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Give me some comment about my photos and my retouching. thanks!


xversion1

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Hi, I'm learning photography. I just took this photo and do some retouches with ARC and Ps. Please give me some comments to help me make it better next time.
Thanks!

 

ALB68

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Overall I think your retouch is good. However, you need to work on your skin tone. The Asian skin tone is not correct. Your CMYK values, based on a 5x5 sample are C26,M43,Y50,K2. See thebelow snip for what they should be. Then go to http://www.graphicconnectionkc.com/skin-tone-correction.html and use this as your procedure for correction.
Skin Tone snip.JPG
 

Tom Mann

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I believe that I was the person who first introduced you to these rules, but now, I have to caution you that one has to take such "rules" with some leeway, not as precise guides and be careful when giving cmyk-by-the-numbers advice.

1. Specifically, if the light varies from point to point across the face, one has to be sure to average a sufficient number of points to get a good estimate.

2. In addition, one has to disregard simple, unimportant changes in overall exposure - this is why rules based on ratios, not absolute numbers are better.

3. Also, "Asia" is a big place with large variations in skin color based on ethnicity, geography, gender, age, exposure to the sun, etc.

4. Finally, one has to consider the subject in the context of the ambient lighting. For example, if your subject's CMYK values look perfect by-the-book, but you are evaluating a photograph of them on the beach in the late afternoon, with so-called "perfect numbers", they will look like they were lit by a strobe that wasn't gelled to the ambient light, ie, much too cold.

In the case of this image, I selected a large fraction of her skin area (carefully avoiding hair, eyes, nose holes, lips, etc.), cut and pasted that to a separate layer, and then used the "average" command to get a good overall figure. However, if, say, her neck was in deep shadow, or there were blown highlights on her forehead (say from oily reflections), I would have excluded these areas from my average.

The table you cited gives the following ranges:
c = 17 to 8
m = 50 to 30
y = 58 to 48
k = 0

By my measurements, the average cmyk value for her skin in his "after" version is 22, 40, 50, 1. Thus, magenta and yellow are right in the middle of the desired range and black is within one percentage point. The only one that is a bit off is C, and IMHO, that's just not far enough off to worry about.


For comparison, this web site gives a slightly different (1 ratio used), but typical rule for asian skin as:

Asian/Hispanic Skin (typical CMYK ratios)
1) Cyan = 1/4 –1/2 Yellow
2) Magenta + (0-15) = Yellow
3) Black values may exceed 0 if skin is dark
4) May have higher CMYK values overall (vs. Adult Caucasian)


So, checking against this scheme:
Her cyan is 55% of her yellow instead of 50% - very slightly high again;
Her yellow minus magenta is 10 - right in the middle;
Her black value is 1 - no problem there, either.

In the final analysis, you have to use your eyes, and this means you absolutely must have a well-calibrated, trustworthy monitor. I think you mentioned that you bought a new monitor. How does she look on that? As you may also remember, I offered to send you a collection of head shots with good color. I'm still willing to do so. This will allow you to do side-by-side visual comparisons with the image you are working on or evaluating. I find this an exceptionally useful technique.

Best regards,

Tom
 

ALB68

Dear Departed Guru and PSG Staff Member
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Tom,
Your right, and I think I learned well. My comment was based on my first observation of the retouch. The beautiful lady is clearly Asian but the re-touched skin tone is more toward Caucasion in my opinion. There was a time when I would have thought that it was absolutely beautiful and it is. And I meant this in sincerity. not to just throw out color guidelines. The OP is trying to learn and I meant it in a constructive way to give him some food for thought and be aware of his skin tones.
 

Tom Mann

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@the OP - I think you did an excellent job. I have never met the model, so I'm just guessing at her color, but, that being said, the color looks fine to me.

However you removed shadows and effectively flattened the light just a tiny bit more than I would have done. Shadows give important depth cues and are especially important to preserve some shadowing on faces that flatter. I always prefer to adjust this with lighting, not in post processing, but if necessary, I'll do it there.

In addition, IMHO, the image is a bit more sharp than I think is flattering for a woman. This is particularly true in the areas of oily reflections where her pores are more visible than I would personally prefer.

The only obvious technical flaw that I can find are the halos around the hairs over her forehead. I would fix them.

The above comments are more in the realm of individual preferences and should be taken in light of your own vision and consistency with you own portfolio.

A very good job, indeed!


Tom
 

xversion1

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Thank you guys!
The skin tone is obvious problem that I concern much. I read a book of Lee Varis before about skin tone. He wrote that C=1/4 M or Y, M~Y, with Asia, more Y than M. But when I do follow what he wrote, I always get the skin tone look "red", the color that I only see at drunk people. Now I learned some new advices.
I think maybe my method to shoot picture is the problem. People's faces in my photos seem to be darker than they are, I feel flash make the photo flatten, because I shoot by myself so I can't set up light direction. I just use bult-in flash or external flash plug in my camera.
About the halos around the hairs over her forehead, I would have removed them. I didn't notice it before.
Is there anything else I would have fixed? Anything cause distraction? I a little bit concern about the white bokeh in the right of the photo (like Tom said about the same problem about another photo in another topic, the white bokeh above the girl's head). But if I crop the photo, my composition will break. If I darken it, it looks weird with grey. What do you think?
 

Tom Mann

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The issue of the out-of-focus (OOF) highlights is complicated.

First, the word, "bokeh" refers to the geometric and structural quality of the OOF highlights, not to the highlights thermselves. So, one could say that the bokeh of a certain lens is harsh or soft or jittery, but one would never say something like, "I want to get rid of the bokeh", or "How do you get bokeh in your pictures". In contrast, it would be correct to say, "I want to get rid of the nervous bokeh", or "How do you get that nice soft bokeh in your pictures". Also, since the OOF highlights are little more than the point-spread function of the lens, they automatically take on the color of the light source that generated them, so, in this part of the world, one does not usually say, "white bokeh". If the color needs to be specified, say, because there are two different colors, one would simply say, "...the white OOF highlights". Sorry for the rant -- back to your regular programming. ;-)

Next, there certainly are a lot of bright, OOF highlights in the image we are discussing. As lenses go, they are quite good looking (ie, "good bokeh"). However, as was discussed in the earlier thread, too many of these bright spots will tend to distract the eye of the viewer away from the subject.

OTOH, completely removing them and replacing them with, say, a green, forest-like blur (see first attached image) takes away almost all of the character and distinctiveness of your very nice image.

Like you, I have found it difficult to decrease their ability to distract a viewer without the OOF highights becoming unbelievable (say, if you blur them further), or just plain odd (say, if you attempt to partially darken them). In a situation like this, the only way I have found to remedy such a problem is to reduce their number -- make them more sparse, but not change the quality quality of each one.

The effectiveness of having fewer OOF highlights can be seen in the 2nd attached image, a crop of just the region around the woman's head. There are many fewer OOF highlights in that area, they are realistically weak, and the ones on the right form almost a diagonal line leading right to the subject's face, so, IMHO, they don't tend to lead viewers' eyes astray as compared to the huge number in the uncropped version. Another way to decrease their number in post processing is by either cloning (aka, stamping) or patching out say 75% of them.

However, by far, the best way get a good background is to select it carefully when you are planning and setting up the shot. Often, a movement of just a foot or two (especially with a long lens) will be enough to substantially change the background.

Gotta run. More later on your other questions such as on-camera flash, etc.

Tom

PS - Note that in the cropped image attached below, in addition to cropping, I also intentionally reduced the skin texture slightly, and dialed back some of the reflections from the oily areas on her face. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to attempt to remedy the almost shadowless aspect of the image. Again, let me complement you on your post processing. If your 1st image was what you started from, you did a great job, particularly on color and blemish removal.
 

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ALB68

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Skin tone -:thumbsup: Beautiful!
 

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