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

A little help needed

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  #1  
Old 02-13-2013, 12:48 PM
Babausis Babausis is offline
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A little help needed

Hello,
could you give any advice about retouching this photo?
http://img16.imageshack.us/img16/8849/mg9950.jpg
I think the worst thing are those hair at the back. Maybe I should cover them somehow? And I think blue background should be covered also. Maybe that shawl on her head should be enlarged? Any other advices would be appreciated too.
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Old 02-13-2013, 09:10 PM
kav kav is offline
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Re: A little help needed

This is kind of a bad shot, and you may need to rethink your ideas. The shawl is out of focus, and you want to enlarge that, giving her a bigger head. It will look weird. I would start by figuring out the lighting and the color palette. If this is a commissioned project, your client will likely have some opinion. This means figure out what color the background should be. Figure out the colors on the eye jewelry, balance the overall skintone, especially in the face, and grade the lip color to a degree. Then move onto smaller details. It's very side lit, killing the definition on the brighter side of the nose. That nose needs to look good. The shadow of it needs something. You probably have a couple options. The makeup above the eyes needs to blend somehow and work. The eyes are a big focus here, so in my opinion they should have some amount of definition throughout. I'd probably fine tune the positioning of the catch lights too and balance the whites and falloff off the iris in a way that adds to it. You would need to apply your own judgment to any of this. Personally I hate the gaps in the hair. I'd deal with those too, but they need to be just as much in or out of focus as they start. I'd darken the shawl in the back to de-emphasize it. Placing that out of focus was a bad idea. This was shot really close to her face, so it has a bit of foreshortening causing her head to look big. It also has a shallow depth of field. I kind of dislike the look of out of focus patterned objects. Ideally you'd also use another frame to help remove the hair going across that plant thing on her shoulder. It's part of the shot, and in the end I'd probably balance that and the eye jewelry as major points of focus, so the hair there is distracting.

TLDR it needs a lot of work and a little more attention to detail when they shot it would have gone a long way.
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Old 02-14-2013, 04:46 PM
Babausis Babausis is offline
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Re: A little help needed

Thank you very much. I know that it's bad shot. To say a truth it's from one retouching service. They sent this to me like an unpaid test. Perhaps they want to see what I can do with a really complicated image. Otherwise I'm not sure if I want to work with a photo like this for free. Maybe I'll retouch it but I'll try not to waste my time to much.
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Old 02-14-2013, 05:15 PM
KTG KTG is offline
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Re: A little help needed

Of course it's a bad photo. They want to see how you handle typical bad photo/photography issues: Skin shine, blemishes, stray hairs, tone, color, lighting issues, shadows etc. etc. Companies, photographers, services ask for free tests all the time. I don't think that's unreasonable. Show them what you can do.

k
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Old 02-14-2013, 06:14 PM
kav kav is offline
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Re: A little help needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by KTG View Post
Of course it's a bad photo. They want to see how you handle typical bad photo/photography issues: Skin shine, blemishes, stray hairs, tone, color, lighting issues, shadows etc. etc. Companies, photographers, services ask for free tests all the time. I don't think that's unreasonable. Show them what you can do.

k
While that is typical, it's important to know the reputation of the company. As for the OP, unless they really want the job, I'd just walk away from this one. Without some kind of instructions it's too ambiguous, and most people will make gross mistakes by projecting too much of their own opinions onto these. An example would be the gross foreshortening of the face. attempting to fix that isn't something I'd attempt unless I knew what they wanted. The nose doesn't have the greatest shape, but again you want to avoid assigning too much of your own opinion. I'd personally make the smallest changes that would bring the color palette to something cohesive, fix things like hair gaps, facial hair, and even out pore consistency a bit, and make the obvious focal points stand out. I wouldn't treat such a thing as a blank canvas, but if the OP is going to do something like this, they should commit to it rather than turning in a half - effort. If it's not worth the required effort to return something exceptional, just move on as it's probably a waste of time sending back something average.
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