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First time retouch post.. Be brutal!! =]

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  • First time retouch post.. Be brutal!! =]

    This is my first post of a retouch job, but a friend needed this picture cleaned up.

    I started with levels in PS, then started in with the oily face and over bright reflection. Used the patch tool, love that thing... and was also not sure what else other than the clone tool, which I did use a little in spots, to use.

    I was using it in a comp card, with another pic and his head was cocked the same way, so I flipped it as well.

    I then masked that area, and did a slight gausian blur then went back and added just a bit of noise to that same mask. I also felt bad about his honker, and used the pucker tool on it to bring it in some. This is my first time ever retouching a regular photo, so I am looking for honest, break my heart kinda critiques. I am not ashamed to cry behind the keyboard, and figure I will learn better by getting a no sugar coated critique. So have at it dogs!!

    What more would you have done, or rather where would you have started and what steps would you take? you do not have to do them, just curious for future reference.

    Thanks in advance.

    Attached Files

  • #2
    I'll chime in!

    It generally looks pretty good. I like the less oily look to his face, I think you did a nice job with that. The nose job is well done, too, but just make sure that your friend wants that or knows that you were going to do that, not everybody dislikes their large noses.

    A couple of things to think about: I'm not a big fan of the crop you chose. I would have kept it in portrait orientation and not cropped off the top of his head. That may be my personal thing or that may be what your friend wanted so perhaps a moot point.

    I find the original skin tone to be a bit on the orange side and in the retouch it has a bit of a yellowish cast. Maybe something in between?

    And that thing behind his head? Maybe you could clone that out, it is a big distraction for me.

    My two cents (CAD). Hope that helps.


    • #3
      Thanks for chiming in..

      The nose he is fine with. =] But I do agree that one should ask before giving plastic surgery.

      The crop was my choice. I went for the look that a popular headshot photographer in the mid 90s used. I liked that head cropped look, and decided to use it since the other photos I have of him are showing his full head. You may be right though, the style may very well be mid 90s and I am out of that loop, which I am. =]

      I see what you mean on the color of the face. I will play with that and remove some of the yellow and repost.



      • #4
        I generally agree with smiley guy's critique. I think you did a real good job with the highlights in his face. I also think that you cropped it way too much. That's just my opinion though. I think that the buildings in the background are actually a plus. The thing that comes out of the side of his head needs to be removed though. I couldn't stop looking at it and it was taking my attention away from the significant part of the image which is him. I also think that you may have gone overboard with the method you used. I'll have to look at it later but I think you can get an equal or better retouch without the all the tools you used. The general steps I take to fix up an image are.

        finding highlights and shadows and increasing or decreasing the tone of the image.
        Finding neutral colors. (there are plenty in this image)
        Finding the impossible colors. (there may not be any but you have to look for them)
        Increasing the steepness of the curves in the area of significance which is your friend. (make sure your neutrals stay neutral)

        These are very general steps to take at the beginning of each retouch. Usually when you focus on the significant part of the image the rest of the image falls into place as well. Even if the buildings were to get more flat, that wouldn't be a bad thing as it would just bring your friend out in the image even more. Taking these steps can usually enable you to fix the image without making selections or getting involved with the other tools unnecessarily. I'll try to get to it later on and see what I can do and give you some screen shots if I can.


        • #5

          Thanks for that advice, I would love to see your version. I can put the higher quality version of the original online if you like. I find this so helpful it is amazing.

          I got my technique that I used from the CD Marks 101 Photo Tips,

          I would like to see though how yours ends up though.

          Thanks again


          • #6
            Hey, the more I looked at this the less I saw that was really necessary to do in my opinion. There's nothing you can do with the contrast because the tonality is maxed out and all the colors seem to pretty much on. It pretty hard to tell if anything is off and if so then it's off by just a smidge. The biggest problem with the image is probably due to the camera that was used to shoot it and can't be corrected. That's the sky and, of course, the highlights on his face. Some consumer cameras automatically alter the photo to stick a a highlight and shadow into the image. That's why you get a totally white sky. You can adjust the camera to avoid that but I'm not sure how to be honest. I really didn't get into this too much and it's not that good but it's just a different way of doing it. I used the Healing Brush to correct the highlights in the face and used curves in the LAB color mode to reduce the yellow in his face. The only other thing I did was sharpen it. I think I went over board on that though. There is really not much to do with this in my opinion. I wouldn't take out the imperfections in his face as it would just look artificial. Anyways, here it is. I thought I could do more with it. If you have never messed with LAB that's understandable. If you plan on doing this regularly it can be of great help. If you plan on only doing it every once in a while then it's probably not worth the time to learn.
            Attached Files


            • #7
              I used byRo's degrunging method to get rid of the shininess (it's not really meant for this, but I use it for it just the same). This way you can mostly get rid of the shine, but keep the skin texture and contours. Added a color-blend layer to add a bit more saturation to the shiny areas.

              Used the shadow/highlight adjust to brighten the background a bit (makes for a more non-flash/natural light look.)

              I also thought the sky needed replacing so I masked it out (which was really easy with a plain white sky) and replaced it with something more interesting. Also masked the side of the building so the clouds and sky would reflect.

              Attached Files


              • #8

                Both of you have great changes! Thanks.

                I do plan on doing this regularly, so I do need to learn LAB, I have tons of learning materials but have yet to learn it. I do not know why either. Do you have any suggestions? Any books? DVDs? or such? I have friends that are graphic artists and have most everything I could need.

                I love the masking out of the sky Bart.

                I look forward to posting some of the scans I just got back from doing in Texas on a job, I scanned 50 books worth dating back to the 20s.

                Great stuff, and some really cool war stuff. Just been backing all the tifs up onto multiple dvds and HDs for security.

                I am eager to get feedback on those as well.

                thanks for all the advice, and lemme know where I should look to check out LAB stuff, I am a better watcher of video than ready, damn ADD.


                • #9
                  The true master of LAB is Dan Margulis. He wrote a book called "Photoshop LAB Color, the canyon conundrum and other adventures in the most powerful colorspace." It is the only Book/video that I know that is based on teaching LAB and it is the best. Unless someone else can say otherwise I'll stick with that opinion. It is quite difficult though and takes a great deal of practice and requires multiple readings of the more difficult areas. There are some things that you can do in LAB that are impossible in RGB or CMYK or that can be done in a fraction of the time in LAB. The basic rules are fairly easy to learn though. He teaches it in a way that allows you to avoid making masks and using other tools that are necessary for RGB/CMYK images. He also writes a book that teaches his methods for RGB and CMYK as well. It is an older book from 2001 but is still very usable. It helps you truly understand the color modes and how they are similar and different and when to use one instead of the other. I'd strongly suggest that one as well even though it is more difficult I felt than the LAB book. Having a good grasp of PS is important although both books will show you things you may not have bothered to learn yet but are very important. The one thing about these two books is that they are for color images and not B&W. Two other books that deal with these images more and are very good are two that are written by Katrin Eismann. They are Photoshop Masking and Composition which tells you everything you'll need to know about selections and the things in the title. The second is Photoshop Restoration and Retouching. This goes over repairing photos that are more severly damaged and deals with B&Ws pretty well. I highly suggest both of these books also. These four books can teach you almost everything you need to know once you have established a sound base in PS which you appear to have.