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Portrait photography

Discussion in 'Digital Photography & Imaging' started by hrisula, Oct 20, 2003.

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  1. hrisula

    hrisula Thread Starter

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    Hi everybody,

    I have been examining digital photos of models. I assume that all of these photos have been "enhanced" since nobody has such flawless extraordinary skin, even with the best make-up. I have also noticed that the photographers have achieved some kind of gradients with different skin color shades, so that arms and legs have almost a tube-like effect. Many times the face also has what appears to my eye as a gradient effect. The final outcome is a flawless doll-like model.
    My question is,how do they do it? I have checked around for portrait/retouching tutorials, I found very very few, and none deals with what I am looking for.
    Can somebody direct me toward tutorials for enhancing portraits.

    Thanking you in advance
    Hrisula

    PS I have photoshop 7 installed on my PC
     
  2. bassetman

    bassetman Moderator (deceased) - Gone but never forgotten

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  4. hrisula

    hrisula Thread Starter

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    Thanks guys, I will check these links.
    Digital photography is very tricky, when I look at my pictures on the screen, I can just see every pore of the face, not to mention every little hair ..... I just want to eliminate all these. I know photoshop quite well, and one can do a lot to fix problems and enhance photographs, but I was never able to achieve the doll-like effect.
    Thanks for the tips
    Hrisula
     
  5. slipe

    slipe

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    There is a program called Neat Image that is valuable if you get into any digital imaging. It is primarily to remove grain and noise – and it does a great job. But you can also get some nice faces with it.

    A simple trick is to sharpen then duplicate the layer and apply some smart blur or gaussian blur to the top layer. Then with a soft brush using the eraser tool or a history brush bring the eyes, teeth, hair and any other element like jewelry etc back to their original sharpness. It is especially important to get the eyes sharp or the portrait just looks soft.
     
  6. hrisula

    hrisula Thread Starter

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    Thanks for your help.
    I have downloaded neat image (demo) and I will check it out.
    Your simple trick is a life-saver, very good idea!!! Actually I have downloaded & installed "cleanskin" which I used along with your trick, and I like the results. As long as the original picture is a good shot with a decent resolution, the results are pretty good.
    I can say that I am satisfied with the outcome, still... the "perfect gradient-doll like-healthy glow" skin is eluding me...
    Thanks again for your advise, I sure do appreciate
    Hrisula
     
  7. hrisula

    hrisula Thread Starter

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    For your information:
    I have tested neat image, the demo, and I like it very much.

    Here is how I achieved my final test:
    Duplicate the layer twice
    Apply neat image on first copy to remove noise (if any) and to enhance jewelry & details of clothes
    Apply neatskin on the second copy to perfect skin
    Use soft brush- eraser-history brush on both layers (whenever necessary) to make appropriate adjustements.
    Play with the opacity of layers, if needed, for best results

    I suppose this is the best technique so far that would give me good results.
     
  8. wanabe_buck

    wanabe_buck Guest

    Howdy

    I'll add this...

    I agree with slipe...Neat image is a great tool
    Depending on your camera there are also filters that do many things for portraits.

    also many prefer slightly soft portraits rather than to razor sharp

    lastly...depending on where and what photos you have looked at they have probably been retouched/altered by someone with loads of experience and access to state of the art software

    just a few thoughts

    buck
     
  9. hrisula

    hrisula Thread Starter

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    Thanks for your response Buck.

    I should have specified that I am interested in fashion photography. Sorry, my mistake.
    Well, in the fashion world, models want to see themselves with "flawless" skin, perfect skin color, having a healthy glow but not shiny, very sharp eyelash/brow/hair definition, etc etc
    The designers on the other hand have other priorities, they want their product (accessories/jewelry/clothes) to appear perfect, showing lots of detail. I try to keep everybody happy. It is just this "flawless" skin that gives me trouble, no matter what I do, it seems to me ... shall we say.. fake.. lacking depth...
    The problem is, the camera never lies... you look at a model, she looks very beautifu... when you take her picture and you magnify, well it's another situation...

    What I want to do is to be able to make my pictures like the images of Vogue magazine, very glamorous. At this moment I am in "experiment" mode, and I want to learn, so I am constantly experimenting and trying and asking people with loads of experience for some tips.
     
  10. wanabe_buck

    wanabe_buck Guest

    wouldn't we all :) ... practice..practice..practice

    good luck and have fun

    buck
     
  11. hrisula

    hrisula Thread Starter

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    Thanks, I will practice & practice & practice.....
     
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