Originally Posted by Der_W
skooby, kav, you're both right, there's a lot of ghosting on that retouch, looks like I did a pretty sloppy job there :-).
I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up to, kav, please don't feel like you need to rush anything. This thread is for learning purposes and although you specifically said you would show us a better technique, there's no reason why anybody else shouldn't jump in and show us there way if they feel it's better or give another example of what they like about FS, which maybe again can be improved so at the end we're left with some really great methods of retouching.
I keep meaning to do it but I never seem to get around to it. In the end I just try to keep the file as simple and editable as possible, and I don't like to apply complex solutions to simple problems. I think a lot of these techniques come from the desire for instant gratification when going over an area. I hate making multiple copies of the image to accomplish this when it's a fundamentally simple concept and simple techniques are less prone to breaking.
Any of this stuff can be reduced to two elements. You want to continue the texture of the areas that are being overlapped, and you want continuity in the lighting. Since there is an obstruction that you're removing by placing other detail, you may have to adjust the lighting after regardless of technique. It would not be easy to make silky smooth hair out of this shot. The lighting on the hair just isn't that great. There are a lot of areas where it's flat and noisy so even after you remove the cross hairs it won't look so great. The area around the clip would require more work. Cloning won't solve that. You'd have to reshape and shade that to look less pinched. Anyway I'm saying cloning or rebuilding is easy, but sometimes you need to edit those areas afterward to match the lighting. It's not like you're just removing a spot or something. There is quite a bit of obstruction, so it's unreasonable to think that a couple brush strokes will fix it.