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

It's been a while... Just wondering

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  #1  
Old 01-18-2011, 05:00 PM
heyrad heyrad is offline
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It's been a while... Just wondering

Hey guys...

Been gone for a while and workin' like a madman... After being away for so long and reading some of the posts, I still see the same questions asked over and over again... However, there doesn't seem to be a definitive answer to those questions. I was wondering...

What are your retouching goals here? Are you all trying to just get a little better so that you can make your own photos look better or are your trying to make a career out of retouching as I have?

One thing I've noticed is that many offer smoothing skin techniques, but why is it that the after image always looks retouched? One interesting technique described a "high frequency separation" technique that really made little sense to me. Kudos for supplying the link, but the technique is still a tad convoluted. For instance... She discusses being able to work on color and texture separately. But before she does this, she blurs the heck out of the skin... Why? If you want to separate color from content there are far more effective ways - like working in LAB mode or simply using color and luminosity modes.

All in all I'm just curious about what everyone's trying to achieve. I'm thinking about starting an online education program exclusively for professional retouching, but if everyone's simply looking for quick fixes and if you're all happy with having final images that look retouched then I'll spare everyone the torture

Let me know... Love to hear

-heyrad
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Old 01-19-2011, 04:44 AM
creativeretouch creativeretouch is offline
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Re: It's been a while... Just wondering

Quote:
Originally Posted by heyrad View Post
Hey guys...
All in all I'm just curious about what everyone's trying to achieve. I'm thinking about starting an online education program exclusively for professional retouching, but if everyone's simply looking for quick fixes and if you're all happy with having final images that look retouched then I'll spare everyone the torture

Let me know... Love to hear

-heyrad
Hi Conrad, I think this is a nice Idea. It is very difficult to find real professional advice - you can find something here and there but nothing is organised and in one place ... And I agree that most of the people are looking for a quick fix instead of a precise and finally invisible work ... I am looking forward to see your project soon - Filip
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Old 01-19-2011, 05:14 AM
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Repairman Repairman is offline
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Re: It's been a while... Just wondering

Hey, I'm not too proud to use a quick fix!
That said, can you share your thoughts/method regarding the colour and luminosity technique for skin work?
R.
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Old 01-19-2011, 06:18 AM
fraiseap fraiseap is offline
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Re: It's been a while... Just wondering

Quote:
What are your retouching goals here? Are you all trying to just get a little better so that you can make your own photos look better or are your trying to make a career out of retouching as I have?
A good question. I am here because I want to improve my retouching of portraits and beauty shots. I am a photographer and have been retouching shots since the days of film (dodging and burning in the darkroom with bits of card and pieces of wire). I only moved to digital about 3 years ago and have been developing my Photoshop skills since then.

Beauty retouching is the area I am spending most time on now, and it is also the area I find most difficult. As a professional photographer I am not in the same boat as a professional retoucher who may be able to devote hours on one image and be paid for it. My clients expect finished images in a few days and if I spend more than 20-40 minutes on an image I start to lose money.

I absolutely detest the blurred look that some folk achieve (some of the posts in the Challenge section are over blurred IMO) and am seriously impressed with some of the work on professional retouchers websites (Olga Gogoleva's was the first such site I came across) but have no concept of how a lot of these looks are achieved. One thing I do know is that doing a Google search is not the answer.

Sorry for my rambling post
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Old 01-19-2011, 09:16 AM
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philbach philbach is offline
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Re: It's been a while... Just wondering

Well an excellent book that I used is Photoshop Restoration and Retouching by Katrin Eisman. Third Edition. This was published in 2005 but is very comprehensive. Frequency separation is not described in that edition but it sure covers a lot of territory.
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Old 01-19-2011, 12:52 PM
RetWannabe RetWannabe is offline
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Re: It's been a while... Just wondering

What I am interested in is achieving professional level results but whether I pursue retouching professionally is a whole different matter; will depend on how good and fast I am able to achieve these high end results; in the meantime I have a full-time day job and do stock photography as a sideline, retouching would be on top of all that. Retouching is an all new thing for me right now.

I am truly an admirer of Amy Dresser. She likes pores, and I like Amy Dresser. I have visited a few sites of the pros and I hate to say it, but, I think I detect in some of the images a quick fix was used at some stage of the processing, some of those pores just look way too smooth. Are the pros secretly using some blurring techniques they would rather not admit to? Can they really spare 5 hrs or so per image doing it all the hard way? I mean they are running a business. I adhere strictly to the tedious D & B routine (am I just being a bit silly), it is taking 5- 8 hrs to get an image the way I 'think' it should look. Don't even know if I am getting the right result or not. I posted my first few retouches here http://www.retouchpro.com/forums/pho...ck-raws-5.html and asked for critique but, no response, may be posted to the wrong thread, or this is just how this forum works, but some input would have helped. The split frequency thing did not work out very well for me, I found it made the image a bit flat. Like someone else mentioned here I think, it blurs the highlight shadow transitions too much.

Defo would be interested in any program teaching the 'right' techniques.
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Old 01-19-2011, 12:55 PM
heyrad heyrad is offline
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Re: It's been a while... Just wondering

Hey Guys...

@Adam... I hear ya. However, up to this point there really is no "quick-fix" button for beauty retouching. At the end of the day I can do a full on beauty shot in under 2hrs. That seems like a losing proposition for you though. But thanks for the feedback.

@creativeretouch... The idea is something I've been planning for a while. I see a great deal of tutorials on Lynda and YouTube and even here at RP... However, they don't seem to follow any sort of flow. They touch on a subject and move on. My stuff would be totally comprehensive and to be quite honest would give anyone who applies themselves the tools they'd need to seek professional employment. Will keep you posted.

As for the "Frequency Separation" technique... I'll say it again. It's a convoluted way of getting very little done. There's no real trick to separating color from content...If that's what you need to do. Luminosity mode(or the L channel in LAB) ignores color and only works on the detail and Color mode(or the A/B channels in LAB) ignores detail and only affects color. What you do with this concept is up to you. Personally I don't often separate the 2 so I haven't devised my own convoluted technique

c
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Old 01-19-2011, 01:00 PM
heyrad heyrad is offline
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Re: It's been a while... Just wondering

@RetWannaBe

Remember my friend... as a professional retoucher I work with large ad agencies who's very lives depend on me spending 8hrs making a model look great. Our budgets are much higher because there's much more on the line. Amy is great! We've chatted back and forth in the past, but we both stay pretty busy so it's hard to keep up. As for the "blur" filter... Nope... no blurring allowed. It's all a time consuming task of cloning and healing the "blips" away, removing stray hairs, cleaning up eyes and teeth, removing color casts, adding contrast where needed and a lot of D&B. But as I said, I can take a professionally shot editorial/beauty shot and retouch from start to finish in less than 2hrs. It really shouldn't take 8hrs to achieve this, but then again I don't know who you're working on
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Old 01-19-2011, 01:16 PM
creativeretouch creativeretouch is offline
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Re: It's been a while... Just wondering

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Originally Posted by heyrad View Post
@creativeretouch... The idea is something I've been planning for a while. I see a great deal of tutorials on Lynda and YouTube and even here at RP... However, they don't seem to follow any sort of flow. They touch on a subject and move on. My stuff would be totally comprehensive and to be quite honest would give anyone who applies themselves the tools they'd need to seek professional employment. Will keep you posted.
I think this is exactly what is missing here ... You are able to find great stuff but this is just a small piece ... if you wish to work seriously
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Old 01-19-2011, 01:41 PM
RetWannabe RetWannabe is offline
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Re: It's been a while... Just wondering

heyrad,
If/when you get your project going would you post a link here somewhere, or PM those who have expressed an interest.
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