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  • Ask A Pro

    Hi All...

    Conrad here... It's been a little while since I've posted here, but I'm back for a quick hello and a question. I'm thinking about adding tutorials here and on my website, but need to refine my selection of ideas. If any of you maniacs are interested in learning how to become a master retoucher, whether it be fashion/beauty or even still life... comment here. I'll see what I can do.

    For those of you who don't know me, I've been retouching professionally in NY and LA for 12 yrs. My retouching can be seen on the covers of every major fashion mag and in some very prominent ad campaigns.

    Remember kiddies... keep it brief and easy enough for everyone to understand. Looking forward to hearing from you all.

    Conrad
    http://conraddigital.com

    PS
    Due to the sensitivity of my work and the privacy of my clients and their subjects, I can not release the before images on my site so please don't ask.
    Last edited by heyrad; 05-17-2008, 02:40 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Ask A Pro

    Welcome back Conrad.

    Chris

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Ask A Pro

      Welcome back Conrad.
      I'm the one who would love to learn more and more.
      Best regards,
      Edgar

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Ask A Pro

        Ok Edgar...

        Let me ask you a question... what 3 issues would you like to have addressed in a Photoshop tutorial. keep in mind that revealing the meaning of life might take a few years to put together so let's start with the little pain in the butt issues you may have with color or a tool or masking or layer masks or what have you

        -conrad

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        • #5
          Re: Ask A Pro

          skin tones! And step by step, start to finish of an commercial image.
          Thank you JD

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Ask A Pro

            Hi Conrad,

            I'm having problems with matching skin colours and tones. For example shooting outdoors in the uk, models often get cold and hands and feet often turn purple/blue. Also when retouching faces I notice parts are yellow, red, etc. How can I match different parts of the skin?

            At the moment I'm masking the skin and pulling magenta out of the red's in selective colour and adding/subtracting yellow which helps, but isn't quite getting the result im after.

            Also custom gradient maps and getting a nice tan skin colour would be helpful also.

            Cheers

            Jules

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Ask A Pro

              Originally posted by JD Spears View Post
              skin tones! And step by step, start to finish of an commercial image.
              Thank you JD
              Well, that might be tough-- ask Chris, he'll agree. Celebs don't want people to see them before retouching and many of my advert clients would drop me in a heart beat if I posted their "less than lackluster" products for the world to see. So commercial images are tough. Not impossible, just tough. I work with many high end photographers and might be able to score an image to use of an unknown with his permission. Now, when you say skin tones... are you talking strictly color? Are you looking for RGB/CMYK reference values? Each image is different and has different problems so be a tad more specific please.

              Also, keep in mind that a traditional commercial image could have as many as 40-50 adjustment and retouching layers... and would take about 100 pages to discuss... crawl, walk, run grasshopper

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              • #8
                Re: Ask A Pro

                [QUOTE=Julesj;193003]Hi Conrad,

                At the moment I'm masking the skin and pulling magenta out of the red's in selective colour and adding/subtracting yellow which helps, but isn't quite getting the result im after.

                Hi Jules,

                I won't tell you exactly HOW to do it as each image is different.. but here's the philosophy. If the color of the skin varies that greatly and you want to bring all the skin tones to a similar place the best option is to remove all the color and reintroduce the color you want. If you do this in a "group" you can adjust opacity levels to blend into the original. Keep in mind that humans often have tonal variations in their skin... it makes the image look human. I personally don't like an image to look as if it's been altered. That's the hard part.

                let me know how you progress

                c

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Ask A Pro

                  Originally posted by heyrad View Post
                  Well, that might be tough-- ask Chris, he'll agree. Celebs don't want people to see them before retouching and many of my advert clients would drop me in a heart beat if I posted their "less than lackluster" products for the world to see. So commercial images are tough. Not impossible, just tough. I work with many high end photographers and might be able to score an image to use of an unknown with his permission. Now, when you say skin tones... are you talking strictly color? Are you looking for RGB/CMYK reference values? Each image is different and has different problems so be a tad more specific please.

                  Also, keep in mind that a traditional commercial image could have as many as 40-50 adjustment and retouching layers... and would take about 100 pages to discuss... crawl, walk, run grasshopper
                  Hi Conrad,
                  I checked out your website. Beautiful images!
                  Color and tone. One problem I'm having is on some shots I'll get it where I'm fairly happy looking at it in Photoshop, but when I save off for web the contrast and color look very bad. Even B&W. Other make the transition better.
                  I know it's probably not possible but I'd love to see a step by step of something such as Butterfly Chocolate, Nokia, Jeff Reidel's Timberland.
                  You said Quote:
                  "Also, keep in mind that a traditional commercial image could have as many as 40-50 adjustment and retouching layers... and would take about 100 pages to discuss... crawl, walk, run grasshopper "
                  It could be broken down into an ongoing series. If it sounds like I'm begging; Well, Yeah, I am!
                  Great work.
                  Thanks, JD

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Ask A Pro

                    Hi Conrad.... I'm new around these parts.... and would be honored to learn from someone of your caliber! So, first... thank you for your time.....

                    My question is.... how to effectively mask hair when replacing a background?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Ask A Pro

                      Thank you Conrad for your kindness! I am really honored that I can get tips from a professional retoucher.

                      1. I would like to know how you keep your layers organized.

                      2. Skin tones. Skin color. I read somewhere that one can desaturate image with one layer, than bring the colors back with curves layer blending mode color and than control contrast with curves layer set on luminosity blending mode. Do you use this?

                      3. The lips...how can we make them more "shiny".

                      4. How do you add the glow to the portraits?
                      I know of the technique "adding white to whites". I select the brightest parts of the photograph, copy them to a new layer and paint white on that layer with low opacity brush.
                      How do you do it?


                      Well, thats all for now...thanks again!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Ask A Pro

                        Hello Conrad
                        I can be a bit more specific than everyone else so far

                        EVERYTHING PLEASE

                        Even down to the thought process would be interesting (well to me anyway )

                        I know it sounds a bit greedy but i think you would get different answers from everyone

                        Palms

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Ask A Pro

                          Wow.... you guys ARE hungry, aren't you...

                          Well, the desaturate/resaturate technique can be anything you like... it's personal preference. The theory is to not try to fix all the color inbalances, but to essentially start over and create a good skin tone and then add to the original. Hopefully not making the image look colorized.

                          As for adding shine... Kids... don't reinvent the wheel... Use your curves to brighten and darken areas. Just make sure that nothing goes to complete white.. that's bad. There must always be skin tone in the highlights, even if it's only 1 or 2%.

                          As for organizing layers... I do all of my color work on TOP of everything else, so that if any retouching needs to be "fixed", I don't have to reperform any color moves. I start with the base image, body and basic retouching above that(all in groups) and color and finishing above that. It keeps things organized. If I'm doing multiple rounds with a client. I copy the entire layer set into a comped layer and make a new group with the round number... start building up from there.

                          Hope this helped!

                          I'm thinking about releasing a tutorial set on DVD if anyone's interested. This method is too archaic and I need to add some screen caps and dialogue to get the point across. I'll keep you all posted

                          c

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                          • #14
                            Re: Ask A Pro

                            I'm interested in DVD, what aspects it's going to cover?
                            Best regards,
                            Edgar

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Ask A Pro

                              I am really interested into buying your DVD if you make it...

                              Thanks for the answers!!

                              Comment

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