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Thread: C&C Needed on postprocessing results

  1. #1

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    C&C Needed on postprocessing results

    Hi,
    Please see the portrait here, and tell me anything you can find wrong about it.
    This was shot in bad lighting, provided by an off-camera flash pointed to the ceiling on the left of me. The ceiling was white (I think), but walls in a room had a greenish tint, and so all colors were off. The image is heavily post-processed, obviously (Photoshop CS4). Everything there is tweaked: skin color and textrue, hair color, background, etc... What I wanted to achieve through extensive post-processing was "to make her shine", yet I wanted to preserve her character, of course.
    Specific concerns that I have are:
    1. Composition. I think I got her face, eyes etc. in a good place, but I am not sure about her right shoulder - is it "ok" to have it cut like that?
    2. Skin color and texture. I think it came out somewhat fuzzy, but I have no idea how to fix it, or IF I should try to fix it.
    3. Background. I went for pure black. Was it a good choice? Not sure...
    4. Shining earring. I "made" it shine in Photoshop. Too much - or not?
    ... any other comments are welcome.
    Looking forward to the feedback.
    Please do not ask to see the unprocessed version. That is not an option
    -Vladimir

    C&C Needed on postprocessing results
    Last edited by Donald; 9th November 2011 at 05:58 PM.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: C&C Needed on postprocessing results

    Vladimir

    If you wish CiC members to comment on your work, you should embed the image into your post, rather than direct members to an external link.

    I have done this.

    If you are unsure of how to post images on CiC, then please do read the 'How do I post images ...' thread available via the HELP/Rules tab on the menu bar above.

  3. #3

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    Re: C&C Needed on postprocessing results

    I seem to be getting a strange effect here. Initially, I thought that although her eyes were sharp the mouth and nose were, as you said, fuzzy. But as I looked they became sharper?

    Not really sure about what is happening; does anybody else see this?

    However, I think I might give a tiny bit of extra selective sharpening to those areas. But don't overdo it.

    For me, the pose and background etc work OK. Possibly a little too much exposure on her cheek; but this is a rather cheap monitor so it may be better in reality.

    I'm not keen on excessive flare from bright objects but that is something of personal taste.

    However, considering you had somewhat limited lighting I think this has worked reasonably well.

    And yes, seeing the unprocessed version would have been helpful.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: C&C Needed on postprocessing results

    Quote Originally Posted by vladimir View Post
    Hi,
    Please see the portrait here, and tell me anything you can find wrong about it.
    This was shot in bad lighting, provided by an off-camera flash pointed to the ceiling on the left of me. The ceiling was white (I think), but walls in a room had a greenish tint, and so all colors were off. The image is heavily post-processed, obviously (Photoshop CS4). Everything there is tweaked: skin color and textrue, hair color, background, etc... What I wanted to achieve through extensive post-processing was "to make her shine", yet I wanted to preserve her character, of course.
    Specific concerns that I have are:
    1. Composition. I think I got her face, eyes etc. in a good place, but I am not sure about her right shoulder - is it "ok" to have it cut like that?
    2. Skin color and texture. I think it came out somewhat fuzzy, but I have no idea how to fix it, or IF I should try to fix it.
    3. Background. I went for pure black. Was it a good choice? Not sure...
    4. Shining earring. I "made" it shine in Photoshop. Too much - or not?
    5. any other comments are welcome.
    Looking forward to the feedback.
    6. Please do not ask to see the unprocessed version. That is not an option
    -Vladimir
    Hi Vladimir,

    Firstly, welcome to the CiC forums from me.

    I'm no portraitist myself, but from what I have learned here;
    1. Your model is standing (or sitting) directly facing the camera - this has led to very broad shoulders - having the body angled to the camera is generally better, especially for the ladies. I don't mind the clipped shoulder on left edge of shot, in fact I'd almost suggest cropping the right hand side similarly, although you have a nice rim light on her shoulder and it might be a shame to lose that. Also, if she completely fills the width of the shot, it may make the shoulders look even wider.
    2. I think you have played far too much and lost track of what you've done. That said, the skin tone and colour looks ok to me, although that is quite a contrast between the exposure on one eye and the other, her left eye is really too dark.
    3. For what you've done, the black background is good
    4. The 'sparkle' earring now competes with the eyes for attention, so, in my opinion, yes; too much
    5. It might stand a little sharpen overall
    6. I hope that's only because you are hiding it from us not because you have saved over it - never do that, always work on a copy of the image

    Hope that helps,

  5. #5

    Re: C&C Needed on postprocessing results

    Welcome to the forum.


    Lovely woman, Vladimir.


    However, strictly speaking for me the portrait makes her appear very harsh.


    I think that you may have overdone PSP a bit.


    Others have addressed the angle. I agree Her hair looks brassy because of the harsh lighting and is too fuzzy/cloned on her right side; her skin is shiny/clipped from the light; the right shoulder should not be cut off it unbalances the photo; the background is too dark and even for her colouring and the earring star is very distracting because it goes over her cheek.


    Here is what I have done to quickly mitigate some of the above: Evened skin; smoothed and darkened hair (although this needs more work); cropped; added a blur and vignette; sharpened eyes only.


    C&C Needed on postprocessing results




    I also decided to try a B&W.




    C&C Needed on postprocessing results




    With the original one could make this a very nice portrait. Why don’t you post it SOOC and let’s see what we all can do?

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    Re: C&C Needed on postprocessing results

    OMG!
    Love Viana's rendition! Like color much better than B&W. Can't exactly explain why. Maybe - because it's... missing color?
    I'll try to come up with something similar myself with all the comments in mind.
    I did not loose the original (it's in RAW format, and I never override the originals) and I knew (well - rather - guessed correctly) that you'd ask for that. It's unflattering to my model, and I am not going to post that. After all - the idea is not to come up with the best possible result, given the initial shot. The idea is for me to learn how to come up with a good result, and for you - to teach me how to get there, right?
    I would like to stay the author of this portrait, if you don't mind
    Thanks everybody! I am learning a huge deal here already!

  7. #7

    Re: C&C Needed on postprocessing results

    Thanks, Vladimir. Glad that you like the 2 PS processing renditions. No doubt others will give you additional ideas and pointers.


    Vladimir, trust me, most models do not look like the “perfect” photos that we have become so used to seeing. They are human beings with skin flaws, asymmetrical bodies and faces, bad-hair days—you name it. IMHO, the job of a good photographer, is to make the model look as she does in her mind’s eye. The best s/he can be.


    Please post the original so that we can do the best possible job of assisting and teaching you. It is difficult to correct an already over processed image. You can remove it later if you feel like it.

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    Re: C&C Needed on postprocessing results

    Fine. My arm has been thoroughly twisted by Viana and I am posting "SOOC".
    Please be gentle with my lovely model

    Looking some more at the previous Viana's renditions - I notice that model's left shoulder became really heavy (due to cropping and/or blur?) as predicted by Dave.
    I'll try to pay attention to my models' shoulders position in the future. If anything - I should get this lesson from this discussion.

    C&C Needed on postprocessing results
    Last edited by vladimir; 11th November 2011 at 03:37 AM.

  9. #9

    Re: C&C Needed on postprocessing results

    Quote Originally Posted by vladimir View Post
    Fine. My arm has been thoroughly twisted by Viana and I am posting "SOOC".
    Please be gentle with my lovely model


    Looking some more at the previous Viana's renditions - I notice that model's left shoulder became really heavy (due to cropping and/or blur?) as predicted by Dave.
    I'll try to pay attention to my models' shoulders position in the future. If anything - I should get this lesson from this discussion.




    Thanks, Vladimir. She is very pretty even SOOC. It is your job to make her look fabuloso!


    I am a certified member of the International Arm Twisting Association.


    I shall get to this ASAP, later today and give you several versions to contemplate.


    What hits me square between the eyes, as has been mentioned, is the look of “bulk” in the shoulders and upper torso due to the photo angle.


    It helps to remember that the human form, in particular that of the female, looks better from an angle. Makes her look slimmer and emphasizes the curves. (This does not apply to guys with big guts.)


    Later!

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    Re: C&C Needed on postprocessing results

    Quote Originally Posted by Viana View Post
    (This does not apply to guys with big guts.)
    Oh! That's a pity.

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    Re: C&C Needed on postprocessing results

    One possible edit on your image, Vladimir. Hope I did not offend you on the edit.

    C&C Needed on postprocessing results

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    Re: C&C Needed on postprocessing results

    Quote Originally Posted by jiro View Post
    One possible edit on your image, Vladimir. Hope I did not offend you on the edit.
    Not at all! Very nice! Please tell how you got "here" from "there". I guess - the exposure and "feel light" tweaks were probably there, but what I'd like to know the most is how you got the skin tone. I like it. How come I couldn't get a skin tone like that?

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    Re: C&C Needed on postprocessing results

    Skin tone is affected by exposure. It gets "dirty" or gritty if it is underexposed. It gets also very unflattering if it is too bright. What I did is to look at the histogram of the image you uploaded and I noticed that it can still be exposed to the right by about +1.33 EV without clipping the highlights. I also lowered the contrast of the shot to make the skin look younger. This goes together with the brightening of the whole image. Some extra fill light helped me elevate the dark areas on her eyebags, neck, and on the shadow areas of her face as well. After that adjustments in LR, I exported the edited version to Photoshop to increase the exposure of the background. A happy face can look very flattering on a bright background. You can use a dark background but why use a dark background when your subject is smiling? A little retouching using the healing brush on the wrinkles was done but not excessively. The eyes was lifted up by desaturating the white areas to take away the pinkish tint in them. The same was done with the teeth. To further open up her eyes, I darkened the outer perimeter of the eyes only and then lighten the area in between the edge and the iris. That makes the eyes look larger though I did not actually increased its size literally. On the final adjustment, I added some selective sharpening on the eyes, the lips, and the hair. I did not do any color correction on your work since I found out that the skin tone is just right, it is just underexposed by -1.33 EV that is why it looks like there is something wrong with your white balance. What I normally do is to edit an image based on what the image is telling me. I saw that your image is showing a happy woman in her prime so I made the shot brighter to highlight her smiling face. Basically, that's it. Hope this helps.
    Last edited by jiro; 11th November 2011 at 05:38 PM.

  14. #14

    Re: C&C Needed on postprocessing results

    Vladimir, I just noticed that the photo is only 35.97K. Can you please put up a jpg of at least 300K because it will be very difficult to give you good results with such a small file? They pixelate, so it is tough to be accurate.


    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Oh! That's a pity.

    LOL I should have added, they can and should be photographed from the front to make the shoulders look wider. Black is a wonderful "colour" to hide certain sins.

    I always stand sideways or better yet, behind the camera.

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    Re: C&C Needed on postprocessing results

    Quote Originally Posted by jiro View Post
    Skin tone is affected by exposure...
    A happy face can look very flattering on a bright background. You can use a dark background but why use a dark background when your subject is smiling?...
    Hope this helps.
    “This helps” would be an understatement. This opens my eyes on many things, actually. I can’t describe how much time I spent trying to get the skin tone “right” – and all I was missing was just throwing the exposure to where it should be!? Great… Maybe (there is hope!) I will be a little smarter next time, thanks to your advice.
    The dark background comes from initial idea of “glamour and shine”, rather than “bright and happy”. I think for the idea the choice was close to being “right” (I was pretty sure I wanted it dark. Pure black – not so sure). And there is nothing wrong with smiling (better yet - shining) in the dark – is there?
    The whole "idea" could have been wrong too, of course...

  16. #16

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    Re: C&C Needed on postprocessing results

    Here I posted the bigger, "better" SOOC version, Viana
    Last edited by vladimir; 12th November 2011 at 05:25 AM.

  17. #17

    Re: C&C Needed on postprocessing results

    OK, Vladimir, here are 5 renditions for your perusal.


    A simple white background:
    C&C Needed on postprocessing results






    Soft pink:


    C&C Needed on postprocessing results




    A dark vignette:


    C&C Needed on postprocessing results




    Black background:


    C&C Needed on postprocessing results


    and—and old style glamour shot with small stars at the earrings.




    C&C Needed on postprocessing results


    We already mentioned how to get these effects. There are of course, many more from which to choose. They should be much better working on the RAW image.

  18. #18
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    Re: C&C Needed on postprocessing results

    Hi everyone just like to say all these edits are fab! guess im going to have to suffer the photoshop learning curve...

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    Re: C&C Needed on postprocessing results

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark von Kanel View Post
    Hi everyone just like to say all these edits are fab! guess im going to have to suffer the photoshop learning curve...
    You'll like it a whole lot more if you substitute 'enjoy' for 'suffer'!

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    Re: C&C Needed on postprocessing results

    Given that Vladimir uploaded a bigger sized image, thought I'd have a second play with it. Here is one more possible edit:

    C&C Needed on postprocessing results

    and here's another one with her sporting a different color of lipstick for her skin tone.

    C&C Needed on postprocessing results
    Last edited by jiro; 12th November 2011 at 12:36 PM.

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