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First retouch - please crit

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  • First retouch - please crit

    Well, I retouched my first image... I used a few tricks from Nancy's tutorial at, and played around with some other tools (Healing brush especially, burn,dodge).
    I know I'm an amateur and this is mostly awful, and that's the very reason for posting here. Please crit, advise, help... I'd like to improve, and what's better way to know where I'm wrong than this?


    PS: the right one is obviously the original
    Attached Files

  • #2
    re: first retouch

    Is it really your first retouch? you'll go far! I like the new skin tones very much, and pretty much all of it except for the mouth. I like the slightly devilish and very expressive mouth in the original, but for me, the "perfect lip shape" in the retouch is a bit too generic and takes away a lot of her charm and personality.



    • #3
      You are certainly doing very well. I think however that it mostly is pitty to glamour away the charm of beautiful girls to such degree that they all look alike. The girl to the left I have seen before - the other real one to the right unfortunately I don't know. I would like one day tp see someone go from your picture to the left to that on the right.
      This being said, I think first of all that it is a pitty that you have almost hidden her right eye in the original shot. It would have more effect if she had looked out between the hairs hanging down.
      Your photoshop (?) work on her eyes are in my view very successfully done , but her very red lips are somewhat artificial. All together a very good try. Bravo !


      • #4
        Thanks guys for encouragement!
        I am aware I went a bit too far with the mouth, but I actually wanted to give her kind of a dramatic look. But I did go too far. Well, I'll know for the next time

        anders: You've got a point there. Since I started working in Photoshop, I got disappointed with a lot of things in the great world outside. I don't believe a single "photo" I see anywhere anymore, since transforming an "ugly duckling" into a beautiful "swan" is only a few hours of work away... But that doesn't mean retouching is bad, it only means it is somewhat too exploited.
        And one more thing, I did not take the photo myself, it is from Nancy's tut, and I don't know where she got it, so there's nothing I could do with her right eye, and I'm not experienced enough to move her hair aside and reveal the eye, but it sure is a good idea to give it a try


        • #5
          Hi and welcome to RP.

          Overall, not bad at all for a first attempt. My best advice to you is to remember that 99.999% of the time less is more. Back it down at LEAST 20% from where you end up. I've been doing this about 15 years and I still catch myself overdoing things from time to time.

          Keep it up, I have attached a 5 minute quicky job to try and show you what I'm talking about. (BTW I didn't adjust the tones of anything but the lips just enhanced the colors that were already there. I find it yields far more reliable results than trying to create a new skin tone)

          Attached Files


          • #6
            Good to have Michael around in this forum to show how such things can be done after many years of experiences. Perfect work in my view.
            To Marin I can only say that surely I agree that some retouching if essential for the quality of the final photos, but in this case especially the mouth is overdone and Michael is right, as we can see from his try, the skin should be more natural. But again, you have done a very very good "firsttry". Come back with other examples of your work.


            • #7
              Your work on the skin is excellent, very smooth but natural looking.
              The lip colour you've chosen is far too dark for her colouring and this pose, it would be a much better colour on a hispanic model, it would match the olive skin and dark hair. She could possibly get away with it if you lightened it up with some gloss - as it is its very remminicent of the first 'colour stay' lipsticks, that were very thick and dry. It might also work if she had some heavy eye makeup for a 'night time' look. The rest of the picture is a very fresh, natural 'day look'.
              The other issue is the eye, the colour is very strong and very flat. By recolouring so havily, you lose all the natural flecks of colour variation. A better way to recolour eyes is to paint over the iris on a soft light layer, you can preserve the natural look of the eye and enhance the colouring at the same time.
              Overall your technique is good but your eye for colour needs some work


              • #8
                NancyJ points out precisely why a guy like me has absolutely no business doing glamor retouch. How would I have a clue as to which lipstick, day or night, to use? I had better stick with fishing lures Informative...skip


                • #9
                  Thanks everyone for your tips and crits!
                  Regarding the Nancy's top - you really got me there, I don't understand half of what you said (about the coloring), probably because I never thought make-up is such an art and a complicated thing But I do know I should work on my "color" eye, since I am aware I don't know squat about compositions, coloring etc. Maybe I should look up some info on that. Any suggestions anyone?


                  • #10
                    welcome to RP.

                    I know I'm an amateur and this is mostly awful,
                    ok, my only crit here is, stop doing that! self-abnegation and self-denial are something to leave at the door and probably kill off more talented people than anything else. when you pick up your mouse and click on photoshop, psp or whatever you use, you are now a professional. or, if you wish, a professional in training. but just leave the 'i'm horrible', 'i'm no good at this', 'boy, does this suck' and all those other similar comments on the floor. you don the hat, you ARE a professional and that's the hat you don, 'i'm a professional'. you'd be surprised, perhaps, that just in doing that one thing, your skill level might rise just a tad. and NEVER accept anything else.

                    'being professional' isnt just about being skillful. it's an attitude more than your talent. the talent will come with practice and study. but 'being professional' is a foundation which shld accomany you always, regardless of current skill.

                    some folks make the distinction that an amateur is someone who doesnt make money from what he does and a pro does. i have to disagree. the difference is in attitude. an amateur dabbles. a pro produces results. and again, this isnt about skill. i've seen mediocre professional singers, but they pull it off for the most part because they ARE professionals, not because they sing better than anyone else.

                    so, welcome to the pros! and, nice job on the pic, btw



                    • #11
                      Thanks Craig! I will do my best not to self-abnegate myself anymore, and do my best to be a pro


                      • #12

                        you'll have to forgive me just a bit. it was late, i was tired and i went into didactic mode just a bit. the jist of the message is still true, but try to also have fun and not take things too seriously as well



                        • #13
                          no problem craig, I started computer graphics for the very reason to have fun. Up until recently, I was a programmer, but was more and more disgusted with it, and since I always wanted to work with graphics (but was always intimidated because I don't know how to draw), I just tried it one day.. and here I am

                          thanks for support


                          • #14
                            Pardon the pun but the first thing that caught my eye was her eye. Way over-done. I'm all for that less is more kind of idea. More like MBC produced. Of course, this is your first and it is great. I am just starting out myself and couldn't do that. Great job.


                            • #15
                              (take a midol craig [just kidding] ) Very nice first attempt. I agree the eyes are way overdone. The sign of a good photo retouch is no sign at all.






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