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Thread: Shadows and Skin Tones

  1. #1
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Shadows and Skin Tones

    I've been working in Photoshop to bring out the details in the shadows, particularly on the faces of the rafters in this shot. In addition, I'm trying to set the overall tone of the image and bring out some of the detail in the water.

    This is full frame as there was no way to get further back, the raft was very close to the wall I was standing on.

    The image was taken at the US Olympic White Water Center in Charlotte, NC.

    Hopefully you will be kind enough to offer suggestions for improvement?

    Thank you for taking the time to look!

    SOOC Image

    Shadows and Skin Tones

    With adjustments....

    Shadows and Skin Tones

  2. #2
    The Blue Boy's Avatar
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    Re: Shadows and Skin Tones

    You've done a cracking job mate. Did you do this in raw, or PS itself? I've only just discovered the adjusment brush and I'm kicking myself with rework!

  3. #3
    jiro's Avatar
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    Willie or Jiro is fine by me.

    Re: Shadows and Skin Tones

    Hello, Frank. A very nice shot. You certainly captured the excitement on these athletes. For me, I would probably retain the dark color of their suit as that shows how heavily soaked they are which adds to the drama of the shot. I will just probably selectively lighten up the faces and body parts of the rowers on the left side to emphasize them. A little sharpening would probably be nice, too for punch. Here is how I'd probably edit this image:

    Shadows and Skin Tones

    Just a suggestion as this is my personal preference if this image was my shot.

  4. #4
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Shadows and Skin Tones

    Quote Originally Posted by The Blue Boy View Post
    You've done a cracking job mate. Did you do this in raw, or PS itself? I've only just discovered the adjusment brush and I'm kicking myself with rework!
    Hi Mark, I really couldn't do most of these changes in RAW owing to the wide range of exposure (compare left rear and right front faces in the originals). I did create different adjustment layers and used masking to control what the adjustments affected. That also helps when you decide to go back and tweak the settings. Just change the adjustment or add another adjustment layer and copy the mask.

  5. #5
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Shadows and Skin Tones

    Thank you Willie! Good call on leaving the wet clothing color darker. The clothing and some of the body parts were on the same adjustment layer so I was trying to compromise on the brightness. The left side front and back faces look a little less sunburned than in my edit - did you do any color tone change there? I thought it was odd that the face and limbs of the guy in the right front looked like they belonged to two different people in the original!

    I creatively sharpened just the faces. Did you sharpen everything in the raft or the water as well?

  6. #6
    jiro's Avatar
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    Re: Shadows and Skin Tones

    Quote Originally Posted by FrankMi View Post
    Thank you Willie! Good call on leaving the wet clothing color darker. The clothing and some of the body parts were on the same adjustment layer so I was trying to compromise on the brightness.
    The left side front and back faces look a little less sunburned than in my edit - did you do any color tone change there?
    Nope. I just applied a curve adjustment wherein I raised the midtone level only.

    I thought it was odd that the face and limbs of the guy in the right front looked like they belonged to two different people in the original!
    I thought so, too. The problem is, I have no idea what caused it. Probably there is a big rock or a tree nearby that is shadowing him at the time you took this shot. All I did was to apply the brightening curve adjustment layer on those areas, too.

    I creatively sharpened just the faces. Did you sharpen everything in the raft or the water as well?
    I applied a global sharpening because I thought by sharpening everything it would heighten the sense of thrill since you can see even the small detail on the water splashes.

    Normally, Frank whenever I want to do an edit or enhancement on an image I write down what I want to adjust on the image. In that way, I can find out if I need to globally apply that adjustment or only on a selected area. Every image is different so the adjustments should be individually adjusted, too. Hope this helps.

  7. #7
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Shadows and Skin Tones

    Thanks for the tips, Willie.

    I think I'll wait a bit to see if anyone else chimes in before I make additional changes.

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    Re: Shadows and Skin Tones

    Frank, I have tried using the Raw Adjustment Brush but most times I get better results by using basic Adjustment Layers which I find give a more detailed range of adjustments when using a fairly low opacity brush to gradually build up the changes. As you did with this example.

  9. #9
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Shadows and Skin Tones

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff F View Post
    Frank, I have tried using the Raw Adjustment Brush but most times I get better results by using basic Adjustment Layers which I find give a more detailed range of adjustments when using a fairly low opacity brush to gradually build up the changes. As you did with this example.
    Hi Geoff. I've tried deveral different approaches and so far using Adjustment Layers seems to offer the most options. I've also been viewing some of the Lightroom and Photoshop Killer Tips videos so I may go back to this image and try some new techniques that use the Quick Mask Mode and converting the layers to Smart Objects then applying Smart Filters.

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