Our cameras today are extremely powerful with settings and features that help us archive stellar image quality. But sometimes the images we come home with just don't capture the true essence of what was photographed and what our eyes saw. The photo is just a bit overexposed or underexposed and doesn't capture what we felt in that moment we pressed down on the shutter button. We fiddle and tweak in Photoshop with sliders and brushes, but there is another tool to add to the arsenal: masks. Specifically, luminosity masks.
We are all guilty, or have been guilty, of slamming out edits right after a shoot, only to realize we don't like what we've done when we see it the next morning. As any artist can attest to, the morning after can be a sobering, if not disquieting, time for you when you recognize that your hasty post work is simply no good. Can you avoid this blunder? Yep, with a self-imposed doctrine of pre-editing your most important of project images instead of knocking out flawed or misguided finals in haste.
In Part 1 of our Dramatic Beauty Portrait Tutorial, we looked at the lighting setup, gear breakdown, and shooting of our dramatic beauty shoot. In Part 2 of the tutorial we will now look at two different ways of exporting and preparing your image for retouching. The first method involves creating versions in Lightroom and exporting directly to Photoshop. The other method utilizes Adobe Camera Raw and the ability to make variations within Photoshop. I will also discuss the overall goal of our pre-edit stage.
Coolors is a fantastic new app that I stumbled across the other day. It is an incredibly easy and intuitive way to generate a beautiful 5 color palette for any situation. Primarily developed for designers it has instant appeal to us photographers. We deal with colors in most of our work and knowing how to match and complement effectively can make or break the images we create.
Since its first version, Photoshop has changed quite a lot. The functionalities it offers are greater now than ever before. But plugins are legion and for beginners it is hard to differentiate the ones that are truly useful and those that are just a waste of money. The Retouching Academy Beauty Panel has been around for a little while and was revamped very recently. I use it all the time when retouching but I get many questions about it. I am frequently asked if it is worth its price and if it makes my retouching any better. Here is my take on the panel, why I bought it, and above all, why I keep using it everyday.
Adobe has released a YouTube video highlighting some of the retouching features that may be available in upcoming Adobe mobile apps. While no release date is given yet, the video shows off some pretty impressive abilities that accentuate the mobile device's touchscreen and makes the application more user friendly for quick changes or creative endeavors. This video has us excited for what retouching abilities are being brought to our mobile devices. Watch the video and have a look for yourself.
If you're not familiar with Peter Coulson's fashion and editorial work, you have clearly been living under the proverbial rock or simply don't follow portraiture. Coulson has quickly become one of the most respected and successful fashion photographers from down under, and has been fielding an endless stream of requests to visit America. Namely, to teach his voodoo studio mastery to the masses. Thankfully, this June in Chicago and New York, Coulson is doing exactly that.
This is Part 1 in what will be an 8 part series for a dramatic beauty portrait. In the series of tutorials, we will go through everything from the gear used, to the lighting setups, and all the way through the complete retouching process. In Part 1, I will breakdown my gear list used for the shoot and I will thoroughly go through my lighting setup. In this video tutorial not only will you see the gear and setup, but also a behind the scenes look as me and my team go through hair, makeup, and shooting. The complete series of videos will be available here on Fstoppers and on my YouTube Channel.
Retouching skin is about detail and patience. It can be a real time consuming and can require a high level of precision to keep the natural aspect of an image. Each of us has a different style of editing and our tastes differ. However when giving retouching lessons many photographers ask me about skin texture and how to keep it looking as natural as possible.
This is not a simple answer as it is mostly a combination of elements. In this article I have combined the five things I see most photographers do wrong or too much when looking for a believable skin texture and look.
I've taught something like 100 or so private or group classes since 2012, many of which dealt with retouching in Photoshop. The main thing I noticed about other users' Photoshop settings? They all kept the same default, dark interface that Photoshop comes set to. However, I don't think those settings are helping your work. Here's why.
In Part 1 of the "Start to Finish Fashion Editorial Retouching" tutorial, we looked at how to clean up a white background, how to liquefy clothing to achieve a better fit, and how to clone and heal out distracting elements in our editorial image. In Part 2 we will look at how to go about the more common and essential retouching steps including: skin retouching using dodge and burn, color toning, sharpening, and value adjustments. In this video, I take you through each step and give you insight into the "why" as well as the "how" of editorial retouching.
Hollywood's latest A.I. thriller, "Ex Machina," promised to take viewers on a fascinating and thrilling philosophical, ethical, and human journey. The Turing test, man's domination over machine, artifically intelligent machines' potential and perhaps inevitable self-awareness and domination over man, and an eccentric Silicon Valley-like billionaire-type leading the helm... how could this not be a great film? More on that later, but to make all of this happen, director Alex Garland and VFX supervisor Andrew Whitehurst had to create a robot that would connect so well with audiences that we would treat it as any other human character.
When I saw this wedding shoot I was stunned into silence for a few moments. I really didn't know what to think of it! In my mind, when I think of wedding photography, I think of a world of immaculate white dresses, expensive shoes, thoughtful furnishings and of course, smiling wedding couples and their guests.
Photoshop has been around for quite some time now. It works great and every photographer has gotten used to it. It is a staple in my workflow alongside Capture One and Photo Mechanic. Until a few days ago, I did not think I would hesitate changing my retouching routine. After a few years of trials and errors I am finally somewhere I feel comfortable with my post-production. However, after having installed Affinity I must admit that I might "cheat" on Adobe Photoshop.
We've all been there. You are on set with your strobes and find you're in a mixed light environment. Light temps are varying all over the place, and even blending over each other, creating new and wonderful areas of unwanted color shifting. You do what you can, and assume you will fix it in post. So, in lieu of proper toning gels on set to balance things in camera, here is what I often do to balance mixed light in Photoshop.