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  • One of those annoying 'how did they' posts

    Before I go into it - bit of a background of myself - I've been attending retouching workshops, watching videos, had mentors, reading books, attempting to reverse photoshop images for well over a year now.. I spend around 1-3 hours a day retouching older photos i've taken and others have taken attempting to get this sort of look, and no matter how close I get, I'm always way off. I work soley as a photographer, but I strongly believe in order for the photo to actually feel like my image, I need to be the one retouching it as well (paying high end retouchers down the line will come when my work and the type of job demands it, for now im in my first 2 years). Im working on my own style to suit the type of work im getting, but I want to take my work to the next level and I just cant seem to work this method out :-/

    Anyway! I cant quite describe it other than attaching images.. The skin texture, the skin colours (what looks to be light to dark browns, and sort of reds at the darker end), the overall look of the image to what it originally looked like in camera (ive assisted guys that have brilliant post who nail images like these, but in camera the tones and colours etc look nothing like it, and understandably they arent willing to spill the beans). Obviously these images have had various other variables and retouching involved, but the overall skin tones, and skin colours and look of the photo is quite common among professional work, I just cant for the life of me figure it out!

    Any help hugely appreciated! I'll upload more examples when I find them, my references folder is all over the place at the moment.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by WhoIsCeeJay; 06-25-2013, 10:08 PM.

  • #2
    Re: One of those annoying 'how did they' posts

    have you heard of dodging & burning?

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    • #3
      Re: One of those annoying 'how did they' posts

      the true dodge and burning of the RGB channels? masking with a curves layer? or a grey layer?

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      • #4
        Re: One of those annoying 'how did they' posts

        Go with a curves approach, I think it offers slightly more flexibility. Sometimes a 50% grey layer set to soft light can be effective as you can d&b in colour.

        For the skin tones, it really depends on your starting point, all roads lead to Rome and tones could be achieved a myriad of ways. A quick and dirty way is to add a b&w adjustment layer and check the box for tint (dark brown) and set to multiply or other blend mode to taste. Then just more d&b. I would probably look into channels and variations too and of course selective colour adjustments because most of the skin info will appear in the red channel you can manipulate this with more finesse. Many, many more ways.

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        • #5
          Re: One of those annoying 'how did they' posts

          thanks heaps! I've hit a bit of a roadblock and wanted a new direction to experiment with, much appreciated

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          • #6
            Re: One of those annoying 'how did they' posts

            Originally posted by mshi View Post
            have you heard of dodging & burning?
            I don't think just stating that is going to guide someone to this level of detail. It's a little difficult to read this one due to the contrast of the scan, but it's still easy for me to guess certain things. For example hair never stays that perfect, especially not aligned with the expression and pose chosen by the magazine. It certainly required some fill work. A lot of people will be thrown off by the work on the lips and eyes. These would have required some amount of post work balancing. A lot of the smoothing would be primarily DB work, including some of the continuity of highlights across arms and hands and things. There's so much more to it than that though when you look at work at this level. It starts more with a goal and client notes than a mentality of okay I'm going to dodge and burn this to perfection. I think there's too much focus on overly broad concepts on here at times compared to the dynamics of the images involved or why they made certain choices over the coarse of 1000+ photoshop history items.

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