Helpful Posts: 0
15th April 2012, 12:38 PM
I don’t see much, if any, discussion on here regarding portrait retouching.
I’m guessing most folks aren’t into it or else their portraits are posted fully retouched as a finished product with nothing needing to be said about it.
Since I’m in a shooting lull right now, I thought I might have a go at a shot I posted a while back. I posted the shot to get comments on the lighting and did virtually no retouching at all at that time.
This time around, I tried out a few techniques on the facial area. It’s kind of a rough draft really. I wanted to try some techniques but didn’t want to go back to the original .dng and process the shot from scratch. Nor did I want to get too picky about it just now. But I thought I’d see if anyone would care to comment about whether or not I’m on the right track.
Only the facial area has been retouched. Some things that have been done include skin balancing, eye and face reshaping, wrinkle removal/reduction, and a couple of other items.
I’m going to take the liberty of posting the un-retouched version (left side) as well for comparison, but I would wonder that without the original version, would the retouch be as obvious? Or am I just making matters worse?
Pretty good shot to work on since this guy is about as bad as it gets!
15th April 2012, 12:52 PM
Hi Terry, if you are concentrating on the changes made to just the face, it would be easier to see and compare if you were to zoom into the area that you worked on. I also find that if I want to carefull compare two images it is easier if I align the images and post them as two sequential shots. That way, the viewer can open them in lytebox and use the forward/back buttons to seamlessly switch between them making the changes much easier to see.
15th April 2012, 01:13 PM
Thanks for the tip. I'm afraid that is going to cause some issues this time.
Maybe next time around.
If it can't be commented on as is, that's fine too.
I'm not overly worried about it since as I mentioned it is just a rough draft, so to speak! I'm just trying to get the hang of a couple of techniques.
If I can find some time maybe I'll go back and redo everything and repost for a better comparison.
Last edited by Loose Canon; 15th April 2012 at 01:41 PM.
15th April 2012, 02:09 PM
I often (regularly) retouch female portraits to make them a bit more attractive. I have never had a complaint from a female subject that "This image looks better than I do!"
However, I virually never retouch male portraits (teen age boys with acne are an exception - I remember how hard it was for me to see pictures of myself wearing zits) because, the lines, crags and other evidences of a full life build character in a male face.
At least that is what I tell myself when I look at the occasional picture shot of me. The nice thing about being the defacto photographer in my social circles is that I don't have to look at many images of myself!
15th April 2012, 06:23 PM
I think seeing the whole image makes it easier to judge the overall effect and whether it went too far - and no, it hasn't.
The light balancing on the face has improved it and the other things are quite sublte.
HTH (given I have no experience in these things),
15th April 2012, 10:37 PM
Retouching faces is something that I tend to discuss with my subject before I do the work. I will let them know up front that I will do a bit of cleanup work, and will, if asked, show a before and after image.
Generally acne and other "temporary" skin issues, no problem, but moles and scars can be rather personal and some people, men and some women, almost look at these as a "badge of honour" that should not be touched. Certain moles seem to get exaggerated by the digital process. Instead of looking a tiny bit redder than the normal flesh tone, they come out bright red. I will tone those down a bit.
I certainly have no issues toning down hot spots or shiny skin, as these are more a product of the photographic process, rather than a feature that the individual has. Same issue with funny shadows that are a direct result of the photographic process. Personally, I prefer to ensure that these do not occur when I take the picture, but sometimes you miss these things.
Stray pieces of hair I will take out without asking, I might tame unruly eyebrows and nose hairs (as are other things hanging out of the nose) . I may enhance the colour of lips a bit, brighten the eyes and teeth a bit, Same issue with wrinkles and crows feet or dark eye shadows; reduction, not elimination.
Pretty well anything more than that is major surgery and I will discuss before proceeding and will show a sample before finalizing the retouch. Yes, I have have been asked to slim certain body parts, remove weight, etc. I know some people get themselves wound into knots regarding the "ethics" of changes in Photoshopping an image. I guess, I look at it as a painter might, having been commissioned to paint a person as if he or she was 10 or 15 years younger.
15th April 2012, 11:42 PM
I hear you knocking, Richard!
I canít say that retouching this photo is all that pleasant! But it is what I had on hand at the time! Unfortunately, I donít have any adult female shots on hand at the moment. Iím not trying to make this guy into a beauty queen! I just wanted to use the shot for practice! I think this face has gone beyond ďcharacterĒ and into just plain coyote ugly! And if you think its bad here, try getting up every morning and having to face this in the mirror!
I think I have a Dorian Gray in reverse thing going here!
I appreciate your comments. And agree with the larger size and how that relates to the overall effect. Its not a head & shoulders and I didnít want to process or present it as such. I am giving Frankís advice a look but Iím afraid thatís a pretty severe crop and is getting some degradation. I might post the results anyway if I get it finished.
What I am finding, Dave, is that the actual techniques are really not as hard as trying to decide what to do and how far to take it, which you commented on right off. Iíll probably have to make those decisions on a case by case down the road. I kind of wanted to see about retouching things like wrinkles (skin and clothing), double chins, love handles, slimming, skin balancing, etc.
I believe these are the things that are most requested and what the General Public cares about most. So these are a few of the things I wanted to address.
Manfred, I believe that if I shoot someoneís portrait, and if they were going to pay for that, I would probably do just about anything they asked for if I could. Including major surgery! I have no qualms with ethics being largely devoid of such!