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

Trying my hand at beauty retouching

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  #11  
Old 10-08-2014, 08:48 AM
insmac insmac is offline
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Re: Trying my hand at beauty retouching

Quote:
Originally Posted by Venthe View Post
Thanks Insmac, I think that (so far) is the hardest part for me. I'm finding myself looking at tons of before/afters and seeing such a wide range of aesthetics that when I'm working on my own image I really don't have a firm idea of how I think it should look.
That's because there's no single style or aesthetics for each kind of photography - there are similarities though, but like I said - almost every photographer wants his own style, hence different treatments.

For jewellery ad you're most likely be looking at porcelain skin with very delicate hands, lower overall saturation for the mood:

Chanel:
http://i.models.com/i/db/2012/5/100144/100144-800w.jpg
http://sphotos-a.ak.fbcdn.net/hphoto...42623614_n.jpg
Repossi Jewellery:
http://theneotraditionalist.com/wp-c...campaign-3.jpg
Gucci:
http://www.gucci.com/images/ecommerc...eb_1column.jpg

(unless the campaign is tied to a specific 'emotion' like this Gucci ad shot by Inez and Vinoodh was all gold and glitter:
http://www.fashionadexplorer.com/l-ozKn173Kd8EPV6Oe.jpg

There are some exceptions where the image has a darker mood, like this Louis Vuitton ad:
http://www.footluxe.com/gallery/2011...ampaign-04.jpg
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  #12  
Old 10-08-2014, 04:49 PM
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Aladdin Aladdin is offline
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Re: Trying my hand at beauty retouching

Keep in mind though, that the aesthetics come last, first, you will have to go through a complete retouch process, the image or photograph has to be ready to hand over to a client or posted somewhere. It has to be a "finished product". Only then, you would introduce some sort of aesthetics to it.
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  #13  
Old 10-09-2014, 06:47 PM
skoobey skoobey is offline
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Re: Trying my hand at beauty retouching

No, you start with aesthetics, as that dictates everything from the raw conversion, to global DNB, to global and local adjustments.
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  #14  
Old 10-09-2014, 09:16 PM
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AKMac AKMac is offline
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Re: Trying my hand at beauty retouching

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Originally Posted by skoobey View Post
No, you start with aesthetics, as that dictates everything from the raw conversion, to global DNB, to global and local adjustments.
I totally agree with this approach. However, for someone starting out it doesn't necessarily apply. I would suggest that, while learning the basic skills, you need to be prepared to work an image to death. You need to go too far, and often, before you start to find out how far too far is. It takes years to develop a good balance of technical skill and aesthetic understanding. At the outset, if you want to gain real depth and breadth of technical repertoire, you need to find every opportunity available to explore and practise. To use a medical analogy - you start by dissecting corpses before you go on to curing patients.
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  #15  
Old 10-09-2014, 10:40 PM
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Aladdin Aladdin is offline
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Re: Trying my hand at beauty retouching

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Originally Posted by skoobey View Post
No, you start with aesthetics, as that dictates everything from the raw conversion, to global DNB, to global and local adjustments.
I know this, as AKMac illustrated, you really can't expect someone that is just starting out with image retouch to place aesthetics ahead of everything else. He or she will be killed on the spot! Just like everything else, you need the "boot camp" experience , one has to know what to do in conversion and what to leave behind for actual editing, you don't accomplish this unless you have the experience.

In your first replay to him, you pointed out few very good points that he left out, then, how do you expect him to start with aesthetics first if he left the basics behind?

You really have to reach certain level of editing experience before even attempting to introduce aesthetics!

This why I love Photoshop CC, to be able to run ACR as filter. I am a firm believer that the image has to be picture perfect before introducing aesthetics! It is my philosophy and my comfort zone. Only then, when I am happy with the work, that I take it to ACR as filter to see what could be done with it, aesthetics wise! Which gives me a second chance at "conversion". Before CC, I had to close the window, open the file again "as Camera Row" file, was pain. Now, I can just use ACR as Smart Object within the document.
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  #16  
Old 10-10-2014, 07:32 AM
skoobey skoobey is offline
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Re: Trying my hand at beauty retouching

It still doesn't relate to the original file.

My advice: Convert so that you get the most detail out of the image. You can add contrast and clipping in the end, on top with the color layers.
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  #17  
Old 10-13-2014, 12:05 PM
Venthe Venthe is offline
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Re: Trying my hand at beauty retouching

Hi guys,

Thanks again for all the valuable information.. I've been watching tutorials and going through all of the points mentioned above and have been trying to refine this image to match. I'm at a point now where I'm a little uncomfortable/lost not knowing if I've "gone too far" or have made other mistakes along the way. I would appreciate any insight and perspective you have on the latest attempt.

I may need to start working with another image at this point, but would want to really get this one at a good point before progressing. Let me know your thoughts and thank you again for helping me


Thanks,

David
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  #18  
Old 10-13-2014, 02:40 PM
skoobey skoobey is offline
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Re: Trying my hand at beauty retouching

Now you've worked on overall color (which in itself is not good enough), and have completely disregarded our comments. Start by making skin less blotchy. We are here to help.

That insecurity never leaves, but what comes with lots of practice is the instinct.
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  #19  
Old 10-13-2014, 03:04 PM
Venthe Venthe is offline
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Re: Trying my hand at beauty retouching

I honestly haven't disregarded anything said here, but perhaps like the skin my other edits weren't good enough for you to notice ( in reference of your first message, I worked on overall color/blotchiness using frequency separation, I worked on making the eyes pop, on sharpening the necklace and nails, and on fixing her hairline ). A lot of the finer detail is a bit lost at this resolution (working at about 4k pixels high), but perhaps thats also a sign that I'm not pulling back enough to review the overall look.

I do appreciate your feedback, I am just getting the feeling the span between our abilities is currently too great for you to critique it without writing a 5 page essay I get that, and will hopefully progress towards closing that gap as I work through this.

It's probably best at this point for me to start fresh with this image rather than attempt to fix what I have, using a good reference image to compare to ( this is one part I will admit I may have 'disregarded', mostly because I was focusing on absorbing techniques to achieve the corrections mentioned above rather than utilizing the techniques to achieve the right look).

Again, much appreciated and will keep at it

David
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  #20  
Old 10-14-2014, 05:48 PM
insmac insmac is offline
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Re: Trying my hand at beauty retouching

I'll try to break it down a bit

I consider the retouch good when 'everything fits'. That means at first glance and brief inspection you don't have that 'something is not right here' feeling, it is independent of the style, whether this is a heavy retouched vintage-inspired fashion shoot or a delicate portrait for a magazine. At that point I really don't care about the numbers and technique - it has to feel right. Effectively the main principle is for the viewer to never know we've been here.

Back to your image - when you look at it, it doesn't fit well. Eyes are definitely too bright, nails too (give a "shining" impression), there are heavy discolorations of the skin (i.e. on her right arm) and the overall contrast is too low. Let's pause for a moment - why doesn't her skin look right? Because a bright necklace with a lot of reflections suggest a more definitive light source whereas your skin is completely flat - highlights are virtually non-existent. The skin color is too red to my taste, too. There are different schools regarding that matter, but the idea is skin tone should correspond well with the image itself (the mood, the lighting and so on).

I'm a strong advocate of working on aesthetics before you actually have craft in hand, for the same reason a popular cartoon called Little Einsteins, targeted for pre-school children uses only classical pieces and shows famous paintings as part of each episode: to build your sense of taste from the very ground up.

Right now, I'd look for a similar well retouched image and start to drift in that direction.
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