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Thread: Portrait of a young lady

  1. #1

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    Graham Heron

    Portrait of a young lady

    Hi all,
    Haven't posted in a while, so here we go.
    Still working on portraiture.
    C and C welcome.
    Graham

    Portrait of a young lady

  2. #2
    Digital's Avatar
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    Re: Portrait of a young lady

    Graham, nice photo of a beautiful young lady. Maybe it's my eyes but she appears a little soft. Bruce

  3. #3
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    Re: Portrait of a young lady

    Lovely gal but, the orchids growing from her hair distract me somewhat. A bit of a crop at the top might help. BTW: have you done any sharpening with this image?

  4. #4
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    Re: Portrait of a young lady

    Very nice,

  5. #5

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    Re: Portrait of a young lady

    Nice shot, Graham. Her irises seem to be extra large, to me. Is that due to flash?

  6. #6

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    Re: Portrait of a young lady

    Hi,
    Bruce, yes a little soft due to skin softening (but important bits recovered).
    I've added a 100% crop of the eyes below.

    Richard, yes the orchids were a mistake, I was trying to get them to frame the head but I couldn't get back far enough. Need more orchids or more space to back up . No sharpening after the post process. Just resized - should have sharpened. Original size pretty good. Original 6000px on long side, reduced to 1000.
    John, thanks.
    Greg - actually photo taken in a low lit room using flash (check the eyes for evidence for position and shadows). I've actually REDUCED the pupil size quite a bit. I didn't feel I could go any further without destroying the irises.

    Here's the original. I'm doing a retouching session and this is practice for me.
    I was wondering what people thought of the final prodyct before they saw the original.
    The event is to be a promo for a local spa. Get the Hollywood treatment AT the spa (make-up and hair) PLUS get the photoshop treatment. hence reshaped face, smoothed skin, retouched eyes (whites and irises - plus reshaped eyebrows). Darkened shadows around face (e.g chin, cheekbones, side of face) and incresed highlights (especially in the hair). Used the clarity slider to begin with to soften the face. Perhaps that is where the softer look comes from? Have to double process to retain eyes and details in one and soften the skin in the second.
    Graham
    Eye - pixel for pixel, SOOC
    Portrait of a young lady

    Original image
    Portrait of a young lady

  7. #7
    Digital's Avatar
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    Re: Portrait of a young lady

    Graham, You have improved the definition of the pic. Bruce

  8. #8

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    Re: Portrait of a young lady

    I find the original (second posting) too harsh and relatively unappealing. Certainly sharper and so I need to address that with the first image, less reduction in clarity from the RAW file to retain definition in the hair and eyes especially as well as the edge of the face. I went too far there.
    Thanks all, improvements still to be made.
    Graham

  9. #9
    Andrew76's Avatar
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    Re: Portrait of a young lady

    Graham, you're correct. The original is too harsh, and definitely needs softening on the skin. I am not sure what software you're using, but I'd be happy to pass along some tips Colin taught me if you have access to Photoshop?

    One other thing that strikes me, is the lighting looks a little flat. Was your flash on board by chance?

  10. #10

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    Re: Portrait of a young lady

    Hi Andrew,
    Yup, flash on board. I was shooting an event and didn't have much option. The nearby walls and ceiling were coloured and would have given a colour cast if I had bounced.
    As for the skin - what do you think of the initial image?
    I used one of the multitude of high pass filter softening techniques. I tried several techniques (for practice to get my speed up) but thought this was the best. Just forgot to recover the eyes et al. If I have time today, I will open up the PSD file and redo.

    As for software, I use PSE 10. The only skin softening technique I know of from CS PS that I cannot use are those involving channels. However, seeing the results from that compared to the non-channel techniques, no significant improvement.
    (Ages ago I tried Portrait Professional, at the time I thought the results were good, but I liked the control doing it myself gave me. Although, for bulk work maybe I should retry).

    Happy to learn other methods.

    Graham
    (Geek alert - do not read further unless interested in post processing).

    I used several techniques to retouch, this is the Skin softening method.
    High Pass filter - slider to 9.
    Gaussian Blur - slider to 3
    Invert
    Linear Light blending mode
    Opacity to 50%
    Last edited by GrahamH; 24th February 2013 at 12:38 PM. Reason: Comment added on Portrait Professional

  11. #11
    Andrew76's Avatar
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    Re: Portrait of a young lady

    See, I think the skin in #1 is quite good. And the methods you described were pretty well how I do it too (unless I plug them in to Portrait Pro, but I hope Colin doesn't hear me say that! . )

    So I'd stick with the first one, and just go back to sharpen up eyes, hair, lips, and maybe teeth a little.

    Not much you can do about the flash in the conditions you described, so I'd say you did pretty good!

  12. #12

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    Re: Portrait of a young lady

    Thanks Andrew,
    Just goes to show, miss one step (or mess it up) and it can really affecct the whole image.
    Oh well, back to food photos today. At least I get paid in kind .
    Graham.

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