Geordi Thomas's picture

Josiah - before and after

I just want honest opinions

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Geordi, great job with the edit!! The photo definitely looks way better!!

Joseph Anthony's picture

Does look pretty darn good. On my monitor though his cheek and nose seem too yellow.

you are right! I do see the same as well as on the ear..

Geordi Thomas's picture

I see it. I didn't adjust that area, that's just his skin. I can see using the hue&sat layer to correct it.

It's really nice. I will love to learn how to edit like this..

Geordi Thomas's picture

Just practice. And look up tutorials and practice more.

Where do i start from as a bignner

Geordi Thomas's picture

I'm mostly self-taught, so I'll tell you what I did. Editing this photo was not done in one step but many steps coming together.

1) My first step was to use many layers for cleaning up different parts of the photo (background, skin, hair, etc.) using the spot healing brush, healing brush, and clone stamp tool.
2) Next, I used the frequency separation technique to smooth the skin while retaining skin texture and pores.
3) I dodged and burned on separate layers
4) Lastly, I color corrected using curves and a B&W layer
5) I finished everything with sharpening

(each step is a group with layers in it)

*Steps 2-4 i turned down each layer and the overall group to lessen the intensity of each effect to it doesn't look fake

**My go to youtube channel for help is "Phlearn" by Aaron Nace. He explains every photoshop technique in great detail at a pace that beginners can comprehend.

I hope this helped!!!!

Justabeginner photographer's picture

Haha yes, Phlearn are the best.

The only thing I'd have changed in your picture is that golden color cast around the eyes and the left ear. I don't like that but the rest is sick!

Geordi Thomas's picture

I fixed the color cast and color grade problem. See my portfolio for the updated photo 👍

The work is great, however, how do you know when is it ok to remove or to keep the veins from the forehead in male portraits?

Geordi Thomas's picture

I personally like to keep the subject relatively natural. I don't like to change too much because i want my subject to recognize themselves

Ivica Drusany's picture

Editing is very subjective thing but since you are asking.. For my test this photos has a bit to strong pink tint. Also I don't like smoothing and shaving of the male models. Or removing of birthmarks.
I'm new here so I don't know how this works. Are we allowed to post our vision of your photos?

Geordi Thomas's picture

Thanks! I noticed it was a little pink, if you look at my portfolio you'll see an updated version of the photo. Yeah the smoothing and shaving of the model was something I was trying for the first time in depth. I didn't remove a birthmark, it was a scab from a cut that i didn't feel needed to be there. Anything natural I tend to leave alone. I prefer a more polished look when I edit. Thanks for your input though!

Geordi Thomas's picture

Here is the original photo, I would like to see what you or anyone else can do with my photo

Ivica Drusany's picture goes my version of your photo. I'm not saying it's better or worse..just my vision.

Geordi Thomas's picture

I see you went for a warmer overtone. I like what you did with the watch. I can see editing this way for a candid photo but I was going for more of an editorial feel. Personally I lean more towards the cooler end of the spectrum. Thanks for your input!!

Justabeginner photographer's picture

Ha, I'm so going to edit it! It's practice for me and I can use what I've learned from Phlearn!!!! I'll post it as soon as I'm finished. Please don't don't cut me down if it's not as great as yours lol...


I removed some impurities, fixed the beard and dodged and burned locally to make the skin look more even but I didn't do that much since it's a male portrait. I think it should look a little bit rougher. Well, and I got rid of that yellow/golden cast and replaced the background. I thought a pastel tone would be nice to offset the golden watch. I'm not really good at editing studio portraits.I'm more of that natural light guy. I never know how to approach it especially in terms of coloring. Should I add a texture, should the background be white, gray or's a mess.

Farbod Green's picture

i should say you did really good with hair and beards, so i kept the retouched version of yours and fixed the skin tone (which really needs some work in my point of view) and the watch on top of that.
some dodge and burn on the forehead wont be a bad idea, but it all depends on your style of retouching for male portraits that how much of details you usualy keep for the subject.