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How Am I Doin'

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  • How Am I Doin'

    Another attempt at a portrait. Need for feedback and suggestions.

    Attached Files

  • #2
    Very nice! Clean up the red in the eye. See if you can reduce the hair on the ear. For myself, I like the highlight on the cheek.



    • #3
      The mask around the hair and left side of the face is a bit harsh...I'd work on smoothing that out a bit. I can also see a faint oval above her head from the mask.

      The two things I would really focus on are the light source and skin tones. You did a nice job smoothing out the skin but the color seems very unnatural in several places (mostly due to the flash and perhaps makeup). Also, the single intense light source along with the black background makes the portrait look like it was taken in the middle of the night! Perhaps you could add a subtle background and make the light a bit less bright...especially the highlight on her cheek. Hope that helps.


      • #4
        It's hard to say how you're doing without seeing the original.

        That said, I'll give you a critique on what's posted.
        Overall, the image is very dark, and a bit harsh. A soft vignette might be more appropriate for a "portrait" . It has a cut & paste look around the hair - just too "clean" of a selection. You might try a slightly feathered selection here.

        It appears you've used a Gaussian blur on the facial areas. It's not too bad, but it lightens some of the features (such as the nose) and you lose definition in those areas. You might want to add a little noise to this, and try masking this over the original and just applying the blur to specific areas. Blurring the skin without adding noise, really makes it stand out from the rest of the image.
        I would try to reduce the cheek highlight. It's distracting, in that it's the first thing you notice about the image.
        One more thing...the eye color looks red.


        • #5
          ThanX everyone for your advice

          ThanX everyone for your advice.
          With the aid of your generous wisdom, I may get the hang of this yet.

          Vikki, Here is a copy of the original.

          I obviously need to have my monitor calibrated. The red in the eye looks brown on my monitor. The model has extremely dark eyes and they most always appear as black in photographs.

          ThanX again for the advice. It is greatly appreciated.
          Attached Files


          • #6
            Without seeing the original, I wanted to lighten and soften this up.
            After seeing the original, I noticed that her hair in mine is quite light, which isn't right, but I thought I'd post this anyway so you get an idea of a possible way to go with this.
            I didn't spend a lot of time on the background next to her face, but I think a lighter color looks good. I also colored her sweatshirt, as one probably wouldn't wear one for a "portrait". I also rotated the photo for a more relaxed look.
            Attached Files


            • #7
              This is what I tried on your original image - hope you don't mind given Vikki's already posted a version.

              Basically spent a lot of time getting a good mask to cut out the figure. Used Patch tool to reduce highlight on cheek, then standard techniques from Katrin Eismann's book to improve skin tone and brighten eyes. Then I used Xero Radiance and SoftMood filters (free downloadable plugins) to soften overall. At the end I added an Overlay layer and painted in very low opacity white to boost highlights and very low opacity black to darken shadows, and finally I used a Curves adjustment layer to lighten the hair slightly (I rather liked it dark, but based on your version I gather it's a bit lighter than it looks in the original).

              But really I think the only things that need fixing in yours are, as already mentioned, the highlight on the cheek (that kind of highlight you normally only get in a snapshot taken with a small flash, and if you're trying for a more formal portrait look you generally want to avoid anything that's inconsistent with a studio or natural lighting setup, or you're mking your job more difficult from the start), the masking down the right hand side of her head (left hand side of the photo), and the slightly red colour in the eyes.
              Attached Files


              • #8
                Vikki and Leah, Thank you both.....

                Lately, I've been looking at "Good Housekeeping", "Cosmopolitan" among other pictorial magazines while sitting in waiting rooms and Dr's offices to try and establish in my mind what portraiture is about. It's a lot easier to grasp a concept when Pro's like yourselves take the time to explain the "why's and how's".

                ThanX again,


                • #9
                  Just an idea...

                  A quick attack...

                  Rotated canvas to left
                  Smoothed skin with Gaussian blur
                  Reshaped nose with liquify
                  Shaped eyebrow with clone tool
                  Adjusted saturation
                  Adjusted color, contrast of hair
                  Spot color adjustment of skin color with brush in color mode
                  Blur tool around perimeter
                  Smudge tool @ 1 pixel along hair/background
                  and some other quick adjustments I can't remember
                  Attached Files
                  Last edited by ExclamPt; 04-09-2004, 03:48 PM.


                  • #10
                    I really like how the face comes out of the darkness. Quite effective. Description please.



                    • #11
                      One more question.....

                      I have no idea as to how to enhance lips. Is there a method to do lips?



                      • #12
                        Hi - I cropped out the rest of the picture and kept the lips and eyes. Using the color and burn tools and the clone tool with 30% opaciy & flow I retouched the lips and the face to remove the mixed colour tones and the darkeness under the eyes.

                        Depending on who you are my technique tends to really remove age from the person being photographed.

                        I've uploaded an animated gif to compare the before/after. I used Leah's attachment as my working copy.

                        Attached Files
                        Last edited by brandonx49; 04-12-2004, 11:48 PM. Reason: forgot something


                        • #13
                          Softer Edges

                          The Key is to make your edges softer. Try feathering them a little and on the hair brush it away a bit, loose it into the black B/G is the easy way.

                          Attached Files
                          Last edited by Lex; 04-13-2004, 06:22 AM.


                          • #14
                            ThanX everyone...

                            Being a member of this forum is like having my own personal tutors.

                            ThanX for the instructions,

                            the MNJ


                            • #15
                              hi all, and another thing... ;-)

                              lots of good comments and work here
                              I'm stoked, I just found this place, I hope it doesn't look bad my first post is criticism, but this is the place right?

                              A couple things I first noticed, I haven't seen mentioned or worked.
                              Her hair picked up that common muddy green in the shadow values.
                              I think I like Vicki's version most and she cleared that up and a couple others but perhaps a deeper shadow value too was used.

                              I'm not sure anyone but Leah cleaned up that vein in her eye, I'd fix that.

                              Anyway, thought I'd start somewhere, I'll try to post something next time.