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Help with creating separation with food.

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  #1  
Old 10-07-2012, 12:54 AM
JohnnyL JohnnyL is offline
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Help with creating separation with food.

Recently Ive been working on some food retouching and its taken me out of my comfort zone a little. Currently Im trying to tackle some heavily glazed chicken pieces but need to create some separation between them. And ideas?
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Old 10-11-2012, 06:26 PM
franko60 franko60 is offline
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Re: Help with creating separation with food.

The shot is badly lit and too contrasty. While it is better to get the tonal separation required in photography, if you're a retoucher stuck with this then you need to reduce contrast. If you have the raw file you can bring it in to Photoshop at different exposures and then mask accordingly. One technique I use extensively is negative masking (an old darkroom technique to reduce contrast) whereby you dupe the layer, desaturate, invert, change mode to soft light, blur (gaussian - you need to play with the amount depending on the resolution but these days I usually find you need 250px) and then merge the layers.) Powerretouche also make a dynamic range extender plug-in that works quite well but I find neg mastking works best for me.
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Old 10-12-2012, 02:48 AM
Wolfman Wolfman is offline
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Re: Help with creating separation with food.

Lowered the contrast. went into shadow/highlights and opened the shadows and toned down the highlights a little and then used Nik Color Efex and did a little tonal contrast.
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Old 10-12-2012, 03:25 PM
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philbach philbach is offline
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Re: Help with creating separation with food.

The Original photo had a lot of contrast and needed another light to lighten up the deep shadows in the foreground. I did pretty much what Wolfman did. Used Shadow Highlights and slightly adjusted the color.
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Old 10-15-2012, 07:46 PM
franko60 franko60 is offline
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Re: Help with creating separation with food.

Both Phil's and Wolf's are great improvements and probably the best you can do with this shot. I still hate the blown-out highlights at the top of the dish but nothing can be done with that as there's no image information to work with. Ergo, don't blow out highlights 'cos once they're blown, they're blown. That's why spot metering is essential when you're lighting food unless you use a very soft light (I often use a 6' x 4' softbox very close to the dish especially when shooting for CMYK reproduction and I have a collection of little mirrors I place around the set to kick highlights into parts of the dish. But then, this is a retouch forum and not a photography forum so I'll shut up.
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