to crop a little loose in camera as we can easily crop in whereas cropping out can be a trick, however, don't plan to pull a headshot out of a full length capture, especially with the D70. It's good practice to shoot a headshot, 3/4, and full length of any pose you are not 110% sure on. Yes, it's extra images and storage but you have 'em if you need 'em.

Finally, proper handling of you camera and breathing will take a sharp image and help make it a razor. Generally speaking, shoot holding you camera with both hands. Place your right hand on the grip and use your left to support your lens. Your left elbow should tuck into your body and act as a additional support point, spreading any weight across your lower torso. If you need to shoot in portrait orientation and do not own a vertical grip, your right hand goes above the lens, not below. As for breathing, just like a sniper in the military, you want to compose you shot, take a breath and hold it, and squeeze the shutter release. I, myself am guilty of often not breathing correctly when shooting as I get caught up in the other things I am focusing on, but if it's a super important shot I make it a point to remember.

Start with that, if your focusing doesn't SERIOUSLY improve, you may need to have your camera checked out. The image you posted is ridiculously soft and it should not take much to get a better focus. Hopefully some of this will help you out.
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Old 02-13-2010, 08:36 PM
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flexmanta flexmanta is offline
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Re: in progress photo

Or send us the RAW file and we'll help you by showing you how it should look in the end. Full size raw that is (oh ok, a full-res Jpeg will do)
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Old 02-13-2010, 09:11 PM
larissamorales larissamorales is offline
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Re: in progress photo

k, that sounds great. heres the original raw photo, which seems like i broke the first rule of not turning a full body shot into a head shot... lol, thanks a bunch for the advice, I just want to learn. Heres the link to the original raw file, in zip format. http://www.badspade.com/images/lorettalux.zip Cant wait to see the results
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Old 02-14-2010, 07:24 AM
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Re: in progress photo

RAW extension file? how to open it? i guess it's a PHOTOSHOP RAW file..i can't open it.. any camera RAW file? the original file from your camera?
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Old 02-14-2010, 07:28 AM
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flexmanta flexmanta is offline
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Re: in progress photo

Thats not a raw file. This is all i could find in the file. And if you say you are shooting a D70, then it's impossible that the camera puts put a 6000px image. Largest size raw of this camera should be 3008x2000 as it has 6.1Mp.

Larissa, the raw file should be a file with .nef extension, and it's the file as it comes right off the camera.
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Old 02-14-2010, 07:47 AM
larissamorales larissamorales is offline
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Re: in progress photo

Sorry about that, heres the original camera raw file,
http://www.badspade.com/images/lorettalux.zip
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