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

Trade secrets.

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  #11  
Old 01-01-2013, 10:18 PM
Baker Baker is offline
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Re: Trade secrets.

Yo thanks for posting this! Its exactly what I needed to read at the right time. I was searching 'skin' & came across this thread, my main interest was the frequence seperation techq. cause I thought it would be the magic solution when in reality, what im doing is just fine & its all about practice, learning & growth over time. Keep at it y'all!
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  #12  
Old 01-03-2013, 05:10 AM
Gratin Gratin is offline
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Re: Trade secrets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baker View Post
Yo thanks for posting this! Its exactly what I needed to read at the right time. I was searching 'skin' & came across this thread, my main interest was the frequence seperation techq. cause I thought it would be the magic solution when in reality, what im doing is just fine & its all about practice, learning & growth over time. Keep at it y'all!
Then the thread was worth posting, glad it could help

Sorry I've forgotten about this! Some great responses worthy of more discussion for sure. When I get 5 minutes I'l pop back in!
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  #13  
Old 01-03-2013, 11:58 AM
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Benny Profane Benny Profane is offline
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Re: Trade secrets.

OK, Here's how to find your secrets. This post will only be up for 24 hours, so, pay attention.

Go to the corner of 28th and sixth in Manhattan after midnight. There will be what appears to be a grizzled, crazy homeless man mumbling on the sidewalk, petting his kitten. Be nice to him, bring food for his cat, offer him a Heineken, and, if and when you can get him to relax and smile, say this magic phrase: Photoshop is Simple. Repeat it if necessary. If you have the right homeless guy, he will hand you a book with all the collected secrets that every NYC retoucher has kept to themselves for the past decade. Then, turn and run, because, when he realizes what he has just done, he will have to kill you.

Good luck. God speed.
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  #14  
Old 01-03-2013, 02:17 PM
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lurch lurch is offline
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Re: Trade secrets.

Chortle!!!
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  #15  
Old 01-03-2013, 03:20 PM
RobertGarcia RobertGarcia is offline
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Re: Trade secrets.

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Originally Posted by Steve Conway View Post
[
Interesting "take" on working with images, however I suspect that the majority of those engaged in this are doing it as a hobby.

Hence most of us merely skim the surface of any given program to accomplish our goals.

For those wishing to sell artwork or work as an artist are the ones who probably will benefit from your advice the most.

The rest of us will have hours of relaxing discovery, and may come up with a few things that are marketable, but if they only serve to please us we are satisfied.

Steve C.

QUOTE=Gratin;313092]Shameful attention grabbing title, but "Are people more likely to accept advice if it's complicated?" wouldn't fit

I've been browsing the forum for a fair while, and felt compelled to sign up to ask the above question. This is a great resource for budding retouchers and photographers alike, but the more I read the more I feel that sound advice is swept aside because people refuse to believe that the techniques used to make the images they wish to replicate are so simple (Sorry for the mouthful). It seems like a never ending search for a trade secret that professionals use and won't share, when all it often comes down to is a matter of experience.

'Deconstruct' threads are often predicated by 'And don't just say lighting' or similar, which whilst I can see the point of filtering out the obvious (And no-one likes a thread full of "Just good lighting bro"), is sometimes implying that the secret to the images success is in some retouch dark art that they're not privy too.

The frequency separation is an excellent example of this. It's a reasonably complicated procedure that can give you a lot of control, it's certainly nothing you would accidentally stumble across in Photoshop without a pretty good knowledge of the various tools it uses. Now any advice on how skin is done is immediately met with 'They probably used frequency separation', when I'd bet 9 times out of 10, it's just bog standard D&B with a bit of healing. Doesn't sound quite so glamorous or secretive, but it's still the most widely used technique in pretty much all good skin retouching. I'm not hating on FreQ Sep here just to be clear, just that it seems to be accepted as good advice because it's complicated, not because it's what has actually been used.

Same for colour. I'm sure some would be astonished at what can be done with nothing more than a Curve and a Hue/Sat layer, or heck even just a Curve on it's own. Both for skin colour or global tone. And I'm certainly not saying everyone only uses these methods because they clearly dont, but people seem more receptive to colour advice if it involved a Gradient Map with a billion points set to Soft Light at 15% opacity, with a clipped Solid Fill set to Colour at 8% and the Blend If sliders split every which way possible. Likewise people are more likely to pass on this advice than something simple.

This could in all likelihood be nothing more than a rant from someone who's clearly not seeing the same thing as the rest of you, but if you're someone who finds themselves constantly searching for new techniques and still not getting the results you want, some simple advice. Stick to the basics and do them over and over and over and over again until you get good at them. And take a little time to understand why your tools do the things they do. Don't just know an S-Curve adds contrast, understand why it does. Knowing how a single Curve works in Photoshop is I swear to god one of the most useful things you'll ever learn. There really aren't many secrets!
[/QUOTE]

Haha, so true. Simple is best.
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  #16  
Old 01-03-2013, 03:22 PM
RobertGarcia RobertGarcia is offline
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Re: Trade secrets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benny Profane View Post
OK, Here's how to find your secrets. This post will only be up for 24 hours, so, pay attention.

Go to the corner of 28th and sixth in Manhattan after midnight. There will be what appears to be a grizzled, crazy homeless man mumbling on the sidewalk, petting his kitten. Be nice to him, bring food for his cat, offer him a Heineken, and, if and when you can get him to relax and smile, say this magic phrase: Photoshop is Simple. Repeat it if necessary. If you have the right homeless guy, he will hand you a book with all the collected secrets that every NYC retoucher has kept to themselves for the past decade. Then, turn and run, because, when he realizes what he has just done, he will have to kill you.

Good luck. God speed.
OMG, I can't believe you gave out the secret!!
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  #17  
Old 01-03-2013, 04:32 PM
tommmy.star tommmy.star is offline
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Re: Trade secrets.

Couldn't agree more! When I started my journey with Photoshop I began with Lynda and Kelby and after a while got really upset as I thought that they kept hidding all the good/modern way of retouching to themselves. All courses revolved round cloning or healing or curves! Then I went and met Gry Garness (my retouching guru to these days) and then I realised that it is ALL about curves + cloning + healing + GOOD LIGHTING and making it in camera!
If you are patient enough and keep practising it all comes toghether after a while. I mean I still prefer to heal on split frequency and use a lot of solar curves when healing but these really are simple techniques and there is nothing complicated about them. Also, a lot of stuff is about experimenting!
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  #18  
Old 01-03-2013, 05:33 PM
RobertGarcia RobertGarcia is offline
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Re: Trade secrets.

What is crazy is that I have a few friends which make quite a living from retouching and they don't use any freq sep and stuff like that, which got me to think that is mostly from online retouchers. But I am sure it has its uses for certain workflows and/or certain problems.
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  #19  
Old 01-03-2013, 09:33 PM
franko60 franko60 is offline
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Re: Trade secrets.

During my brief (10 year) phase as a wedding/portrait photographer I used to sell up to 50" x 40" enlargements for a great deal of money each. I'd never even heard of freq sep then, I rarely cloned and the healing brush didn't come out until about half way through those 10 years. My workflow consisted of - noise reduction (imagenomic noiseware on auto), skin softening (imagenomic portraiture on, you guessed it, auto), and output sharpening on the luminosity channel. Each done on their own layer and opacity reduced until it looked ok. All my clients loved their prints and to this day I still have customers coming back to order additional prints. Oh, and I would enlarge the prints to that size using a technique shown to me by Adobe engineers which allowed me to get good, sharp enlargements of that size from a respecitively, Fuji S3, D200 and D300 cameras.

Amd I a better retoucher these days - sure I am. But in a lot of cases, for printing enlargements or for 4 colour separations, I think a good understanding of basic tools is really all you need.
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  #20  
Old 01-04-2013, 01:12 AM
Flashtones Flashtones is offline
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Re: Trade secrets.

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Originally Posted by franko60 View Post
Oh, and I would enlarge the prints to that size using a technique shown to me by Adobe engineers which allowed me to get good, sharp enlargements of that size from a respecitively, Fuji S3, D200 and D300 cameras.

I could use a could up-rez technique. Care to share it?
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