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First Proper Beauty Retouch Edit!


ElizabethM

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Helloooooo good people of the PSGuru Forum!

I have officially made my first proper beauty retouch edit. I'm really happy with how it turned out and am SO excited to put it up in my portfolio. It's my own picture too, so that's an added plus. Buttttt, I would very much love to hear what you awesome professionals think so please feel free to disscet, comment and advice. It's always welcomed in my books! :)

P/S: The original photo below isn't actually the original. I did a small rough edit of her major blemishes before but have seemed to only saved THAT copy on my computer. Unfortunately for me, the RAW original is in a vault I can't access right now. In your opinion, is the picture I have now good enough to show a difference in the edit?

WebVersionBA1.jpg

Working on my next retouch now, found some photographers that let's me use their pictures as long as it's not for commerical use (that still means I can use them in my portfolio right? I'm not selling it. I'm merely showing my skill set right?) and so I'm pretty excited to try my hand at a completely proper beauty retouch with studio lights and crisp quality! Ahhhh.
 
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IamSam

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Great start Elizabeth!

Just to add to the observations, the teeth are a bit yellow and the wall behind her has a slight blue/green tint.

In addition to being slightly red, the skin tone is a bit dark and does not look that natural to me. The smoothing looks great!
 
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Hi Elizabeth
Congrats to this excellent retouch.
I agree with the comments from Eggy, Sam and Agent.
I have only one other small thing. The hair is too black. You should use the filter for blacks/highlights.
Go to Image-->Corrections-->Blacks/Highlights and put in these values with the first 3 sliders.

Bildschirmfoto 2015-11-03 um 20.59.25.jpg
 

Eggy

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Very nice contrast in the hair Chris.
Maybe a tiny bit grey now.
That is my view of course...
Just a question; is it possible to dodge the clear parts of the hair to achieve more contrast without affecting the nice black hair parts?


Edit:
I've tried it and to answer my own question, no. Black is black and I can't get highlights in pure black with the dodge tool.
 
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ElizabethM

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Whoa, thanks for the tips Chris, Eggy, Sam and Agent!

They were so helpful, especially since I am still learning exactly what to look for. So sometimes I think, "Oh this colour combo matches perfectly!" without really realising it throws the skin tone complete off.

I took everybody's advice and re-did my edit. Made the highlights of the hair brighter (despite the all blackness, I added a touch of a red there so it doesn't seem so gray). I tried to make the face more livier because I agree with Sam, it looks totally dull. I have no idea why it's like that, that's why I tried changing it with a cranked up saturation but that obviously didn't work. I also made the teeth whiter, the face less red and the background I took out the saturation completely and only covered with a layer mask.

How did my second attempt turn out? Eek! Haha and would you deem this completed enough to add to my portfolio? :D

WebVersionBA3.jpg

P/S: Something about the picture still seems so dull to me. What am I missing? I've tried everything. Colour balance, vibrancy, h/s, highlights, shadows, curves, layers!

P/P/S: I also realised that I made her lips still a bit to redish (wanted it like lipstick at first but now I like more of a natural touch to the image) so I toned it down in my finished edit, just not the one I posted.
 
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Tom Mann

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re your comment, "...Something about the picture still seems so dull to me...."

IMHO there are two factors that contribute to this:

1. A photo will be much less psychologically "dull" if the subject is looking right back at the viewer, instead of looking out of the frame and leaving the viewer to wonder, "What's she looking at?", "What's out there?", "Why isn't she looking at me?". Perhaps there is a cultural issue with this particular subject about women looking directly at someone, but, to me such a restriction removes a lot of the impact and vivacity of the subject. IMHO, it's a cute pose and would make an absolutely wonderful informal snapshot, but as a more serious studio shot, IMHO, it is just not very engaging.

2. From a technical POV, one certainly doesn't want too much local contrast in the face of a female subject (...doing so can turn pretty girls into old Greek fishermen, LOL), but that doesn't mean you can't add a bit of local contrast to other areas of the photo to zing it up a bit.

Maybe something like this where one can better see the three dimensionality of the hair, the background is somewhat darkened so as not to distract they eye of the viewer away from the subject, there is more mid-scale texture to the folds and how the fabric lays on her arm, etc..

BTW, if I was doing this "for real" and not just as a quick little demo, I would remove the slight halo around the subject. Also, if I was shooting this subject, I would definitely take a few shots with a dark gray background instead of the light background that you used. That would clearly make her "pop" right in the in-camera image, even without having to do after-the-fact adjustments to achieve this.

Tom M
 

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ElizabethM

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Eggy Love the idea but personally the effect makes the image look too retouched for my taste. I'm trying to put myself in the field of retouches that say wow but still remain natural looking. Do you happen to know how to get that kind of effect? :help:
Tom Mann: As always, killer reply. From a photographers point of view I really appreciate your advise on how to best shoot in a photoshoot style. Truthfully this make shift photoshoot was done in my room, with my plain white wall and natural day light. The reason why a lot of my best shots was of her facing away was because that's was when the light hit her face the best. Despite still not being an expert on my camera, you can consider that photoshoot taken with a 0.0% knowledge of what I was doing. Hahaha

I love how much you managed to make the picture pop with your outside the face contrast methods, I think I'll give it a go! Though I need to find a way to make the hair not come across so much as gray...

Overall though, what does everybody think of my second attempt? If this passes the approval of all you awesome professionals, consider it my first solid portfolio photo! :D
 
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Overall though, what does everybody think of my second attempt? If this passes the approval of all you awesome professionals, consider it my first solid portfolio photo! :D[/QUOTE]

It is an improvement Elizabeth.
Though my personal preference is somewhat close to what Tom Mann said in his comment and what he showed in his image.
Sometimes it would be better to do another shooting. If possible with professional lights in a photo studio.

However here is my version with a darker background and glamour make up.

WebVersionBA1chrisdesign+.jpg
 

Tom Mann

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Hi Elizabeth -

a) I didn't realize that this was an available light window shot. You shouldn't be so self-depricating about your knowledge of technique. Rather, you should be congratulated in pulling off this form of classic portrait lighting so well!!! The majority of wannabe potographers wouldn't have come close to obtaining the very pleasing result that you obtained. Of course, if you had access to a studio with standard studio lights and modifiers you would have much more control over such things as the brightness of the background, and you wouldn't have to wait for the correct time of day to have the sun in the right position, but IMHO, you did a great job.

b) With respect to posing the subject given the constraints imposed by window light, the next time you want to take a simiilar shot, recreate the body position of this model, but move your camera slightly to the left (ie, nearer the window) and take a few shots where you have instructed the model to look straight at the camera instead of looking out the window. See what you think.

c) WRT the skin color in my animated gif, since I wanted to illustrate how changes only to objects surrounding the face can make an image pop, I intentionally didn't change the skin color at all from what you had in the previous version that you had posted. However, if I was working on the whole image and not just illustrating that one specific point, I would have reduced the saturation / redness of the skin much like Chris did. Also, it looks like Chris might have used a bit of a magenta hue for the simulated makeup he added, whereas I might have tried a porcelain skin look that is very popular in some areas, but that's getting down to the level of personal and cultural preferences and should be a joint decision between you and the model / art director. However, by far, the best way to take care of all these skin adjustments is a good professional makeup artist. The result will almost always be better than trying to make major changes after the fact, using only software.

d) WRT the hair having gray highlights in my animated GIF, there are quite a few ways to warm up the highlights without imparting excess warmth to the rest of the hair. For example, one could select the hair highlights using a luminosity mask or even just using the "color range" selection tool, and then use the resulting mask on a warm "photo filter" adjustment layer.

HTH,

Tom M
 

ElizabethM

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@Eggy Love the idea but personally the effect makes the image look too retouched for my taste. I'm trying to put myself in the field of retouches that say wow but still remain natural looking. Do you happen to know how to get that kind of effect? :eek:
@Tom Mann: As always, killer reply. From a photographers point of view I really appreciate your advise on how to best shoot in a photoshoot style. Truthfully this make shift photoshoot was done in my room, with my plain white wall and natural day light. The reason why a lot of my best shots was of her facing away was because that's was when the light hit her face the best. Despite still not being an expert on my camera, you can consider that photoshoot taken with a 0.0% knowledge of what I was doing. Hahaha

I love how much you managed to make the picture pop with your outside the face contrast methods, I think I'll give it a go! Though I need to find a way to make the hair not come across so much as gray...

Overall though, what does everybody think of my second attempt? If this passes the approval of all you awesome professionals, consider it my first solid portfolio photo! :D
 

Tom Mann

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ElizabethM - This repeat is very odd. Is there any chance that u accidentally cut & pasted a copy of one of your earlier posts, or did the forum software cause a repeat of your earlier post?
 

ElizabethM

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Hi Tom,
I think the repetion was my fault. My Firefox crashed the previous day and when I switched it on the next day it must have reloaded the page with my message and sent it again. Sorry about that!

Wow, Chris... THAT EDIT IS FANTASTIC. I now totally get what you and Tom were saying about the darker background contrast. It definitely makes the image come across less dull and popping. I love the slight beauty edit too. I'm so in awe! Totally going to try my hand at this later when I have some free time! :D

Going back to what you said Tom, wow. I'm truly flattered by what you said! I admit I'm a little hard on myself sometimes when it comes to my photography skills because I realise how little time I've actually spent learning my camera despite having such a good camera. It's my own fault I haven't improved with it, nor know how to properly use it and so it embarrasses me sometimes to admit that I've had it for four years now. Nevertheless, yes that was indeed an available light photoshoot and I thank you very much for the kind words. Along with the advice to next time face her from the direction of the light more. I do tend to forget that I can move around with my camera sometimes. Haha I get so caught up in keeping to the rules of third, I forget the power of creative movement. Oops!

I'll definitely try the colour range and luminosity advice for the gray hair highlight, along with the other suggestions and the darker background to see if I can spice the image up a little more. Thank you guys SO much for all the help! I actually just edited another picture recently where I learned how to naturally paint in backgrounds after removing unwanted objects. I personally felt like I did not bad for my first time and wish so much I could show you guys the image, but alas... The owner of the image wishes to not have their photo on the web. :/ Oh well!

Next edit I do where I try to remove background images, I'll post it here!!
 

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