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  • Good, bad, terrible? Feedback please!

    Hello! I'm a photo student studying in Switzerland and have been getting into more advanced Photoshop techniques. Had some fun merging two of my images together, what could I improve to make it more realistic?

    Original -
    Original 2 -

    Final -

  • #2
    Re: Good, bad, terrible? Feedback please!

    I like your compositing...its clean and accurate and not detectable. I Like your changing of the background colors from yellow to blue.

    One thing I might want to change for me... I have lost the brightness on the girls face! The eye always looks for and focuses on the brighter parts of the image first. Because the girl is dark...she becomes recessive in the image...she reseeds into the background... because she is too dark visually. The eye is no longer drawn to her...but to the brightness parts in the background. The girl is exposed fine in the original image...but she is dark in the composite.

    To repair that: I would use a clear, transparent, "Curve Adjustment Layer" above the image. Go to the layers pallet and look for the half moon icon at the center bottom of the pallet called adjustment layers. Go to curves and choose that. When you get the properties for the adjustment layer... click and pull up on the center in the middle of the RGB curve... make it so she is quite bright. Then, I would hit command/control I to invert the mask from white (reveal all) to Black(Hide All) mask. This step will take away all the brightness I just added! Thats OK. THEN, I would click on the mask so it was selected...then I would paint with a soft 5% white brush around the face and chest area. That would allow you to put lighting back into the models face and illuminate her more...and bring her forward in the picture. Right now the eye is being drawn to the lighter parts of the background instead of HER!@

    If you brightened her...she might still be blue...may not look totally great. I might go back and take some of the blue off of her...its great on the background...but it cools her down too much. You could do another curve adjustment layer and this time you could choose the blue channel in the curves dialogue box...and pull it down in the center. That would add yellow to the picture and take away some of the blueness. Just do a control I and then paint in that yellowness with a soft 5% white brush to decide where the yellow goes and by how much. Adjustment layers are clean, clear and totally transparent so they never destroy any can always re-adjust them anytime...and you can use as many different brightness or color change curve layers as you want! Experiment adding in some other color besides the brightness and the yellowness. Maybe you could make a magenta adjustment layer and add some purple to the background to make it more interesting...or some other color.


    Good luck
    Last edited by ray12; 03-09-2016, 06:42 PM.


    • #3
      Re: Good, bad, terrible? Feedback please!

      I personally think this retouching is a huge success! Very cohesive, and I love the addition of the environment's colors that are reflected off the girl's skin! Super well done and it really sells the composite (I would actually like if you could explain the specific technique you utilized to achieve this effect)! If anything, I would supplement the advice from the above post regarding the blue reflections casted onto her midsection and face. I would reduce the amount of blue going from her upper body to the top of her head. Otherwise, I really felt this was a convincing job and would be pretty hard-pressed to pick apart if I wasn't aware this was a composite!


      • #4
        Re: Good, bad, terrible? Feedback please!

        I like this composition very much. The image has strong impact. Both the models pose and inverted interior are very good shots and composite well together with the cool toning added later.

        I agree with previous reply from Ray that the brightness on the face is missing therefore the viewers eye is not immediately drawn to her face which is essential. He explained how to correct that with Curves and Masks.

        However, one important point is that when you plan any composition it is very important to consider the source of light and how that effects the silhouette of the subject. In the studio shot of the model, the Key light comes from left to right and a fill light is used to lighten up the shadows to give a fairly broad ambient light. In the inverted interior (train?) the fluorescent light source is from bottom to top, mainly from the left.

        So, you must think now in the composition that the model is walking on the ceiling of the train, the lights on the ceiling would light her differently than in the studio shot. That is, from below.

        To achieve this, first disable any color correction layers. Add a Lighten Curves layer (see Curves drop down list or just slightly push up the midtones in the Curve). You will now have a Brightened image overall. Next, take the Gradient tool, go to the top menu for that tool and select 2nd Black and White option which is a Gradation with Transparency. Next, go to the White Mask on your Curves Layer which currently allows 100% of your adjustment on the image, and drag the Gradient tool on the Mask from top to bottom. Thereby, hiding light Curve from upper part of image to give impression that the new light source shines from the train lights below upwards.

        Note : In a Mask general rule is White Reveals - Black Conceals.

        You may need to add extra Curves layers to achieve the exposure you want and use the Paint brush set to soft with Opacity or Flow at 50% and paint white on the Mask in areas you want to reveal more such as the face and shoulders or black in areas you want to hide the Curve light effect you added.

        Incidentally, you could try a similar technique later when adding color toning with either Hue Saturation, Color Balance or Selective Color Adjustment layer by painting black or white on Mask to apply the Blue tone where you want.

        Finish off by adding a slight sharpen to this image using High Pass filter or Unsharp Mask. Finally, in the background the words on the sign are inverted wrong as in a mirror image. Simply flip a copy of original inverted train image horizontally and vertically and crop in the sign with words displayed correctly and blend in that section on a new layer.
        Last edited by paul_eddie; 07-07-2016, 06:23 AM.


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