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Herb Ritts style help

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  #51  
Old 03-03-2016, 11:09 PM
klev klev is offline
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Re: Herb Ritts style help

Quote:
Originally Posted by blohan View Post
how do you properly mask? Or isolate the skin tone? I discovered in a luminosity mask tutorial how to select the brightness and invert, don't know if that's what you mean.
The pen tool

Some people don't like the pen tool, but it has a short learning curve and can produce strong results. You place anchor points, and photoshop will generate bezier splines based on these points. This is the standard way to mask for any kind of product work, but it can be applicable to organic subjects.

In your case skin could be masked out this way. You can make a selection from a path. Feathering it by one pixel is often enough to achieve a smooth outline rather than a chopped look.

I usually use the pen tool at 100-200% zoom. Any closer than that messes me up more than it helps. You eventually learn how to avoid using too many or too few anchor points.

Free hand with the brush tool

Smoother areas and areas of gradual transition may be done with a brush tool. I suggest quickmask (toggle with q on your keyboard) and a brush. You can refine it once you apply that mask to a layer, but it's tricky. The constant image feedback can be misleading.

You want to practice good drawing technique here, so you should practice by drawing a few strokes on a blank canvas. Try this with a few circles, curves, and straight lines. If you can't do these well with the tools and setup that are at your disposal, you will have a lot of difficulty with more complex tasks.

I use an old 9x12 tablet, because I prefer large tablets in general. It's mapped

Partial transparency and other details

Some things can't be masked perfectly or easily. They include subjects with intentional or unintentional motion blur, glass, and hair. I would suggest keeping a good profile to your mask for these, but planning on the need for color correction. In some cases with glass objects you can remove parts of the interior, then make adjustments to the background that resides behind it.

Reference material

This comes back to a need for good reference material. If you are trying to match a certain skintone, it's helpful to mask it as I mentioned. It's also helpful to keep these reference images in plain view while you work. If you really are trying to match the tones, you will want to refer to them regularly. Eventually you should become more confident in your own analytical skills.

This doesn't preclude the need for some very basic illustration skills. You are basically drawing on the image, especially if you have to repaint wispy hair or something without making it look weird.

I hope this helps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blohan View Post
First of all it's not a random subject, have some f*cking respect. Second of all, I never expected to compete with the best and never even said such a thing. I simply asked what is the photoshop steps for fine art retouching. And don't tell me that you cannot take a crap picture and make it an A grade picture in photoshop because you can, just google all the unretouched Steven Klein and Marcus and Piggot images and come back and tell me they aren't 100% built in photoshop because they are.
There are many things that most people never consider when they talk about unretouched images today. If you're working in a smaller studio space with any kind of plain background, it's common to adjust background lighting a bit in post. That's because an overly lit background can generate a lot of flare. It can be mitigated with careful flagging, but it adds a lot of time that isn't always available. On earlier digital cameras and backs, letting it go too dark meant that it would become kind of noisy. You'll notice that images shot outdoors using natural light don't usually receive as much adjustment in post.

Last edited by klev; 03-03-2016 at 11:16 PM.
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  #52  
Old 03-04-2016, 12:34 AM
skoobey skoobey is offline
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Re: Herb Ritts style help

Quote:
Originally Posted by blohan View Post
First of all it's not a random subject, have some f*cking respect. Second of all, I never expected to compete with the best and never even said such a thing. I simply asked what is the photoshop steps for fine art retouching. And don't tell me that you cannot take a crap picture and make it an A grade picture in photoshop because you can, just google all the unretouched Steven Klein and Marcus and Piggot images and come back and tell me they aren't 100% built in photoshop because they are.

I guess at the end of the day you just don't know anything. I saw that in art school all the time, retouchers that didn't know anything of use because they didn't know anything about photography. I happen to know at least something, it's a bad shot, but so fvking what, I like it for personal reasons, I did not come in here for a photo assessment, I am asking about retouching.
Compared against Tony Ward, it is a random subject, and everything else I said is true as well. I can make anything look good, but am here to assist you, not myself. And you'll have a much better time starting of with the right image for the look you want to end up with. I don't need to google anything, I've worked with good photographers, and I can tell you that most of those things that go around internet being presented as "before" are actually light tests, and various shots off the set, not the images that end up being retouched. All of those photographers know the concept from the get go. I won't go into details of a magazine-level set, but trust me, there is more to it then just shooting your friend in the balcony or similar type scenario. Even when it is a street-style shoot, there are a lot of people involved.

Last edited by skoobey; 03-04-2016 at 01:17 AM.
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  #53  
Old 03-04-2016, 12:39 AM
blohan blohan is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 78
Re: Herb Ritts style help

Quote:
Originally Posted by klev View Post
The pen tool

Some people don't like the pen tool, but it has a short learning curve and can produce strong results. You place anchor points, and photoshop will generate bezier splines based on these points. This is the standard way to mask for any kind of product work, but it can be applicable to organic subjects.

In your case skin could be masked out this way. You can make a selection from a path. Feathering it by one pixel is often enough to achieve a smooth outline rather than a chopped look.

I usually use the pen tool at 100-200% zoom. Any closer than that messes me up more than it helps. You eventually learn how to avoid using too many or too few anchor points.

Free hand with the brush tool

Smoother areas and areas of gradual transition may be done with a brush tool. I suggest quickmask (toggle with q on your keyboard) and a brush. You can refine it once you apply that mask to a layer, but it's tricky. The constant image feedback can be misleading.

You want to practice good drawing technique here, so you should practice by drawing a few strokes on a blank canvas. Try this with a few circles, curves, and straight lines. If you can't do these well with the tools and setup that are at your disposal, you will have a lot of difficulty with more complex tasks.

I use an old 9x12 tablet, because I prefer large tablets in general. It's mapped

Partial transparency and other details

Some things can't be masked perfectly or easily. They include subjects with intentional or unintentional motion blur, glass, and hair. I would suggest keeping a good profile to your mask for these, but planning on the need for color correction. In some cases with glass objects you can remove parts of the interior, then make adjustments to the background that resides behind it.

Reference material

This comes back to a need for good reference material. If you are trying to match a certain skintone, it's helpful to mask it as I mentioned. It's also helpful to keep these reference images in plain view while you work. If you really are trying to match the tones, you will want to refer to them regularly. Eventually you should become more confident in your own analytical skills.

This doesn't preclude the need for some very basic illustration skills. You are basically drawing on the image, especially if you have to repaint wispy hair or something without making it look weird.

I hope this helps.



There are many things that most people never consider when they talk about unretouched images today. If you're working in a smaller studio space with any kind of plain background, it's common to adjust background lighting a bit in post. That's because an overly lit background can generate a lot of flare. It can be mitigated with careful flagging, but it adds a lot of time that isn't always available. On earlier digital cameras and backs, letting it go too dark meant that it would become kind of noisy. You'll notice that images shot outdoors using natural light don't usually receive as much adjustment in post.
thank you, I'll look for tutorials on them.
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  #54  
Old 03-04-2016, 12:42 AM
blohan blohan is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 78
Re: Herb Ritts style help

Quote:
Originally Posted by skoobey View Post
Compared against Tony Ward, it is a random subject, and everything else I said is true as well. I can make anything look good, but am here to assist you, not myself. And you'll have a much better time starting of with the right image for the look you want to end up with. I don't need to google anything, I've worked with good photographers, and I can tell you that most of those things that go around internet being presented as "before" are actually light tests, and various shots off the set, not the images that end up being retouched. All of those photographers know the concept form the get go. I won't go into details of a magazine-level set, but trust me, there is more to it then just shooting your friend in the balcony or similar type scenario. Even when it is a street-style shoot, there are a lot of people involved.
Yes and the work that they create is garbage that has to be reconstructed 100% on photoshop. And don't tell me what I've found, I've found the exact same Madonna and Lady Gaga images that eventually went to print for Interview Magazine and a Versace campaign and the original shots wouldn't even be an acceptable test shot.
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  #55  
Old 03-04-2016, 01:18 AM
klev klev is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2010
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Re: Herb Ritts style help

Quote:
Originally Posted by blohan View Post
Yes and the work that they create is garbage that has to be reconstructed 100% on photoshop. And don't tell me what I've found, I've found the exact same Madonna and Lady Gaga images that eventually went to print for Interview Magazine and a Versace campaign and the original shots wouldn't even be an acceptable test shot.
Are you referring to something like this? It's a candid shot, but it works for the purpose of explaining details.

Digital combined with studio lighting tends to be shot a little on the flat side. Shooting it with lighting that's too harsh can generate other problems. There are still many details that go into a given shot before any post work is performed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blohan View Post
thank you, I'll look for tutorials on them.
You're welcome. I think this will help you, because you'll have a better idea of how they achieve a certain background tone without messing up the skin and stuff like that. Images often contain a lot of retouching on the makeup and eyes as well for dramatic effect, but that also sometimes involves masking. Even when it doesn't involve masking, it involves some of the other stuff I mentioned.
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  #56  
Old 03-04-2016, 01:27 AM
skoobey skoobey is offline
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Posts: 1,376
Re: Herb Ritts style help

Those look great. You're lacking experience, so you can't understand what defines a good shoot. Things like subject, concept, color palette, expression, style, context, timing is what's important. Getting everything in a single shot, getting every hair in place, small lipstick smudge, or a nail chip, or a bruise on her leg... things like that don't matter(they do in beauty and hair campaigns), as long as the important elements are met. Having no dust on a table in the corner of frame doesn't define art, emotion defines art. Partially that can be controlled through proportion, composition, color palette and other universal rules, and everything else comes from the observers previous experiences that the image may evoke.

I don't care about your ego, I'm here to take a break from work and share what I have learned. If you don't want to practice, noone can force you to, just don't blame Mert&Marcus because your work is not as good.

P.S. Judging by the things you've mentioned, you've watched a lot of crap, so here are same people that do not give you crap in their tutorials. 1. Gry Garness 2. Natalia Taffarel 3. Pratik Naik 4. Carrie Beene 5. Katrin Eismann
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  #57  
Old 03-04-2016, 01:36 AM
blohan blohan is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 78
Re: Herb Ritts style help

Quote:
Originally Posted by klev View Post
Are you referring to something like this? It's a candid shot, but it works for the purpose of explaining details.

Digital combined with studio lighting tends to be shot a little on the flat side. Shooting it with lighting that's too harsh can generate other problems. There are still many details that go into a given shot before any post work is performed.



You're welcome. I think this will help you, because you'll have a better idea of how they achieve a certain background tone without messing up the skin and stuff like that. Images often contain a lot of retouching on the makeup and eyes as well for dramatic effect, but that also sometimes involves masking. Even when it doesn't involve masking, it involves some of the other stuff I mentioned.
No, I'm talking about the actual image that was later published. I absolutely hate doing this because Steven Meisel is one of my favorite photographers but here is the original image: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-zqsX0bz6U0...%2B%288%29.jpg

and this is the same image when published: http://www.madonnatribe.com/i_09/van...ir_2008_HQ.jpg

As you can see, the final image is at least 60% photoshop.

In his defense, the original image is very good, this is MY retouching using dodge and burn and high frequency separation technique, I don't use it anymore because for some strange reason the dodge and burn doesn't work anymore, I don't know why, I paint and the brush affects the layer mask but I see nothing on the image, but anyway here it is, as you can see the image doesn't have to be completely refurbished: http://darknightofthesoul09.tumblr.c...e/134182586508

Ironically, some Madonna Meisel outtakes from the 90's leaked and they look exactly the same as the finished product. Barely no retouching.

The Steven Klein and Mert and Marcus images are infinitely worse. I have found outtakes, not testshots and it's very clear that their published images are 100% photoshop, to me they are frauds and con artists.

I'll look into the tutorials although it's still confusing to me, what would be a proper order for retouching?? what do you do first?
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  #58  
Old 03-04-2016, 01:53 AM
skoobey skoobey is offline
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Re: Herb Ritts style help

You do understand that people are red? And that the color of skin and hair is not the same? So OF COURSE there was retouching in order to achieve palette for that Madonna shoot. And then they wanted to make her resemble a super hero and gave her features a "push" in that direction. Retouching= hyperrealism.

I don't see a single thing that has been done badly on the globe shoot? Great concept, great pose, great lighting. And none of those were changed in post.

Yours is also decent(mind the camera right arm, as well as her mouth, those look less believable then the rest).
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  #59  
Old 03-04-2016, 01:59 AM
blohan blohan is offline
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Posts: 78
Re: Herb Ritts style help

Quote:
Originally Posted by skoobey View Post
You do understand that people are red? And that the color of skin and hair is not the same? So OF COURSE there was retouching in order to achieve palette for that Madonna shoot. And then they wanted to make her resemble a super hero and gave her features a "push" in that direction. Retouching= hyperrealism.

I don't see a single thing that has been done badly on the globe shoot? Great concept, great pose, great lighting. And none of those were changed in post.

Yours is also decent(mind the camera right arm, as well as her mouth, those look less believable then the rest).
lol you are so embarrassing, if you can't be other than condescending, don't talk to me.
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  #60  
Old 03-04-2016, 02:04 AM
klev klev is offline
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Re: Herb Ritts style help

Quote:
Originally Posted by blohan View Post
and this is the same image when published: http://www.madonnatribe.com/i_09/van...ir_2008_HQ.jpg

As you can see, the final image is at least 60% photoshop.
I don't really agree with that assessment, but I guess it isn't terribly important with respect to your goals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blohan View Post

In his defense, the original image is very good, this is MY retouching using dodge and burn and high frequency separation technique, I don't use it anymore because for some strange reason the dodge and burn doesn't work anymore, I don't know why, I paint and the brush affects the layer mask but I see nothing on the image, but anyway here it is, as you can see the image doesn't have to be completely refurbished: http://darknightofthesoul09.tumblr.c...e/134182586508
The color correction makes this a good example for my earlier comments. You can see the juxtaposition in the Vanity Fair cover between the skintone and the color palette of the background. That is typically done with masking, because it's difficult to get one just right without impacting the other. Skin is one of the things I would more frequently mask out in this kind of shot, especially if the background was to be changed to a greener tone like that one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blohan View Post

I'll look into the tutorials although it's still confusing to me, what would be a proper order for retouching?? what do you do first?
That should probably be in past tense in my case. I haven't done this stuff in a while. I try to start with either the largest objects or the most distracting issues. With color I'll try to get an idea of global color, then move onto skintone, eyes and makeup, and clothing. I used reference for things, and I referred back to the original image trying to ensure I didn't deviate from the intended makeup palette.

I expect some of this will be confusing until you gain some level of comfort trying it out on your own. If you can make a good mask, you'll be able to achieve decent skin or background color correction. If you overdo it, it may look weird. It may also look weird if you leave other elements completely unadjusted.
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