No Harm In Perfecting Your Craft

Practice makes perfect they say, so every down time that I have is a chance to practice photoshop. I still have a long way to go, but this business of getting better at skin retouching is something that I want drilled in my subconscious. Portraiture is the genre that I plan on focusing on and I realize that not only do I need to be great behind the lens, but I also need to be much better behind the computer.

BettyI have been working hard on mastering the frequency separation technique to retouch skin blemishes. I want this to become second nature that I can do it with my eyes closed (ok, not really, but you get the point ;P)

For those of you who are curious, the image below is what I started with. It was a little bit underexposed so that was fixed using curves in photoshop as well.

original

 

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Reprocessing My Process – If That Even Makes Sense

If I am not busy shooting, I am constantly perusing portfolios and blogs of photographers that I admire. I have noticed that I am drawn to images that are processed a certain way and I find myself incorporating these effects in my own post processing. My portraits are usually processed and printed on matte paper. There is just something special about this effect, it gives me the feeling of nostalgia.

Leanne

This is a portrait which I took not too long ago. You will have to forgive me if you’ve seen it before. I went back to it last night to see if I can process it differently. I know the look that I want to achieve so it was simply a matter of putting the effort and time to achieve it.  The image below is what I started with (slightly processed). I desaturated the colors and added a layer of light pink to produce the softness that you see. Overall, I think the resulting image is so much better than my original version. Don’t you agree?

original edit

Original Edit

Macro Mania

While the rest of the country was out celebrating a gorgeous Victoria Day holiday, I was stuck at work (this is what happens when you’re a Canadian working for an American company). One good thing about it though is that i didn’t have to worry about preparing supper, the hubby was home and was kind enough to let me just relax.

dandelion

I walked to the back of the house to see what I could find. There wasn’t much going on there except for the ever-present dandelions. It has been a while since I last took out my Raynox macroscopic lens so I thought I’d use it for these shots. Not bad, not bad at all, if I may say so myself.

dandelion_bud

I do like the images that this little piece of glass can produce. Not as good as my dedicated macro lens, but it has its own charm.

Bijoux

I stayed outside for a bit, while this little guy cheered me on. He seemed content just sitting there watching me as I contorted myself to get these shots. At one point I looked up and saw his nose pressed on the screen door, I just had to take a shot.

First two images were shot wide open with the Canon 50mm f1.4 with the Raynox macroscopic lens clipped on.

Skin Retouching: Frequency Separation

Apart from learning how to manipulate light to get the best image possible, I have also been trying my hardest to learn how to retouch skin for my portraits. We have not been taught this in school yet, but I really want to get ahead. I find that it helps me understand the steps we are leaning in school if I have had a go at it on my own. There are tons of tutorials online.

Jackie_before_after

Before                                                                                   After

I shot this image in the studio last semester and it was the perfect candidate for skin retouching because of the blemishes and bumps on my model’s face. I have done some retouching before, but this was the first time I’ve been really pleased with the outcome.

Retouching was done using the technique called Frequency Separation. If anyone is interested, I followed Oscar Rabeiro’s tutorial found here. This guy is amazing, his tutorials are incredibly clear and easy to follow. It does take a bit of time to follow the steps, but in the end it was all worth it.