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  • Kristina Varaksina

    http://www.kristinavaraksina.com/#!/index/G0000hAiA780v

    I'm only an amateur but think this work is amazing ,,,,,,,,,, how is it done ?

  • #2
    Re: Kristina Varaksina

    Good heads up; love the work. First, start with a really good photo and a really clear objective of how you want the image to turn out. The rest involves raw talent and some tinkering about in photoshop. I sh*t you not!

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    • #3
      Re: Kristina Varaksina

      The surreal effect ( if that describes it ) is amazing ,,,,,,, is it compositing ,,,,,,,,?

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      • #4
        Re: Kristina Varaksina

        First, think of what you want to achieve, then you divide it in stages.

        Some of it is compositing, some of it isn't, but it is a retouching done by the world-class artist. So, this is not amateur work, I can tell you that.

        There is no particular recipe, as it depends on where you're coming from, what the initial image is.

        What I can definitely tell that is going on from technical stand point:

        Cloning and healing
        Dodge and Burn
        Local and global color adjustments using tools like curves, levels, color balance and hue saturation.
        Sharpening

        So, pretty much everything standard, no tricks. It's like a pencil, you can draw a portrait, or a building plans, it's up to the artist and his style, there is no recipe. But the end results here are often warm, contrasty, but with a low white point, desaturated images.

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        • #5
          Re: Kristina Varaksina

          I can't tell you everything that went into them. I can spot some things at a glance. You'll see some where eyes, eye makeup, and lip makeup are really striking. Aside from overall adjustments, those areas have additional color correction. You can see areas where the background looks surreal relative to the subject. That's because it was adjusted separately.

          One of the biggest struggles for most people early on is that sometimes elements are masked out and provided with additional adjustment in order to fit with the overall narrative. This can lead to a lot of frustration with fuzzy borders and things, so you also have to come up with strategies to perfect things that can't be easily separated with the tools that are available to you. Sometimes you will also need to implicate that two things are part of the same scene, when they were not photographed together. That part is compositing, and it uses similar techniques. Only a subset of these made use of it, and I don't think that is what drew you to them.

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          • #6
            Re: Kristina Varaksina

            Originally posted by klev View Post
            I can't tell you everything that went into them. I can spot some things at a glance. You'll see some where eyes, eye makeup, and lip makeup are really striking. Aside from overall adjustments, those areas have additional color correction. You can see areas where the background looks surreal relative to the subject. That's because it was adjusted separately.

            One of the biggest struggles for most people early on is that sometimes elements are masked out and provided with additional adjustment in order to fit with the overall narrative. This can lead to a lot of frustration with fuzzy borders and things, so you also have to come up with strategies to perfect things that can't be easily separated with the tools that are available to you. Sometimes you will also need to implicate that two things are part of the same scene, when they were not photographed together. That part is compositing, and it uses similar techniques. Only a subset of these made use of it, and I don't think that is what drew you to them.
            Realizing how much it is to do, and that overall effect is more important than making things "perfect" was the hardest obstacle for me, as well as realizing, that yes, you are changing the image, and it's not supposed to look like an initial image, but realistic in its own right.

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            • #7
              Re: Kristina Varaksina

              Originally posted by skoobey View Post
              Realizing how much it is to do, and that overall effect is more important than making things "perfect" was the hardest obstacle for me, as well as realizing, that yes, you are changing the image, and it's not supposed to look like an initial image, but realistic in its own right.
              That is hard to do. I think it helps acknowledging that in the context of available tools, one desirable adjustment may partially or totally conflict with another. Sometimes it's just a matter of physical and cost constraints. That can be the case if you want the plain seamless background seen in some of them without the photoshop. The model would have to be much further from it, and you would require both a larger studio and a lot of expensive lighting equipment. At the post work stage, there is the constant problem of negative side effects when making sweeping adjustments to a large portion or the entirety of an image.

              The work actually has a lot of technical goofs as you can see. I still like it for its creative decisions.

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              • #8
                Re: Kristina Varaksina

                I like it when model is close to the background. Yes, some things are harder to do then others, when you don't have the resources, but I thought we're talking about pure retouching.

                That particular image, with girl sewing, looks like a background has been replaced, one in the field with flying kid is obviously a composite, so is the one with the roach.

                Well, if adjustments contradict each other, we mask them.

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                • #9
                  Re: Kristina Varaksina

                  Originally posted by skoobey View Post
                  I like it when model is close to the background. Yes, some things are harder to do then others, when you don't have the resources, but I thought we're talking about pure retouching.

                  That particular image, with girl sewing, looks like a background has been replaced, one in the field with flying kid is obviously a composite, so is the one with the roach.

                  Well, if adjustments contradict each other, we mask them.
                  My point was that some things may be technically possible without the use of post work, yet not cost effective. As a simple example, imagine that you want a really deep saturated blue background with a sharp falloff, ignoring for a second the problems with printing such a background. You would find that something such as paper seamless won't give you a really glassy or saturated look, especially not with a darker shade. You would then have to move on to transparent materials or a combination of them when it could be done in photoshop with a little masking skill. It's a reasonable example. Even if the resources exist to create something surreal in camera, it may not be cost effective or feasible.

                  Also you really didn't spot the mistake on the background to the right of the girl? There are other things that don't really bother me, but that one is just an obvious mistake.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Kristina Varaksina

                    It's a replaced backdrop with misaligned pattern, showing horizontal line, but that is secondary. I'd rather have mistakes on overall strong image, than no mistakes on a weak image.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Kristina Varaksina

                      Originally posted by ashtony61 View Post
                      The surreal effect ( if that describes it ) is amazing ,,,,,,, is it compositing ,,,,,,,,?
                      Compositing and the whole shebang Anthony. Too much to describe in a post unless there is a particular detail you want to cover.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Kristina Varaksina

                        Agreed Skoobey; there are a number a number of errors throughout the portfolio - some so obvious you can't help feeling the artist was aware of them. Strong visual impact trumps everything else.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Kristina Varaksina

                          Hello everyone. I am new here. I want unretouched photos to retouch. How do I get them? Thank you!

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