My best to all...
1) I would like to get the retouch and tone of attached photo (decode.jpg and decode2.jpg). I believe this look is from less color-more saturation, use of selective color, and dodge and burn. However I can't seem to get the smoothness in the skin. How to get the smooth skin transitions - all dodge and burn?
2) the other image, studio shot (wife.jpg), is my wife. Shot and retouched today - give me your thoughts. For that I embraced use of shadows/highlights, selective color, dodge and burn with retouch from 'support layers'. All natural retouching (no inverted high-pass).
Would really like to get a nice smooth transition like the decode.jpg images. I know much of its lighting, and I practice a lot, but overall I'm going for darker colors and tone with smooth transitions.
Let me know if you have any advice. thank you