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Another Self-Portrait Before/After..


DawgFather

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In you after and after-after, you made your skin look to yellow. And in the after-after you can see dots, like it was shot in ISO 400 at high noon.
 

Tom Mann

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Dawg, do u realize how many before-after pairs there are in this thread? I have absolutely no idea what images you are referring to. Either state the URL of an image u want to cite, or at least give the number of the post in the thread.

Thanks,

Tom
 

Jbknight3

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I thought I would come back and update this with my new, better, how-is-should-be style. Check it out:

Before:
IMG_0921 Un-Edited.jpg
After:
IMG_0921 Edited.jpg

Let me know if you like this one! I definitely think it's more realistic/better-in-so-many-ways than my first edit. The skin isn't so grainy, contrasted, or over-sharpened like it was before.

List of what I did:
removed blemishes (including on clothing)
removed hair strands
smoothed skin
smoothed and darkened background
brightened eyes
re-colored eyes (basically a more saturated hazel)
sharpened eyes
sharpened lips
made overall color warmer

Time: 45 minutes.
 

Tom Mann

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Definitely an improvement.

However, the aspect of it that immediately gets my attention is that it looks dull. A quick look at the histogram shows why.

Histogram.jpg

See the big gap on the RHS? This means that you are not using the full range of tonal values available to you. I doubt this was intentional. I suspect that whatever system you are using to edit and evaluate the adjustments you make is not giving you a good representation of your image. Your monitor is likely too bright and hence, you compensate by darkening the image to make it look good on your own system. Apple displays are notorious being too bright (... in a couple of different ways, ie, max brightness and shadow brightness).

Next, I have never seen you in person, but in the image you just posted, your face looks much more red than I would expect.

Finally, read up on how one should sharpen an image after it has been down-rez'ed for a specific use (eg, for web posting). Google either {output sharpening Schewe} or {output sharpening Bruce Fraser}.

Here's a quick tweak to address all these issues.

IMG_0921_Edited-tjm01-acr-ps02_698px_hi-01.jpg

If you really like a moody Chiaroscuro look, then darken the darks after everything else has been done, maybe something like:

IMG_0921_Edited-tjm01-acr-ps02_698px_hi-02.jpg

However, note that even with it this dark, there still is no gap at the RH end of the histogram -- you are still using the full range of tonal values available.

Histogram2.jpg


HTH,

Tom
 

ibclare

Queen Bee
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I like it a lot. I do agree that it looks flat and a curves or levels adjustment is needed. I don't like the intensity of the red in Tom's version, but that is a matter of taste or as he said, knowing what you look like and what you want to achieve.

Bravo, I think it is a very good second version, just a little more range for contrast and luster.
 

Jbknight3

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Hey there, I wanted to come back to this picture once more, as it was always my favorite! It has been a while since I have been here. I had a job and I believe I had actually mentioned it in one of the threads. Anywho.. I wanted to go back through this from beginning to end, as I have learned a lot thanks to you guys, as well as over time. So I'm just going to post the original, a few edits, and then the latest. Tell me what you all think! How much did I improve? And of course, tell me what is wrong with the latest. ;)

Original:
Original.jpg

Edit 1:
Good Things: Fixed messy hair, removed blemishes
Bad Things: Way to much contrast, the skin is super rough, very big bags under the eyes, and too colorful.
Edit 1 - Way too much color and contrast.jpg

Edit 2:
Good Things(based on previous edit): Not as contrasted, skin is smoother and less grungy looking, made eyes more colorful and bright.
Bad Things: Still Bags under the eyes, not enough vibrance or contrast(based on histogram)
Edit 2 - Way better looking skin and eyes.jpg

Edit 3(Current):
Good Things: Fixed bags under eyes, contrasted and added vibrancy
Bad things: May be too bright in some areas
Edit 3 - more contrast.jpg
 

Tom Mann

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FWIW, in my opinion, you definitely have shown a steady improvement. However, if you want to emulate a classic pro portrait, there are a few aspects of the image that jump right out at me, and not in a good way:

1. The patch of white sky behind you is, IMHO, almost a classic textbook example of exactly how to lead viewers' eyes away from the subject.

2. Your eyes sockets look dead and sunken, and there are no catchlights reflected in the corneas . A tiny touch of fill flash (say, 1.7 stops down from the main exposure) would have taken care of this in-camera.

3. The overall brightness (particularly, skin tones) is still quite a bit lower that I think appropriate.

4. There still is too much unevenness to your skin tones, both w.r.t. color (eg, areas of overly saturated reds), and w.r.t. tonality (eg, reflective hot spots, deep shadows, etc.)

5. The framing of the image is too loose for a classic head and shoulders portrait, and it's not even close to the standard 8x10 (or 4x5) aspect ratio for portraits / headshots - it's much too tall - too much wasted space.

Below, I've tweaked you last version to illustrate the sorts of changes I would make if this were my image. I intentionally exaggerated my tweaks to make them easy to see, but it's almost trivial to blend back in a bit of the original to achieve a more gentle treatment. BTW, I decided to go with a nearly square crop just to contast with the very tall crop you had.

Cheers,

Tom

PS - Don't forget that all photos (particularly the shadow areas) look unusually bright on iPhones, iPads, etc. because of Apple's design decision to try to make average photos look a bit better versus giving the user a strictly accurate, but not very flattering display.
 

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