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

Are we allowed to...

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  #21  
Old 01-24-2013, 06:37 AM
blindfire blindfire is offline
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Re: Are we allowed to...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Casey Johnson View Post
Please tell me you are kidding...
What a lovely response..
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  #22  
Old 01-24-2013, 02:20 PM
Casey Johnson Casey Johnson is offline
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Re: Are we allowed to...

Well I'm not going to sugar coat anything. I showed this to the girl who is in the picture and her response was the same. I care a lot about my clients. My skills mean nothing if my clients aren't happy.
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  #23  
Old 01-24-2013, 07:15 PM
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0lBaldy 0lBaldy is offline
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Re: Are we allowed to...

You might try incorporating Luminosity Masks instead of the regular mask on your curves adjustment layers to aid in carving and adding some contrast...

Amica has made and provided an action that contains almost all of the luminosity masks and can be downloaded from here: RetouchPRO>Blogs>amica999
Attached Images
File Type: gif luminosity masks.gif (196.4 KB, 13 views)
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  #24  
Old 01-25-2013, 07:02 AM
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0lBaldy 0lBaldy is offline
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Re: Are we allowed to...

LOL @ Casey
Quote:
Originally Posted by Casey Johnson View Post
Please tell me you are kidding...
Nope, I'm serious! Those are the simple tools I used to modify/change your original...

And,Yes, it would be nice to have a picture posted in your threads so the thread will stay useful in the future when the links go dead.... (as a side note...Photobucket creates smaller copies for display purposes on the web. A web sized (1024X768) copy is created for easy display of large images. If you're linking large images to other sites, they use the web copy (1024X768), which you linked to @ 72 Pixels/inch instead of the original (SOOC)) It would have been nice to have a decent size picture linked to work on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Casey Johnson View Post
Well I'm not going to sugar coat anything. I showed this to the girl who is in the picture and her response was the same. I care a lot about my clients. My skills mean nothing if my clients aren't happy.
Sugar coat what??
We are here to offer help and suggest tools and procedures to help you accomplish whatever task you have set for yourself, if pictures are shown to show examples of how the tools can be used to improve or change things they should not be considered as final products.. The tools, methods, modes, etc.. suggested are for you to use. I am sure that you can offer a much nicer final product given your insight and vision for the sitting, getting guidance from your model and being able to work on a copy of the Original... We can't get into your head and see what you are looking for as a final outcome.

There is no need to sugar coat anything here... just keep things in perspective... at your solicitation... we are only trying to help you.

If you really want to learn fundamentals that will help give your images more of a 3D look... look into studio lighting principles. A good start/refresher for any Photographer might be Strobist Lighting 101

Just a personal note, I think the only people I have ever shown before/after pictures to were family, the Photographers, Editors and members on this forum... and maybe to an end client that has asked for something in particular changed.. then only that change.
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  #25  
Old 01-25-2013, 10:44 PM
Casey Johnson Casey Johnson is offline
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Re: Are we allowed to...

Well I really wasn't trying to be a jerk. I appreciate your understanding and not being on back, even though my comment came off as a real jerk move. I know you say you are here to help, but I'm skeptical. Not of you. Just people who say that. I know very little about retouching, and I have never had anyone want to help me. This forum is a little different though. I know a lot of people like Model Mayhem, but I think that forum is full of people who think they are the best. But then they say, I'll retouch an image for $25. And I ask how long it will take them and they say about 5 hours, I am professional... That's $5 an hour. I didn't work for $5/hr even when I was a bus boy. lol. I really am looking for help. I am going to check out the links right now. Thanks guys.
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  #26  
Old 01-25-2013, 11:03 PM
Casey Johnson Casey Johnson is offline
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Re: Are we allowed to...

Quote:
Originally Posted by 0lBaldy View Post
You might try incorporating Luminosity Masks instead of the regular mask on your curves adjustment layers to aid in carving and adding some contrast...

Amica has made and provided an action that contains almost all of the luminosity masks and can be downloaded from here: RetouchPRO>Blogs>amica999
Well as a newbie, I can't figure out what to do here. I did make a curves adjustment layer and boosted it and it did give great contrast to the mid tones and highlights. But I don't think I know what I am doing.
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  #27  
Old 01-26-2013, 03:34 AM
kav kav is offline
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Re: Are we allowed to...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Casey Johnson View Post
Well as a newbie, I can't figure out what to do here. I did make a curves adjustment layer and boosted it and it did give great contrast to the mid tones and highlights. But I don't think I know what I am doing.
It can take a long time to learn properly, and it's not always easy to find good courses or material. I wouldn't even start off trying to draw a figure. I'd start off with something incredibly basic. You probably retouch with a pen or a mouse. The first thing to do is master those. You should be able to draw nice smooth lines and curves using your preferred tool in photoshop. This means you'll be looking directly at your lines rather than your work painted on a surface. When those are perfect I'd suggest some basic figure drawing. Since your primary subject seems to be people, I'd pick up some artist reference of subjects in various poses. You can find books on this with both clothed and nude models. I'd also take a look at some anatomy bone and muscle illustrations if you don't have all the shapes memorized. I used to keep a book nearby and references up on a second screen. Eventually you commit most of it to memory and just refer to reference in atypical situations.

The comprehension can help prevent going into weirdness territory. The thing about mastering tools (remember you can change their mapping settings to your comfort level) is that if your strokes are really perfect and you get a feel for brush hardness levels, the cleanup process will take less time per image as you do it in fewer strokes. It also helps immensely with fine masking. This leaves more time to flesh out the look as necessary. I still hit problems in spite of all this, but I think a sense for lines and colors helps quite a bit. It forces you to notice things. What tends to work in photos is whatever people feel is attractive. If something looks like sunburn or a fake tan, I find it less attractive. These things come up in photos, and they have to be solved with as much subtlety as possible. Sometimes selective color + a bit of quick mask is enough, but you have to make it fit in context with the rest of the image.

A couple people have mentioned simple tools in other threads. They don't always have to be complex methods. I personally test out a lot of things, but I test in really rough manners. If I'm going to test something like a curve for darkening an area, I'll paint in a big stroke at 100%. If it blocks things up or adds too much contrast, I don't use that in the current state. It's pretty much whatever works, but you have to develop some amount of sensibilities for viewing the stuff and figuring out what it needs or you won't be able to tell what has potential during intermediate phases. The other part is that you'll want to consider some of these things in camera. If you learn to think about things that may dump on post and improve your post skill, it will show a considerable net improvement.
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  #28  
Old 01-26-2013, 03:44 AM
kav kav is offline
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Re: Are we allowed to...

Quote:
Originally Posted by 0lBaldy View Post
You might try incorporating Luminosity Masks instead of the regular mask on your curves adjustment layers to aid in carving and adding some contrast...

Amica has made and provided an action that contains almost all of the luminosity masks and can be downloaded from here: RetouchPRO>Blogs>amica999
I don't necessarily agree with the idea of just applying actions to such a thing. Think of it this way, the more light you have reflection directly off the surface of the skin such as you'd perceive in oilier and convex areas, the more light tends to be returned in its original untinted color. I don't say white because it doesn't have to what we'd perceive as white light. The thing I dislike about methods like these is that they just boost all of these areas equally without real regard for the lighting or intent in a given image. Those are just my thoughts anyway. In this image I feel the bridge of the nose is slightly off aesthetically relative to the other areas, so I would want to compensate for that. I have the tendency to paint a lot of my masks, but this could probably help as a point of departure for some things. It's just not something you can follow verbatim as it requires some amount of personal judgement to be of any reliable use.

On a side note I'm not sure why the OP would have shown the subject if he didn't like it at all. He could have just indicated it wasn't usable for him and left it at that.
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  #29  
Old 01-30-2013, 04:45 PM
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0lBaldy 0lBaldy is offline
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Re: Are we allowed to...

Kav, The Luminosity masks provided in the action should help eliminate a lot of your painting on a mask... maybe only having to paint black what you do not want corrected... take the time to read Different Masks for Different Tones to understand the different masks provided in Amicas' action (The action only makes masks in the channels window.. tis up to you which ones you want/need to use and how) Plus they make prefect selections of each tone... like the bridge of the nose.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Casey Johnson View Post
Well as a newbie, I can't figure out what to do here. I did make a curves adjustment layer and boosted it and it did give great contrast to the mid tones and highlights. But I don't think I know what I am doing.
Speaking of perfect selections I incorporated this technique from Chris Tarantino (scroll down to May 2010)which also makes a perfect selection for lightening, darkening etc by using the Pattern Stamp Tool... and used in conjunction with the luminosity masks allows super control with no harsh lines... seems mighty handy to me...

As far as knowing what you are doing.... I think we are ALL in the same boat.... If we Practice Cubed it seems to get easier

Here is a large GIF demonstrating the subtle changes with the "Pattern Stamp Tool" Technique combined with the Luminosity Masks provided by Amica. (with some default noise removal using Portraiture)
or click back and forth below
Attached Images
File Type: jpg DSC_0244_zpsb35dd43orig.jpg (189.8 KB, 12 views)
File Type: jpg DSC_0244_zpsb35dd43PST.jpg (196.3 KB, 13 views)
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  #30  
Old 01-31-2013, 01:01 PM
kav kav is offline
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Re: Are we allowed to...

I will read and try what you linked later when I have an hour or two.

Typically I try not to make big prominent highlights with little falloff. Going a little less with it and allowing them to diffuse might have made it more synergetic. To me the image problems were the fake look of the contacts, the visually demanding white dress, the splotchy look of the background due to the flatness of the pattern, and that she had either a fake tan or mild sunburn. By the way, it's easy to be too attracted to bright highlights if your display is set really bright. You may wish to consider that. I know it happens to me if I look at something on my notebook display (which I typically wouldn't use).
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