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

What would you do with this image?

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  #11  
Old 03-04-2011, 11:11 AM
drode drode is offline
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Re: What would you do with this image?

I've been working on this image and another of the same subject on and off for a couple weeks and I'm really struggling with two areas.

First, I can seem to get the skin color right. No matter what I try, the skin looks too yellow or too cyan by the time I pull enough red/magenta. I've tried a number of selections and 3 different ways to adjust the color including a hue/sat adj layer. Whether by eye or "by the numbers" the color always looks wrong.

Secondly, I can't figure out how to remove the dark hard shadow. I've played with curves, levels, shadow and highlight and it invariably looks awful. I can mostly get the dark shadow reasonably lightened but it doesn't look natural and the edges between look awful.
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  #12  
Old 03-04-2011, 11:30 AM
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daygraphics daygraphics is offline
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Re: What would you do with this image?

HUE SATURATION CAN PRODUCE SOME PRETTY UNDESIRABLE RESULTS - given it's rather quick dramatic changes and global affect.

I usually use a combination of Selective Color (with loose lassoed areas - and feathered edges) and Curves. It may sound crazy, but I sometimes convert it to CMYK to do these moves, as the effect and results are more specific and allow me greater control getting where I want to be. In the end I convert it back to RGB.

If you don't mind I would take a stab at you skin tones on the higher res versions?

Dan
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  #13  
Old 03-04-2011, 12:17 PM
drode drode is offline
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Re: What would you do with this image?

Sure. You can go to http://www.rodephoto.com/Other/Retouch-Samples and click the download button to get the full size jpg version. The image is not important to me. It's just a practice shot but I'd really appreciate it of you share how you made your changes.
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  #14  
Old 03-04-2011, 04:12 PM
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MacBurg MacBurg is offline
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Re: What would you do with this image?

Quite a lot of colour shifts throughout the skin in this image, I made a quick selection for the entire skin area then used a gradient map set to "colour" blending mode. Started with a general skin gradient that has 5 stops and adjusted the saturation and positioning of these to suit, then clipped a hue/sat layer to the gradient map layer and hit a -5 on the hue. The Gradient map layer was then dropped to 50% opacity. Gradient maps can be a bit difficult when you first start using them, but they are worth the effort to learn, as you've spent weeks trying to figure it out compared to the 5 minutes it took to create the attached result.

Here's two good RTP threads you should read -

Gradient Maps Different Uses and Techniques



Skintone Help

.
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File Type: jpg SkinGradientFix.jpg (67.5 KB, 35 views)
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  #15  
Old 03-04-2011, 10:10 PM
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daygraphics daygraphics is offline
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Re: What would you do with this image?

Here is my adjustment using Selective Color Correction (with selected isolated areas) and Curves. I also actually did some painting in color mode. Remember the numbers 5, 33, 44...

I'll elaborate further tomorrow if you like and would want more details...

Dan

www.daygraphics.net/1198375741.jpg
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File Type: jpg 1198375741sm.jpg (19.8 KB, 18 views)

Last edited by daygraphics; 03-04-2011 at 10:17 PM.
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  #16  
Old 03-04-2011, 10:20 PM
drode drode is offline
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Re: What would you do with this image?

Quote:
Originally Posted by daygraphics View Post
Here is my adjustment using Selective Color Correction (with selected isolated areas) and Curves. I also actually did some painting in color mode. Remember the numbers 5, 33, 44...

I'll elaborate further tomorrow if you like and would want more details...
www.daygraphics.net/1198375741.jpg
Thank you!
Please elaborate. I think if I can get the hang of it on one image, I can figure out how to use it more broadly.
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  #17  
Old 03-04-2011, 10:23 PM
drode drode is offline
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Re: What would you do with this image?

Thanks. My head is spinning as this is really new to me.

I've never touched a gradient map. In fact, I'm still trying to figure out just what they do. I've read the threads you linked and it's starting to make a little sense. I'm going to scour the Internet for some more examples to get up to speed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBurg View Post
Quite a lot of colour shifts throughout the skin in this image, I made a quick selection for the entire skin area then used a gradient map set to "colour" blending mode. Started with a general skin gradient that has 5 stops and adjusted the saturation and positioning of these to suit, then clipped a hue/sat layer to the gradient map layer and hit a -5 on the hue. The Gradient map layer was then dropped to 50% opacity. Gradient maps can be a bit difficult when you first start using them, but they are worth the effort to learn, as you've spent weeks trying to figure it out compared to the 5 minutes it took to create the attached result.

Here's two good RTP threads you should read -

Gradient Maps Different Uses and Techniques



Skintone Help

.
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  #18  
Old 03-05-2011, 02:17 AM
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MacBurg MacBurg is offline
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Re: What would you do with this image?

Photoshop is all about numbers and maths in the background, every pixel in your image has a brightness value and a colour value, but try not to think about that too much

A gradient map is taking the 255 brightness values in your image and representing them in a scale of 100, 0 being black and 100 being white. It then maps colour to this 100 brightness scale of your image.

So you use colour stops that you can add or delete along the scale of 100, these are the little triangles below the gradient bar. With each colour stop you can select any colour, and adjust its brightness, hue and saturation by numbers or visually by double clicking on its little triangle. This opens the Colour Picker window where you choose your colour, I usually use the HSB values and tweak them by using the arrow keys on the keyboard.

You can then adjust where the colour stop sits along that scale of 100, this is called the "Location" and will affect what brightness value in your image gets changed to the colour in the colour stop you have set. Attached is a screen grab of the gradient map I used for the image in my previous post.

In general there is usually more saturation in the shadows, less in the highlights of an image, especially with skin. So as you see in the gradient I have used, there are darker more saturated colours being mapped in the shadows, and then the gradient smoothly goes through to a less saturated colour in the highlights.
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