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juli3n 07-13-2017 05:14 AM

How can I improve this photo?
Hi everyone :)

I finally managed to take a good shot of my sister, she usually runs away when I point a camera in her direction. The problem is that the background is awful.

How could I improve this shot? Apart from usual subject retouching (skin, eyes), I need to change or transform the background, but I'm not sure what would give the best result.

I need an expert eyes.

Here is the original:

Here are two first attempts (they are not perfect, I focused on the overall impression rather that details and perfect contours):
(1) using blurs

(2) trying to reconstruct part of her body and switching backgrounds

I'm not an expert at retouching but I really like working on postproduction and I'll take all the time necessary to make this shot awesome.

What do you think?
- J

Sabrina81 07-13-2017 12:46 PM

Re: How can I improve this photo?
I don't think the glassware adds to the photo. The first and main thing I would do is work on the skin tones and get more light in her eyes. She has beautiful eyes. I would also crop very tight and clone out background distractions.

edbayani 07-13-2017 09:12 PM

Re: How can I improve this photo?
How about changing background
into a simple one. Lighten and sharpen eyes.

Dezzy 07-13-2017 10:45 PM

Re: How can I improve this photo?
juli3n, I think you have reduced the picture to what it really is. Only work on the face and it would do me. Glade all the glassware went.

Shoku 07-14-2017 09:19 AM

Re: How can I improve this photo?
1 Attachment(s)
Using what's there, bring focus to the face and use the glassware as a frame if masking is too much trouble.

0lBaldy 07-15-2017 04:03 PM

Re: How can I improve this photo?
2 Attachment(s)
juli3n, Welcome to RetouchPRO :)
Hope you enjoy your stay here and make lots of friends.
Poke around, have fun! :)

RetouchPRO is a place for help, with abundant offerings of knowledge, opinions, or just interesting thoughts, We are a remarkably troll-free and welcoming group.

Just one thing to help the forum... If you use Photoshop you can post fairly large pictures which are under 100k using the 'save for web' function in Photoshop as described in this thread:
(Size, Quality and/or Format your Attached Images..)
The save for web function in the latest Photoshop is hidden under File>Export>Save for web (legacy)

This thread explains (How to attach Files/Images to your Posts or Threads )

If you want to post a larger resolution that is over 100K then you can host your image elsewhere and attach a link in the thread as you did here, but also, always please attach an under 100K version (so the thread remains useful in the future, regardless of external links). (link to the highest resolution.. or the largest size you can upload)

If you become a "Patron" You can attach files up to 1MB to any post, You won't see any ads on the site, There's a private forum just for Patrons, You can display an automatic signature under your posts, Your posts will clearly identify you as a Patron, so everyone knows of your generous support.

Welcome aboard ! :)

I have very old eyes.. definitely not expert... but here is a suggestion

~~~Original~~~ ~~~My Version~~~

juli3n 07-19-2017 11:43 AM

Re: How can I improve this photo?
Hello everyone,

Thank you all so much, for your answers and points of view! Sabrina81, Dezzy , edbayani, Shoku and 0lBaldy

It's noted for the picture uploads. I'll attach smaller versions to my posts next time.

- edbayani, I can't access the photo you uploaded :depressed

- I really like your version, 0lBaldy! This is similar to what I tried to achieve with my second version but better IMHO. So I'll work on this one. And I can always crop later if my sister prefers it as Sabrina and Dezzy do :)

0lBaldy, would you have time to show me how you did your modifications?

I really like the eyes, your result is a lot more realistic than what I ended up with (I used unsharpen mask + hue/sat-layer to remove reds + curve-layer to brighten but this yields a somewhat unnatural green)

And I must learn how you reconstructed the arms and chest. My approach was to use a gradient for the color and to copy texture from the shirt using frequency separation. I think that you copied part of the shoulder to reconstruct the chest and perhaps used a symmetry too?

edbayani 07-19-2017 05:37 PM

Re: How can I improve this photo?
1 Attachment(s)
Here is my edit

juli3n 07-19-2017 05:50 PM

Re: How can I improve this photo?
I'm glad you reposted it, it's great :)

I like the idea of the reflection on the table :) but it might be a bit distracting from her face.

Your reconstruction of the arms and space between the forearms looks very natural, how did you do it?

chinchillakilla 07-19-2017 07:40 PM

Re: How can I improve this photo?
hiya there are a few things to remember look at the light source on your sister and create a background where the light runs in the same way as the subject matter in this case your sister. Again if the background has warm hues to it then match that to your sister for example you don't want her looking cold you would stay away from cold tones blue, grey etc and go with the warmer tones such as oranges, pinks, brown etc

Now regarding the edge of the cutout of your sister they are too sharp you need to soften these edges there are various ways you can do this as the eye is drawn too sharp lines as it reads it as incorrect to reality trick the eyes and you will succeed.

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