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What would you do with this image?

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  #1  
Old 02-25-2011, 02:08 PM
drode drode is offline
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What would you do with this image?

This was a test shot. I was experimenting and the lighting is a disaster. The model is actually my 16 year old son.

Regardless, I wanted to work on the skin. His ears and nose are are very red/magenta/purplish and there were a number of skin areas that needed attention. So, I started working on it for practice. The B&W is the final version but I also included a color intermediate version (unsharpened) to show my progress before I converted to B&W.

A) How did I do? What did I totally blow and what did I maybe get right?
B) If you were asked (or paid) to work on this image and given free reign, what would you have done to improve it.

I'd appreciate any feedback. Here's a link to all 3 versions.
http://www.rodephoto.com/Other/Retouch-Samples
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Old 02-25-2011, 04:44 PM
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Phaeton Phaeton is offline
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Re: What would you do with this image?

Hi Drode
I think you did well overall, mate. The final BW is my least favourite one - I think it has a cut and paste feel due to the mismatching background light. The middle version has a bit more oomph for my taste: the background is darker, he stands out a bit more.
It's hard to tell from the small size, but you did well with the colour moves; however, I think the magenta should come down a bit overall and a bit further in certain sports like his nose, cheeks, forehead etc...
Hard to tell what I'd do to this without seeing the raw file. I would treat it as a classic portrait.
I'd try to recover a bit from the shadows in the RAW file. I probably wouldn't clean his skin out of all marks - the little birthmarks on his arms and chest would stay. I'd liquify his midsection a tad less - now I feel he's a little "square". I would definitely try to open up the shadows around his eyes - particularly his left (camera right) one. And I probably would end up with more light and a tad more golden skin as well.
Cheers!
Eddie
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Old 02-25-2011, 07:43 PM
drode drode is offline
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Re: What would you do with this image?

Thanks Eddie! I played with pulling more magenta out, adding more cyan and such but backed off. The skin looked too yellow to me. I suspect it may have been my perception. Seeing it initially with too much red and magenta one gets sensitized to it. When making a large change, it appears to be too much. I think I might be better served by walking away for a minute and coming back to evaluate the skin colors.

The light on the BG in the B&W doesn't match. It's not really intended to. The original lighting was a mess in several respects. The original BG had no direct light and very little indirect light hitting it. The real BG looked fake to me
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:04 PM
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daygraphics daygraphics is offline
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Re: What would you do with this image?

I agree with Eddie. You did a pretty good job of balancing out the tones. By the way, these red blotchy areas are pretty common in digital photography. It almost always is accentuated in the ears, nose, cheeks..

In balancing out the tones you pulled some of the lighter, less red areas up in tone (and redness) while pulling down the darker reds - closer to the dominant tones. I would have pulled the reds down more to the more dominant tones and kept bringing them down until they matched. You may have started to have to isolate the areas more specifically, as you got to the reddest reds. But again, a pretty good job - but you definitely have to pull the overall magenta down for a more natural skin/flesh tone.
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Old 02-25-2011, 09:52 PM
drode drode is offline
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Re: What would you do with this image?

Thanks. The feedback really helps. I'm trying to train my "eye" so I can better evaluate what needs to change and why.
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Old 02-26-2011, 03:19 AM
spotter spotter is offline
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Re: What would you do with this image?

I like the colour pic better too.The greyscale does have quite a good depth of shadow under the elbow on the right hand side though.
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Old 02-27-2011, 12:42 PM
vasiliskons vasiliskons is offline
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Re: What would you do with this image?

First things first. Rim lights was mistaken positioned, casting strong shadows with strong "lines".
First thing I'll do is get rid of them, then bring some light to the face.

I used a patch for the chin - gave it more light with curves, and used clone/healing brush to blend the edges. For the other lines I just used healing brush

Try to position rim lights looking down to avoid shadows, and use modifiers (softbox, umbrellas or whatever), so light is not so "hard"
Attached Images
File Type: jpg image.jpg (63.8 KB, 61 views)
File Type: jpg light-fixed.jpg (59.9 KB, 59 views)
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Old 02-27-2011, 12:59 PM
drode drode is offline
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Re: What would you do with this image?

I was experimenting and this was one of the failed experiments. However, I specifically wanted hard light.

Wow - Nice work on the shadows.
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Old 02-27-2011, 01:52 PM
vasiliskons vasiliskons is offline
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Re: What would you do with this image?

Don't get me wrong, for the following, it is just my opinion.

Even if you want hard lighting, shoot it with soft lighting and then make it hard on photoshop. Here is how

Make a copy layer and mask off everything but skin. (first image)
Put a gradient map layer on top, with soft light blending and hit alt+ctrl+G to make a clipping mask.
Choose black and white for the gradient map, but not completely black or white, play a little until you are satisfied. Don't overdo it, in fact lower the opacity a bit.

If you want more - make a new curves layer, hit alt+ctrl+G again, blend it in luminosity, make a small "S" curve and lower the opacity again.

Play with these 2 layers until you are happy with the result.
img1 = skin selection
img2 = start image
img3 = img2+gradient map about 50% opacity
img4 = img3+curves about 50% opacity

in this example now that we have start with hard light in the first place, img3 looks kind of ok, but img4 is "too much" for my taste.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg skin.jpg (56.8 KB, 47 views)
File Type: jpg start-photo.jpg (61.1 KB, 44 views)
File Type: jpg gradinent-map.jpg (65.5 KB, 48 views)
File Type: jpg gradient-map-AND-curves.jpg (69.1 KB, 55 views)

Last edited by vasiliskons; 02-27-2011 at 01:57 PM.
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  #10  
Old 02-27-2011, 01:57 PM
drode drode is offline
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Re: What would you do with this image?

Thanks! I'll have to give that a try.
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