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Thread: Guidance and assistance required for post production of a picture

  1. #1
    Soozie B's Avatar
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    Guidance and assistance required for post production of a picture

    Hi there Ladies and Gents

    Last night I took some pregnancy shots of my daughter and partner. There is one shot in particular which we all love as it captures her personality beautifully, however, there is a flaw in the shot that I cant fix with post processing no matter how hard I try.

    I am hoping that one of my learned colleagues can assist and fix it for me. She is wearing a sating dressing gown and the inside tie tab is exposed (I didnt pick it up when I was shooting) and now I can edit it out without ruining the rest of the toning around it.

    Please can someone take the picture and have a go at fixing it as the kids would like to frame the pic for relatives as a Christmas present and I am uncomfortable letting this happen with the pic as it stands.

    I would also like it if I can have some technique feedback on my ability to capture this special moment in time from those that are better skilled than me.

    My post processing skills are still extremely limited as I have not managed to learn how to make layers, masks etc in Paintshop Pro (I wont give up trying though). The best of the shoot is available on my Flickr page for those that have the time to have a look.

    Hoping in earnest that someone can assist.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/soozie_b/9941342186/

    Sorry it is just a link code, I could not get the BB code working so that an image was displayed in here. Perhaps its just not my day to be trying to do this!

    Many thanks in advance, and wishing with all I am worth someone can help

  2. #2
    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Guidance and assistance required for post production of a picture

    Quote Originally Posted by Soozie B View Post
    Last night I took some pregnancy shots of my daughter and partner. There is one shot in particular which we all love as it captures her personality beautifully, . . . She is wearing a sating dressing gown and the inside tie tab is exposed (I didnt pick it up when I was shooting) and now I can edit it out without ruining the rest of the toning around it. . . My post processing skills are still extremely limited as I have not managed to learn how to make layers, masks etc in Paintshop Pro (I wont give up trying though).

    There doesn’t seem to be a requirement for an high degree of sophisticated Post Production to remove that string tie.

    A Cloning Tool will do it.

    The trick is to NOT make the closing tool too strong and to only work in small area a bit at a time.

    Have a go at it, you probably won’t get it first attempt, but you will of you try a few times and you will learn as you do it.


    Guidance and assistance required for post production of a picture

    ***

    Quote Originally Posted by Soozie B View Post
    I would also like it if I can have some technique feedback on my ability to capture this special moment in time from those that are better skilled than me.
    Yes.

    It is a very nice Portrait which captures the mood and state of the Subject well.

    However, you chose to shoot this Portrait in very low light and as a result you extended the camera way into the reaches of its high ISO.

    It also appears to be a little bit underexposed, which is a common error when shooting at high ISO.

    Such low level lighting is not necessary and also is not advisable for general portraiture, especially for novice attempts.

    A better choice would be to use Bounced or Diffused Flash – OR – Diffused or Reflected Window Light.



    Her face has an orange cast, most probably because of a combination of the Colour Temperature of original lighting and the slight under exposure (and perhaps variance of exposure) on skin tones.

    You could run the image file through a Noise Reduction Programme.

    A lot of the noise will not be noticed on the smaller sized prints.

    WW

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    Soozie B's Avatar
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    Re: Guidance and assistance required for post production of a picture

    Hi WW

    Thankyou so much for showing me how to do this. Also your feedback is greatly appreciated! If I have problems recreating this would it be possible for me to get that file off you?

    Forever in your debt
    Soozie

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    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Guidance and assistance required for post production of a picture

    Quote Originally Posted by Soozie B View Post
    . . .Thankyou so much for showing me how to do this.
    Good ho.

    Have a go at it. I am sure you will get what you want with the material that you have. It just takes a bit of patience and Mums are generally good at that.

    WW

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    RustBeltRaw's Avatar
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    Re: Guidance and assistance required for post production of a picture

    If you're not happy with the result, you could always arrange a re-shoot. She's your daughter, after all, so she should be pretty open to it. Between that and the new life she's carrying, I'm a bit reluctant to critique, but here it goes.

    I believe you have a slight pinkish cast in the image. Better than going too green when it comes to skin, but you might want to take the pink down a bit (add green).

    The high-ISO issue has been touched on - I don't think it's too bad here, but if you want to go lower and less noisy, look for bright window light. Pose her a few feet from the window, and walk around until you find the light you like. In those circumstances, you should be able to get ISO400 or lower, which is a nice, safe ISO with most relatively modern cameras. If you can place your subject in a clean space a good distance (12+ feet) from walls or other background elements and shoot a wider aperture (maybe f4-6.3, depending on how close you are to the subject).

    Really, this shot isn't bad at all. But another try would take care of many of your concerns, and might take it to another level. Best wishes to you, your daughter, and your granddaughter.

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    Soozie B's Avatar
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    Re: Guidance and assistance required for post production of a picture

    Hi Lex and thanks for the feedback

    The picture was taken at night under one studio light so yes I will ask her to have another go in daylight and try moving furniture around a bit. She also choses to use a makeup up foundation that makes her face appear slightly orange and she has a pink patchy chest at the best of time. Maybe I will just dip her in a translucent powder bath to even out her colouring just for my benefit hehehe. I am most grateful for all the feedback, no matter how hard I try I just can't get the hang of post production and this frustrates me

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Guidance and assistance required for post production of a picture

    One easy trick to reduce issues with skin tone is to slightly desaturate the image. That might work in this case.

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    RustBeltRaw's Avatar
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    Re: Guidance and assistance required for post production of a picture

    Quote Originally Posted by Soozie B
    She also choses to use a makeup up foundation that makes her face appear slightly orange...
    You might want to ask her to skip the makeup to make her skin tones appear more even. That may be a hard sell. But now that you've mentioned it, I think that's the right move. Unless she wants to use an awful lot of foundation.

    Quote Originally Posted by "Soozie B
    ...no matter how hard I try I just can't get the hang of post production and this frustrates me
    Honestly, get used to your current level of frustration. There will always be a new technique you're trying to wrap your head around. Post is still wicked frustrating for me, too. Fortunately, it's a journey, not a destination. [/zen]

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    Soozie B's Avatar
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    Re: Guidance and assistance required for post production of a picture

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    One easy trick to reduce issues with skin tone is to slightly desaturate the image.
    Hi Grumpy

    How do you "desaturate"

    Probably a very naive and ignorant question, but I have no clue how to do that let alone what it actually means!

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Guidance and assistance required for post production of a picture

    When you use whatever PP tool you use, there should be a tool that allows your to adjust saturation. Just dial that down a bit. In Photoshop, there are a number of ways to get at the tools; both the vibrance and the hue / saturation adjustments have that feature.

    Guidance and assistance required for post production of a picture

    The top image is your original and the bottom one I desatuarated a bit to even out the colours.
    Last edited by Manfred M; 30th September 2013 at 02:29 AM. Reason: Added image

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    Soozie B's Avatar
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    Re: Guidance and assistance required for post production of a picture

    The top image is your original and the bottom one I desatuarated a bit to even out the colours.[/QUOTE]

    Wow, what a difference that makes.

    Ok I'm off to see what I can do with all these tips. Thanks so much for the help guys.

    This is why this site ranks so much higher than any others. I have endorsed you all at least 20 times in the past week with budding photographers purely because of the positive attitude and the fact that people here are willing to help and not judge those of us less experienced.

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    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Guidance and assistance required for post production of a picture

    The comment about the Subject wearing (face) make-up has more to do with what I thought was an orange cast from the lighting: so I withdraw that comment about the relationship of the lighting and the orange cast – I was not 100% happy with that comment, anyway.

    But my comments about using such low level lighting and the subsequent need to use high ISO still stand.

    I think that De-saturation is a good technique to apply to fix what seems to now be the “Make-Up” issue.

    It appears that Manfred has applied de-saturation to the whole image.

    De-saturation can be applied to a specific area: there are a few techniques and they are fiddley.
    If you have a ‘lasso tool’; then that can be used.

    At Lunch-time today, I had another quick play with the original and I isolated the face and upper chest area and used both De-saturation and also adjusted the Colour Balance in that area.

    Generally I also tidied up some of the stray hair on the upper chest.

    Also, it is often the case that we can draw attention away from a poorer element of an image, by enhancing the strengths of it.

    Two STRENGTHS of the PHYSICAL SUBJECT in this Portrait are the face and the hand.

    This is the case with most Portraiture – (and within the face the eyes and the mouth generally are the two most important areas, followed by the Cheek-line and Nose-line, Forehead and Eye surrounds and then, for a female the Hair if it is as a Diadem.)

    Obviously this is a specific Genre of Portraiture and the Belly will have prominence also – but note that the HAND is the important factor in this particular area.

    So having established the STRONG points of the SUBJECT, (FACE and HAND) I set about to ENHANCE those areas and at the same time selectively de-saturating only the red and yellow of the face and upper chest areas.

    Note the enhanced specifically areas are:
    • the eyes
    • the mouth (lips)
    • the check and nose lines
    • the shadow area of the hand emphasising the line of the fingers
    • the richness of the black embroidery of the edge of the brassiere
    • the lightness and whiteness of the cups of the brassiere
    • the richness and depth of BLACK of the Satin Robe


    Most of these enhancements were done with SELECTIVE dodging and burning, (I have found it common with those Photographers who also were trained or worked extensively in a wet darkroom that they tend to “revert” to these “older” techniques in digital and also tend work in small areas one at a time, like we did with hand enlarging and hand finishing of Prints.

    This is the result of a quick (20 minutes) work.

    It probably still need s a bit of noise reduction and understandably is also a bit of my artistic interpretation of, The Moment:

    Guidance and assistance required for post production of a picture

    This Post Production in no way changes my view, (which I trust that I implied) that a better (or easier) technical result would be forthcoming if the session were shot differently, in the first inst.

    But having played with THIS PARTICULAR image twice now the image has attached itself to me.

    ‘The Moment’ which was captured by the Photographer, is quite special: accordingly it would bode well to make the best possible print from it.

    Hers is the original for a comparison:

    Guidance and assistance required for post production of a picture



    WW

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    Soozie B's Avatar
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    Re: Guidance and assistance required for post production of a picture

    Hi Bill

    This is a very comprehensive and articulate summary of the steps you have taken to enhance this shot. I am in total awe of the subtle, but effective changes that have been made. and now totally understand the importance of finding the strengths of a subject.

    Every time I look at this shot I am overwhelmed with a feeling of love for her not only as my daughter but for the magic attached to the miracle of new life she represents. To me this picture shows a gentleness, calmness (reflected by expression) and a protectiveness (represented by the hand positioning over the belly) that melts my heart.

    To me this is success of a picture as it tells a story - my reason for taking pictures in the first place. The fact that you have an attachment to it (albeit from tailoring the formatting) tells me that my story has been understood. For a novice photographer that is the highest compliment one can receive.

    Many thanks to all that have contributed to my adventure of this particular picture and a heartfelt (and tear in the eye as I'm a bit of a softy when it comes to interpreting picture stories) hug to everyone for the encouragement you continue to show me as I go on my learning journey.

    Soozie

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    Re: Guidance and assistance required for post production of a picture

    Hi Soozie B,

    I see GrumpyDiver and William W. had made a wonderful job helping you with this lovely picture. I wanted to my grain of salt. I took the "after" image from William W. and smooth a bit the colors. It looks a little pale but you can easily change the tone in photoshop or another image software, just be careful with the darker skin tones (as the transitions from one tone to another are not so smooth due to the image resolution)

    I also blur a bit some troublesome zones. The overall changes I made were (in like 10 minutes):

    1. Change the color palette to sRGB so I can "trust" the colors in my monitor (calibrated sRGB)
    2. White Balance, change it to smooth the tones
    3. Mask the skin, except for the face, neck and just above the breasts.
    4. Change the saturation and contrast of that zone to make them look closer to the other ones.
    5. Go back to the main layer and tune up the saturation, contrast and exposure of the whole image.
    6. Back and forth between the mask and the whole image layers to have the correct tones.
    7. Reduce micro-contrast and vibrancy, to soft the changes from darker to lighter sections of skin, also makes the skin smoother.
    8. Blur some troublesome sections and final retouching.

    Hope you like the changes and congratulations !!

    (btw: I did not use Photoshop at all, I used Capture One to do most changes and then Gimp just for the final blur. I used William W because he already made a great job on the face and overall improving the image)
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Soozie B's Avatar
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    Re: Guidance and assistance required for post production of a picture

    Hi Mau

    This is another fabulous interpretation of how the pic could look. I love everyone's input and creativity. This looks superb, and I thank you for your efforts and comments

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