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Critique me, please-hit me with your best shot :)

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  • Critique me, please-hit me with your best shot :)

    See attached picture. In general, I'm pretty happy with it, but have some concern about the boy's clothes blowing out a bit. I've done some selective dodging/burning to help with problem areas, but am not happy with the results.

    FYI: This client specifically requested that the picture remain "old looking" and I think I succeeded at that. I've given the picture off to her and she's thrilled with it. However, being the perfectionist that I am, I've continued to tweak with it here and there in my spare (hahahahahahahahaha) time.

    Onscreen it looks a little darker in the shadows than the actual print, which has a nice level of detail, even in the boy's boots.

    Anyway, I guess I'm here asking--whaddaya think? Would you have paid me for it?

    Thanks much!!

  • #2
    D'OH! Photo here

    Apparently I know nothing about attaching photos
    Attached Files


    • #3

      I'm not saying this to just give you a pat on the back... I think you did a fantastic job with this one. I downloaded the photo and played around with it for a bit (just enough to get a feel for what information was actually available in the photo - nothing to share here.) The problem is, while it seems that there must be more detail in the clothes, it appears that the "information" there is mostly just noise/damage. So, if you clean that up, there's nothing left. I have always found it difficult to burn in "shadows" that look like realistic folds in clothing. I'm sure some people can, but I'm not good at it.

      That being said, if you think the highlights are too bright, you might try duplicating the (final) layer and setting it to multiply mode, then add a layer mask so that only the clothing is affected. When I did this, I liked the look with the opacity at about 25%. This gives slightly more "depth" to the shadows, but does reduce the brightest area of the photo, so you'll have to decide if you like that or not.

      You could also try a "reverse fill flash" technique, using color burn to darken the light areas rather than color dodge to lighten the dark areas. (If you have Katrin Eismann's book, look up "fill flash" in the index. If you don't have it, let me know and I'll be more specific.) I tried this and found it similar to the multiply version I did. Again - limited the effect to the clothing by adding a layer mask.

      However, I really think these are just ideas for you to try to see if you like the result any better than what you got. I honestly can't decide if I like the multiply mode better or not because it does tone down the highlights a bit and therefore the "punch" that the photo has as it is. In any case, I think you did a wonderful job on the boy's face, which is the most important part of the photograph.

      If I were a client, I would be very, very happy with what you did. (And I'm very much a perfectionist as well.)



      • #4

        Before I read Jeanie's post I opened your image. After seeing the before/after and reading her comments I thought, "She's got this one nailed suggestion-wise on the dress detail." Hard to restore what ain't there to begin with and sometimes extremely challenging to recreate.

        My .02 would be to possibly extend / darken the background shadows a bit (left side of the image - close to her shoulders / back and next to left arm) ... thus giving a little more contrast between the the dress and the background. I found the sort-of glowing effect slightly distracting, but not a whole lot.

        Other than that, Voila! I can see why your client was very pleased. Congrats on a job well done.



        • #5
          Please tell me I'm right this time. Isn't the name "Gina"? I seem to remember that from some time ago, but as usual, I'm probably wrong again.

          On to the image ... I was thinking along the same lines as Jeanie when she suggested the multiply layer. It's probably hard to tell with the attachment just how much there really is to work with, but it *looks* like there might be more detail in the dress than you were able to save. You'll probably know better than we do if it's possible to get more out of it or not. I also agree with Danny about darkening that part of the background a little. I noticed that before I read the replies, but I wasn't sure if it was worth mentioning. There's no doubt that you've improved the image greatly already. Most people would be more than happy to pay for something like that.



          • #6

            Ed, I think you're right about it being Gina! Doh!


            • #7
              Yup, it's Gina--but don't worry. Even my mom calls me by the wrong name sometimes!!

              Thank you all for your great suggestions. I'll try that reverse fill-flash technique. I'm a huge fan of Katrin Eismann (what retoucher wouldn't be?) and have found many of her techniques useful in and of themselves, but they've also springboarded other ideas for me. Ah, inspiration!

              It's a good thing when one can post a photo and get honest critiques. Many of my friends (who work daily with PS and know its power) ooohed and aaaahed over it, but no one had any constructive criticism.

              I'll be posting here much more, I can tell! I used to come more than I'm able to currently. Pesky job


              • #8
                Other than the general praise that you rightly recieve, I can only offer, colours are generally less brighton print. I think you have done a wonderful job, the whites are a little blown, but only a slight tweaking should be necc.


                • #9

                  My apologies, too, Gina. Truly sorry 'bout that.

                  Really appreciate your understanding of our boo-boo and acceptance of our well-intended commentary.

                  In these types of endeavors, striving for excellence yourself and seeking the advice of others are sure ways to get better.

                  Given what you've shown skill and decision-wise on this particular effort, if it hasn't happened yet, it will: Folks will be coming to you for advice.

                  Continued success.



                  • #10
                    With over 600 members, it's easy enough to get someone's name wrong. I have no idea why I remembered it. I don't think she's been on the site much lately, but I remembered her from the early days. Must be the perfume!



                    • #11
                      Truthfully, gang, you could call me Geekhead, and as long as I could come for fun dialogue and an honest critique, I'd come back again and again!!!

                      You'll find that I'm not especially thin-skinned......being the youngest of seven children makes you pretty impervious to anything

                      Ed, I can't believe you remembered--yes, I used to post in the first days after Doug put this fantastic site up. Things have been picking up considerably at work, so I don't get the chance to come here as often as I'd like lately.

                      So, thanks for all your comments and I hope that I can give as good of advice as I've often gotten here.

                      Happy FRIDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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