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

Would anyone mind critiquing this beauty retouch?

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  #1  
Old 01-10-2011, 11:10 PM
SterlingH SterlingH is offline
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Would anyone mind critiquing this beauty retouch?

I would appreciate it if you guys and girls would give me some feedback on any areas I could work on. The obvious one for me is hair - I did what I could here but it's still pretty shoddy.

Thanks

S.

Before:
http://img3.imageshack.us/img3/728/beforeu.jpg

After:
http://img413.imageshack.us/img413/7996/afters.jpg

Last edited by SterlingH; 01-11-2011 at 12:29 AM.
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Old 01-11-2011, 07:35 AM
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Diego81 Diego81 is offline
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Re: Would anyone mind critiquing this beauty retou

Lovely skin work. Perhaps a little bit soft in the hair. The rest look very nice to me.

Good job SterlingH
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:45 AM
madclark madclark is offline
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Re: Would anyone mind critiquing this beauty retou

The thing that stands out to me both evaluating the after on its own and especially comparing to the before, is that whatever method you used for the skin, I'm guessing frequency layers, has removed a lot of highlight/shadow and depth on the model's face and really flattened her facial anatomy. It's changed the effect to look more illustrative than photographic, too plastic. You've lost depth under the eyes (while still not fixing the fine lines there), under the cheeks near her nosed, the crease under her lips and her chin dimple, and the highlight on her cheeks, nose and forehead have all been overly toned down. The effect is like slapping real eyes, a nose and lips on a department store mannequin, one of the reasons I really dislike the frequency separation method. Make sure if you use frequency separation the low frequency layer does not change the overall shadow and highlight levels. Keep the depth!

Also, if you're going to work the stray hairs, I don't know why you didn't clean up the shape more and get those bits on the upper right area and either fill in or take out the small wisp to the direct left. I'm not sure the fill-in near the shoulder works particularly well either but I know that can be tricky so I appreciate that you attempted it. You saw it needed fixed and did what you could. The underarm fix could have been a little cleaner too.

I personally would have done some work specifically on the eyes to really make them pop as well, some added contrast and color. Overall too, I would have perhaps decreased contrast and lighting on the torso to guide the viewer's eyes to the face. Try to reduce competition for attention.

Your work shows that you're thinking about the end result, and that's a good thing. But you have to spend the time on smaller specific fixes, like learning and applying D&B really well, to keep things perfected yet natural. Less is often more. Try to work on only one thing at a time and put all your layers in a folder you can turn on and off to keep referencing back to the original. Good job but there's plenty of room for growth in your skills. Keep at it!
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Old 01-11-2011, 11:25 AM
SterlingH SterlingH is offline
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Re: Would anyone mind critiquing this beauty retou

thanks for the critique, madclark. I'll try to keep your points in mind next retouch and address some of them when I go over this image again.

I actually didn't use any frequency separation to address tonality - it was all dodge and burn.
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Old 01-11-2011, 11:39 AM
madclark madclark is offline
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Re: Would anyone mind critiquing this beauty retou

Understood. So just make sure to use the D&B to even out areas, not specifically darken or lighten big areas unless the really need them. You're better off using a masked brightness/contrast layer or exposure layer than trying to do it by hand.
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