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

Workflow Problems!!!! and skin tone issues

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  #1  
Old 12-05-2004, 10:53 PM
vanrogers vanrogers is offline
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Workflow Problems!!!! and skin tone issues

Hi guys, Just joined... I have been retouching for a while and just starting shooting full time this year digitally. The one issue i keep finding is digital workflow problems and skin discolorations in the digital format... it always seems over saturated or off color... I love shooting portraits especially digitally but i find the skin hardly ever looks right. My other issue is I shoot editorial a lot and the digital post production part of the shoot takes me near as long as the photo shoot... mostly because i can't help but open every file (i edit them down to a few) and retouch them before sending them on to the client. It has gotten to the point that i spend every night after shoots retouching and it usually takes me numerous nights to get caught up. Are there any useful books on the subject, i've read a few technique books but is there anything out there specifically designed for post production on multiple files and anything out there on skin tones and retouching for digital portraits?

any help would be much appreciated.

V . Rogers
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Old 12-05-2004, 10:58 PM
vanrogers vanrogers is offline
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ok guys, i finally found my original post after trying a second post on the same subject. my apologies. On the original subject and in reply to a few of your posts... my monitor is pretty well calibrated although i am going to buy a new crt lacie monitor with spyder but it's more a problem of eyes adjusting to color and thinking what is on my screen is natural... maybe it's just me, but I will definitely be looking into the texts mentioned in the prior thread. thanks again
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  #3  
Old 12-06-2004, 10:53 PM
john_opitz john_opitz is offline
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<<The one issue i keep finding is digital workflow problems and skin discolorations in the digital format... it always seems over saturated or off color... >>

Is this a capture issue or a output (cmyk) issue ?

<<My other issue is I shoot editorial a lot and the digital post production part of the shoot takes me near as long as the photo shoot...>>

Well... This is not good.


<<It has gotten to the point that i spend every night after shoots retouching and it usually takes me numerous nights to get caught up. >>

This is not good either. Try doing corrections globally. And make actions to shortcut step by step procedures. Even shortcut your actions, don't make them long and drawn out. Use commands that take the least amount of processing time/power. Example: I will not use the smart blur. Instead I will will gaussian blur. You have to remember camera files are large, even on a fast system. The more dupilcated layers you have........, it takes its toll.

<<Are there any useful books on the subject, i've read a few technique books but is there anything out there specifically designed for post production on multiple files and anything out there on skin tones and retouching for digital portraits? >>

Their are a lot.... For cmyk. Dan Margulis'.... "Professional Photoshop" is the way for printing/color correction (by the numbers approach).

For skintones. I use channel blending (rgb) for better skintones and when converting to ouyput(cmyk), I will blend the red (rgb) channel into the cyan (cmyk) channel. Their are other things that I do as well in cmyk....curving, false seperations. Their is a lot to this though. And, yes I will edit the file while in it's output (cmyk) space. I will not just convert from rgb to cmyk (output). You have to be careful when you do this...ink limits....

For digital retouching...... Theirs a WHOLE BUNCH of books on this topic. Too much to list here. Don't want to slow down the server here. Here's a few names to look for....for authors.

Dan (The Man) Margulis
Katrin (The Diva) Eismann
Bruce (Cousin Brucie) Fraser


John
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  #4  
Old 12-06-2004, 11:16 PM
john_opitz john_opitz is offline
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<<It has gotten to the point that i spend every night after shoots retouching and it usually takes me numerous nights to get caught up.>>

Don't feel too bad. I was talking to a photographer I know. After he shot a wedding he did (first one with a D-Cam). He said: John !! I had to edit Two Hundred and something images!! It took me over six (6) hours !! Well... I told him: You better find a better way to edit them, than the way you're editing them. Try... techniques as false profiles to lighten/darken them. As well as making them more/less colorful. That is just one example. That's a quick and effective method.

John
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  #5  
Old 12-07-2004, 12:06 AM
john_opitz john_opitz is offline
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One other thing. Due respect to photographers and graphic artists that have the time to spend an unlimited amount of time to work an image. And I know one that does this. He does salon prints. In the true sense, they are....no doubt about it. On one (1) image it may take, eight (8) hours or even days.. But in your case and in the photographer (weddings) that I was talking about. This is not the place for this. A wedding photographer has a lot of images. If not done in a certain amount of time. This couple will be lucky to get them by their 25 th wedding anniversary. If they stay married that long.

P.S. Every time I make a post, somehow I always get called away from the computer.

John
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  #6  
Old 12-07-2004, 09:27 AM
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MBChamberlain MBChamberlain is offline
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Workflow

I try to average about 2 minutes per photo. Remember that some are easy and some are not. On 25-30% of all images I can get away with auto levels and a very fast selective color correction (I keep about 50 ASV files which I load and tweak). These take about 15 seconds or so and allow me to spend a little more time on those "problem images."

I also trash 50-90% of my images (meaning that I have to shoot ten times what I need). Shoot, shoot multiple times and get enough source material that you can provide a good product to the customer. I never give anyone a picture where someone in the foreground is making a funny face or is blinking, because I have six or seven where they aren't. My favorite thing about digital photography is that I don't have to buy good film, pay for good processing, just to get one really good picture.

If your skin tones are always off, the most common cause is the white balance setting on the camera. Take a sheet of white paper and hold it up where your subject is, focus on it, and use that to set the offsets (consult the camera's manual for more info.
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Old 12-07-2004, 11:54 AM
cisco cisco is offline
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hope this helps you, ive been assisting numerous photogs with their images and workflow- always beginning with the camera itself.

the way cameras capure and interpret colors vary wildy. the solution is almost always to shoot images in the "RAW" format and import them with Adobe's Raw capture utility. using that tool you can batch import and make global changes to all, or groups, of images.

this is particularly useful for wedding shoots where the action takes place indoor/outdoor and in all light conditions.
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Old 12-07-2004, 01:54 PM
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MBChamberlain MBChamberlain is offline
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Good Call Cisco

I always work in RAW so I didn't think about that. But you shouldn't trust a camera to do the conversion for you.
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