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

Take a look?

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  #1  
Old 05-17-2010, 12:44 AM
laurapics laurapics is offline
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Join Date: May 2010
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Take a look?

Hey, I just joined RetouchPRO and I've been poking around and reading some threads and tutorials... but now I'm sitting here looking at these photos of my friend I took earlier today and I don't really know what to do with them (I'll show two examples). I'm definitely looking for a natural look that puts emphasis on the subject.. I was wondering if someone else could give me some input on how I'm doing. I didn't really touch the colors much at all.. I feel like I'm not doing much to the photos at all and it kind of scares me, lol. (seriously, they look VERY similar as you will see..) I suppose I'm looking for a more experienced eye to help me open my own eyes to some possibilities I may not see.

By the way, I'm doing this for fun-- I just would eventually like to get good enough to start doing more serious stuff with photography and retouching (not quite sure what though haha). I don't have Photoshop, as it is expensive for a poor college student-- I'm using GIMP.

Also, how does the blurred background in each retouch look? I'm not sure how I feel about it but I don't know how else to really put emphasis on the subject.
And of course, critique of the original photos is welcome. I'm trying to improve my photography too..

I attached the images and I'm also providing links to the full images. Feel free to work with them if you want to demonstrate anything.

first photo
first photo retouch

second photo
second photo retouch

Anddd... I think I'm off to bed for now..
Attached Images
File Type: jpg DSCF5163.jpg (97.2 KB, 43 views)
File Type: jpg DSCF5163 re.jpg (84.6 KB, 40 views)
File Type: jpg DSCF5136.jpg (98.2 KB, 45 views)
File Type: jpg DSCF5136 re.jpg (82.8 KB, 46 views)
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  #2  
Old 05-17-2010, 01:34 AM
kajak kajak is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2007
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Re: Take a look?

I don't know much about gimp so i'll give you my opinion as a photographer.. your main problem is the shadows you have very high contrast and i'd advice either using fill-in flash or a reflector.. also second photo would've been better if u framed her on the right side where she is facing rather than left side.. best of luck
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Old 05-17-2010, 03:13 AM
krypticide krypticide is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 17
Re: Take a look?

The PS (or GIMP) work looks pretty good. The blurring seems fine to me and the cloning out of the chain is believable as long as you don't focus on it, and you shouldn't given how cute the girl is. Composition-wise, you're breaking a "rule" as kajak mentioned, but I still think it's fine that she's facing the left side. The main issue is shadows and lighting. Keep working on it!
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Old 05-17-2010, 05:31 AM
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Nezbitten Nezbitten is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: England UK
Posts: 54
Re: Take a look?

With a quick select of the shadow area and altering the levels, I blended the shadow slighly for a softer look. Maybe in GIMP there is some sort of shadow recovery action or plugin that may help.

Photo Retouching and Restoration
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File Type: jpg retouch_pro.jpg (99.1 KB, 23 views)
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  #5  
Old 05-17-2010, 06:15 AM
anwer anwer is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 17
Re: Take a look?

when processing any photo just pay attention to:

level adjustment ,temp/tint, tone curve, exposer,recovery, fill,contrast,saturation,
colorpallets, sharpening and forget the rest. Shoot in RAW format and respect the
sanctity of highlights.

you can process most difficult picture with these funtion with confidence. if
you want to invest on some software in future invest on adobe lightroom
and photoshop elements 7 or 8. you can download adobe lightroom v3 beta 2
it is fully operational and can be used free till june 30, 2010 for download
see http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/lightroom3/. it is easy to
use , very user freindly , makes the life for photographer easy.

Last edited by anwer; 05-17-2010 at 06:56 AM.
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  #6  
Old 05-17-2010, 12:14 PM
laurapics laurapics is offline
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Re: Take a look?

Wow, thanks for all the input!

I'm kind of trying to lighten the shadows now and I think it's looking a bit better. I took the pictures using only natural sunlight and didn't even think about how dark the shadows were. But next time I will probably use a reflector.

And I realize I broke a rule in the second picture, but at the same time I kind of like it because the light is coming from the right side and she is kind of looking toward the center.. Maybe I'm just crazy. :P These were also fairly spontaneous, if you couldn't tell. Kind of a "hey, can I take pictures of you at the park today?" "yeah, let's go!" thing.

Oh ALSO. @anwer: My camera is more of a consumer camera (it's an old-ish ultra zoom).. I can't shoot raw on it, unfortunately. I have been looking at entry-level DSLRs but I can't afford one until I find a job.. I might take a look at Lightroom or PS elements, although recently I have been drooling over the CS5 master collection (student edition prices are nice). Or any of the previous master collections, really.. Though I may download the Lightroom beta version to see how I like it. Thanks!

My posts are so wordy D:
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  #7  
Old 05-17-2010, 03:59 PM
anwer anwer is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 17
Re: Take a look?

lightroom is used both by professional as well as newbies. it is easy to use
here is reason why http://www.geekestateblog.com/adobe-...photographers/.
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