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  • Becoming a retouching god? How?

    Hello.
    I'm a student in Photography wanting to work in Fashion and Beauty photography one day and I have noticed that many photographers aren't great at PP or retouching. I don't want to be that guy, I want to be able to do everything by myself.

    The problem is I have been using Lightroom 3 most of the time since I started and only recently bough Photoshop CS5 as well. I experimented a little with a Dragan Effect, I did a bit of 'surgery' by replacing a left eye with a right eye because it didn't look right but other than that I don't know much. Books aren't very helpful to me because I just don't get it unless you show everything to me. Some tutorials by Sean Armenta have been really helpful!

    Here is some retouching I did recently, I'd love some input, since I don't know much I know that I probably suck and my edit is awful, anyway:

    - Original Image:

    http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5022/...001160cb_b.jpg

    - Edited Image:

    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2069/...5708e812_b.jpg

    How bad is it doctor?

    What are some good (free) video resources and tutorials to improve and learn new techniques? Thanks!

  • #2
    Re: Becoming a retouching god? How?

    hey patient ! you need a surgery ..... - now

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Becoming a retouching god? How?

      I do have a printed copy of french Photo magazine with Adrzej Dragan's portfolio (full page images) and I wouldn't say that all images were adjusted with Photoshop. Some of them look like hand colored.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Becoming a retouching god? How?

        The best way to start is to take some Photoshop training. Since you're a photography student, take a Photoshop class then a take retouching class as part of your coursework. That would be your best bet by far.

        Other than that, check out Meetup.com and search for Photoshop meet-ups near where you live. Also, check out YouTube, there are lots of Photoshop videos uploaded there that don't cost anything. I'd suggest starting with videos about Layers. Layers are the foundation of Photoshop, you can build the rest from there.

        The real problem with a free approach is that you have to hunt around, go through videos that show you pieces and parts, and figure out the big picture yourself. A course or seminar of some kind organizes the material for you step by step in a planned, thought-out manner. It's much more efficient and you learn a lot more a lot faster. Just like with your photography courses that you're taking in school.

        Or if you're about to graduate and don't have any classes left to take, figure out what you can actually afford to spend (your budget has to be more than $0 if you own Lightroom and Photoshop already) and take some reasonably priced courses or seminars.
        Last edited by RobertAsh; 05-22-2011, 12:55 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Becoming a retouching god? How?

          Originally posted by ThePhotographer View Post
          How bad is it doctor?
          Welcome to RetouchPRO! Hope you enjoy your stay here and make lots of friends.

          I'm far from a Doc and just a hobbiest... but I did notice some strong "Halos" around your subject.. which could be easily be corrected by using the Clone Tool @ the Darken setting ... sampling from the background

          To improve some of your other God like attributes try the following:

          Use the built in help in CS5 and play with all the tools to get used to them and learn.. then try:

          http://tv.adobe.com/show/learn-photoshop-cs5/

          or

          Youtube>search>photoshop CS5 + (your area of interest)


          (After clicking on the thumbnail.... give it a couple seconds to change)
          Image removed by request
          Last edited by 0lBaldy; 05-22-2011, 01:40 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Becoming a retouching god? How?

            Thanks Robert. Free, indeed because I already spent so much and my finances are pretty bad now, Photography school + Equipment + Lightroom & PS5 etc all costs a lot of money, I think I spent like 12000 Euros already on my career as a photographer. Now I am trying to save where I can. While it is true that my school offers a retouching and PP expert module I chose the Studio Work Expert module because it's just something I really need. Then of course there are 'regular' PP lessons but these only start in the second year, the first year being dedicated to film photography. What I would like to learn PP wise is how to do HDRs (not the unrealistic horrible stuff most people do, the nice way, the Joel Grimes way http://joelgrimes.com/ because I just love his HDR technique, I am told there may also be some Dragan effects which I know how to do but I can't seem to get similar results...), how to get rid of Purple fringing and the like, how to work on skin without making it look like plastic and conserving what makes its natural beauty (for example freckles in some cases etc...) and giving more dimension to my images!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Becoming a retouching god? How?

              Originally posted by 0lBaldy View Post
              Welcome to RetouchPRO! Hope you enjoy your stay here and make lots of friends.

              I'm far from a Doc and just a hobbiest... but I did notice some strong "Halos" around your subject.. which could be easily be corrected by using the Clone Tool @ the Darken setting ... sampling from the background

              To improve some of your other God like attributes try the following:

              Use the built in help in CS5 and play with all the tools to get used to them and learn.. then try:

              http://tv.adobe.com/show/learn-photoshop-cs5/

              or

              Youtube>search>photoshop CS5 + (your area of interest)


              (After clicking on the thumbnail.... give it a couple seconds to change)
              Thank you 0lbaldy, yes the Halo is an after effect of me using a Dragan technique on this one. Incredible how easily you fixed that!

              One thing though guys, please don't edit my stuff and repost it, I usually like to remove images from forums after a while, because in this case for instance I have an agreement with the model to remove it in a couple of days.

              I'd appreciate if you could remove it in a while! Thanks!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Becoming a retouching god? How?

                Originally posted by ThePhotographer View Post
                Thanks Robert. Free, indeed because I already spent so much and my finances are pretty bad now, Photography school + Equipment + Lightroom & PS5 etc all costs a lot of money, I think I spent like 12000 Euros already on my career as a photographer.
                Didn't know you are in Europe. Ok, in that case I'd recommend going through the free resources that people here are pointing you to. Also, check:
                • Lynda.com
                • KelbyTraining.com
                They sometimes have free lessons (one of them has a new one each month, forgot which one). Also try:
                • RussellBrown.com
                • PlanetPhotoshop.com
                • Abuzeedo.com
                and Google for "free photoshop lessons" or for the topics you're most interested in. The YouTube videos mentioned above can be really good, as can Adobe TV per OlBaldy's post above.

                There are thankfully plenty of free resources out there, but finding them and organizing them takes time and effort. Don't get frustrated by that

                The really coolest resources you're going to have to pay for, most likely. But that's a way off yet, learn what you can free in the mean time.

                Another idea -- get together regularly with some whiz-kid classmates of yours, or other students, who are good at retouching and have them show you some things. Make it a regular study group where you can help them with photography and they can help you with retouching.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Becoming a retouching god? How?

                  Tis a shame that in the future when someone perchance happens upon this thread while searching how to become a Retouching God... all they might find is a thread with broken links and no samples..

                  for HDR links try;

                  http://www.retouchpro.com/forums/hdr-hdri-tone-mapping/

                  http://www.stuckincustoms.com/

                  http://revision3.com/pixelperfect/hdr .. and ... http://revision3.com/pixelperfect/hdrpartii

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Becoming a retouching god? How?

                    Amazing guys!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Becoming a retouching god? How?

                      The most expensive and valuable thing is your own time, invest it wisely into learning the basic techniques that all commercial retouchers use -

                      Making quality selections using luminosity, colour, channels, quickmask.

                      Dodge & Burn, many different ways to do it but the principal remains the same, takes a lot of time to master the visual nuances of micro and carving D&B, get to it.

                      Colour theory is important to understand in both photography and retouching, most images these days have a pretty strong colour contrast applied towards the end of the retouch.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Becoming a retouching god? How?

                        Originally posted by ThePhotographer View Post
                        how to get rid of Purple fringing and the like,
                        This particular problem is different from the others. No real way to avoid it if you use wide-angle lenses, it's a law of optics -- different colors of light don't focus exactly in the same place on a sensor, especially at the edges. You're really stuck with a small number of options:
                        • Lightroom camera/lens profiles (not very good, but better than nothing)
                        • ACR lens correction or Photoshop's Filter>Distort>Lens Correction (again, not very good but better than nothing)
                        • DxO Optics Pro (much, much better option than Lightroom, ACR or Photoshop, but costs extra)
                        • Hand-retouching it out (very tedious and not easy)
                        For newer photos I'm processing I use DxO Optics Pro. Best lens correction software on the market that I've seen. Does a very fine job on correcting purple fringing and other chromatic aberration problems.

                        For photos I've already processed I get as far as I can with Photoshop/Lightroom, then I have to hand-touch out the rest because DxO Optics Pro only works on raw files for the most part -- and that can be a truly ugly job.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Becoming a retouching god? How?

                          Adobe sent me a nice gift with my CS5 CD, a code to get 30 days free of Lynda videos! I shall be watching those for now! Can anyone tell me if there is a way to download individual episodes? I can't find a download option on the site.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Becoming a retouching god? How?

                            I don't think you can download them. As long as you're a member you have full access to all their videos at any time you want. Same with Kelby Training. So for the next 30 days the sky is the limit for you

                            Also, one thing you might consider is month by month membership. When you're stuck, pay them $25 for a one-month membership and watch all the PS videos you want for the rest of the month. Check first if you find those videos helpful, some people do and some don't as much.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Becoming a retouching god? How?

                              Originally posted by 0lBaldy View Post
                              Tis a shame that in the future when someone perchance happens upon this thread while searching how to become a Retouching God... all they might find is a thread with broken links and no samples.
                              Must be the future already... neither one of his original links go anywhere.

                              Comment

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