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portrait retouching

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  • portrait retouching

    I am not going for the high end beauty look. I am a portrait photographer just starting out retouching his own photos for his clients. Want i want was to fix her skin and still look realistic. I did showed her the image and she liked it. I used an image from a class i toke some time ago so this was not for a paying client. The technique I used... I stared by cloning out some spots and then i moved to her wrinkles and worked on them. For the skin smoothing i used a combination of surface blur and dust & scratches. I would like to know if it looks realistic and how I did over all.
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    Last edited by turtlephoto; 02-03-2014, 02:08 AM. Reason: top upload my photo

  • #2
    Re: portrait retouching

    To me it does not look real as most of the skin texture is gone and there is a real difference in sharpness of her mouth and nearby skin. Skin textures looks covered up.
    Better to use dodge and burn to get the most control.


    • #3
      Re: portrait retouching

      I wouldn't remove wrinkles entirely but just soften up the edges some which can take 10 years off. Obviously someone her age isn't going to have the skin of a baby, overly smooth and soft, which looks unnatural. Subtle is the way to go while keeping the majority of the texture.


      • #4
        Re: portrait retouching

        Edit: just to add to my prior response after reading the post again, forget both dust and scratches and surface blur exist. Anything minor enough to be solved by them isn't very time consuming anyway if done properly, and you'll achieve better results.

        You need to work on sensibilities, even for portrait work. I simplified this greatly into something closer to bullet points with brief explanations. My prior response was too rambly to follow.

        For more reference don't look at beauty ads. That would be ridiculous. Look at something involving lifestyle ads, especially with older people. Look at work from top portrait studios. Also google facial anatomy. Look at the illustrations there. If possible learn a bit about how people age. They have fat in different parts of their face, and certain muscles sag. Eventually at the very least you will build up some pattern recognition. Ideally you'll have a better sense of structures and use that to aid in lighting, even in difficult situations with available light, such as this one. Anyway list below..

        Fix eyeglass reflection.

        Simplify the colors between shadows and highlights so that skin highlights are within a confined range of hues and skin shadows are within their own range of hues. Rebalance skin highlights possibly by getting rid of a little magenta and adding a little yellow. Don't overdo it.

        If comfortable, define the shadows a little better on key areas around nose, jaw, cheekbone. Look at facial anatomy illustrations for reference.

        Tone sweater way down without making it obvious that you did this. If possible blend stripes into base color.

        Darken lower right of sweater. See if you can darken edges/corners a bit without making it look vignetted.

        Brighten whites of eyes, outline irises a bit. Color correct teeth, soften lips. Do this after sweater. Make sure the focus is on the eyes, not the sweater or teeth. Also see if you can get a more perceptually realistic shade of grey for the hair.

        Possibly brighten the area around the eyes "SLIGHTLY". This is an issue with overcast lighting. It can give a raccoon eyed look. The sweater acted like a reflector here, making it seem like she has no chin. Then the eyes didn't get enough light to take their place as a dominant focus here.

        Do not remove her wrinkles wherever possible. She should look her age. You do not want the appearance of a botched facelift.
        Last edited by klev; 02-22-2014, 10:39 PM.


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