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Thread: post processing of a portrait

  1. #1

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    post processing of a portrait

    Hello!

    This is a selfportrait. Because i was bored and couldn't get a model at the time

    I used old flash that i got from my mother, and it was surprisingly efficient. Well, I have almost none experience of flashes except the popup one of the camera, so.. Flash can be rotated so i did that, and my aim was to bounce the light from the wall right side from the camera. I used timer, (don't own a trigger yet) and focused the EF 50mm f.18 manually, and then tried to go to stand to the right distance from the lens, and look somewhat normal, which made me feel quite stupid

    Okay, if someone made it this far, the main purpose I did all this was i wanted to test how good looking I could make the portrait with heavyish post processing. As you can see, i changed the background. Is it any good, what should i do about it to look more natural? I used some stock photo from deviantart.

    About the subject; I corrected the white balance first, then adjusted some levels, adjusted the saturation with channel mixer and upped the contrast a bit more by duplicating the layer and changing the blending mode and some other stuff.

    I hope its okay that I left these quite large o.O (edit; tinypic seems to have reduced the size, so not so big after all)

    post processing of a portrait

    post processing of a portrait

    ISO 100, f/8, exp 1/30 sec, 50mm, flash in a dark room
    Last edited by reima000; 10th January 2012 at 10:33 AM.

  2. #2

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    Re: post processing of a portrait

    Oh, and the background is blurred quite strongly, it was pretty sharp at first. I also made it much moer red, it was bluegrayish first. Then I made it darker from the right side, because the light is supposed to be coming from left. On the left side of the head i made it a bit brighter.

  3. #3

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    Re: post processing of a portrait

    Hm, I wonder why nobody has commented on this thread...
    They may be intimidated by the man in the picture
    Pretty nice rough look there! I like it. That was the idea, right?
    And since people who understand keep quiet - I'll humbly express my opinions on the details:
    I would not leave more space on the right than on the left. I would do the opposite - because of how the head is turned. So that it would be turned into the empty space, not away from it. That would make it look more balanced. On the other hand - maybe the idea was to make it UNballanced? Then never mind.
    Other than that - his white part of the left eye looks a little too bright.
    And there is a narrow little halo along his right shoulder.
    And I'd be tempted to "fix" the skin under the right eye, but I am sure you didn't do it on purpose... It adds to the rough look, yep...
    In general - pretty cool!

  4. #4

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    Re: post processing of a portrait

    Very cool. And of course it was easy to extract yourself from the background.

    Very very cool shot. Love it.

  5. #5
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    Re: post processing of a portrait

    Reima,

    I think it is a very good result. Love the fact that you posted what you started with and ran us through what you did from beginning to end. The post processing choices really worked great. It takes some skill to get the original subject to flow with the new background. You have done really well in this regard. Great work!

  6. #6

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    Re: post processing of a portrait

    Thank you for your comments!

    Vladimir, nice to have feedback Now that you said it, I also think that the eye was a bit too bright. I found that excluding the eye from the duplicated layer was enough to make it look more normal.

    I had left the scar (or what ever that thing below the eye is), because it has been there longer than I can remember, and I feel it's a part of me. But then I thought that I'm used to it and don't see it anymore, and it might be stealing some of the attention of other peoples eyes, so I fixed it. Its not the point of the picture, anyway.

    About the composition, I actually played with it a while before deciding. While doing it I got this weird notion, that if I leave more space to the left side of the picture, it makes me look like I'm trying to bend myself into someones photo I think I'm starting to like the picture with the subject on the right side. I think it also might make the background look better, since the lighting of the subject and the background seems to be more synchronised.

    I also made a bit of shadow on the right shoulder and unblurred the background a bit. I really am not sure about the sharpening of the bg but I thought it might look more real this way. I've studied this photo for too long to see when it improves and when not.

    Here is how it turned out;

    post processing of a portrait

  7. #7
    wilgk's Avatar
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    Re: post processing of a portrait

    Reima, this is a really interesting exercise & the final result is stunning from the initial capture.
    I do find myself wondering if the tilt of your head. Would it have suited the pose/plan (strong masculine look) more if your head was slightly turned, rather than angled?
    I do though really like the positioning in the frame on the final version.

  8. #8
    speedneeder's Avatar
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    Re: post processing of a portrait

    Reima, I'm usually not a fan of changing photos so much (like changing the ENTIRE BACKGROUND), but I do like this one. I find it interesting how shifting from left to right side of the frame changes the feel of the photo for me. In the first one, where the subject is to my left, I get a sense of thinking about what he has left behind. In the second one I get more of a sense of what he is looking forward to. I like your first interpretation better, as the thought of what is 'left behind' is more suiting to the 'toughness' of the image. What do you think?

  9. #9

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    Re: post processing of a portrait

    Looks good to me (great in fact) - possibly only thing I'd change is to apply a vignette so that there's not so much bright area behind head (a little bright area looks like you've applied well-targeted lighting, a lot is just distracting).

  10. #10

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    Re: post processing of a portrait

    eg

    post processing of a portrait

  11. #11

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    Re: post processing of a portrait

    Thanks for all the comments! They make me feel like I have succeeded

    Kay, I must admit that the head is quite tilted, and I don't know about how it would affect the photo if it were turned instead of tilted, but i know that I know nothing about being in front of camera, and this so called "tuff" face is the only one that looked somewhat not stupid

    Brian, about that leaving behind and going somewhere; Now I've worked with this quite a lot, and it's hard to look it neutrally because it's the same face I see from the mirror. But when I try to look at the picture I get the feeling that the subject is not going anywhere, but that there is a stillness in it. I can see the difference in the feel between those two but I cant put my finger on it. I think I now like the one with the subject on the right side of the picture.

    Colin, thanks for the modification! I see what you mean with the well targeted lighting, and the vignetting really improves the picture quite a lot. It occurred to me that should there be a slight shadow on the right side of the head, so it would look more realistic..? o.O

    Reima

  12. #12
    jjbacoomba's Avatar
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    Re: post processing of a portrait

    Reima, very well done. Thanks for giving us the details of how you captured this image. I am a beginner and once again I have found this forum very helpful in my learning process. Thanks!

  13. #13

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    Re: post processing of a portrait

    Joe, Thanks, and it's nice to be of some help

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