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David Patton's picture

Just learned about frequency seperation! Any tips?

I spent some time going over-the-top with the technique just to get the hang of it, and now I'm working on integrating it more often and fine-tuning how I use it. This is one of the first pictures I have done trying to get a natural look, but what can I do better?

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Sennia Kyle's picture

I like the pose, and I really like the contemplative mood. The lighting is interesting although I'm suspecting a bit of a mixed lighting situation - window on one side and interior on the other? Her body is more blue on the left and more yellow on the right.

Also, I can't tell if it's makeup or what, but the broad side of her face looks a bit odd, it looks like there are patches of a few different colors including gray. If this is a result of retouching, I'd say pull back by about 80% or maybe start over and try to preserve the skin color on her face? It also ooks like there's a bit of a loss of some dimension and shape to her face as well.

Frequency Separation can be useful sometimes especially for things like fabric and backgrounds, but it's good to be extremely careful with it on skin. Hope this helps.

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

Her skin is so bright I'm not sure if FS would have been too effective or even necessary.

You didn't exactly say where you touched, so I'll just list what I see and what I think could be improved/corrected (color wise):

1. Yeah, her face does look odd with patches of different colors and gray.
2. Her arm on the left has a magenta/gray color. I'd shift to a more of a yellow to match the majority of her skin.
3. Her hand is on the red (pink) side. I'd also shift to yellow.
4. Dodge (or shift) her elbow to mute the dark orange.
5. There's patches of darks on her arms I would dodge. They basically look like bruises or dirt.

IMHO, spend your energy on being proficient with dodge & burn.

Daniel Medley's picture

As far as skin retouching, FS is somewhat falling out of favor lately; becoming passe, as it were. If you look at the work of some of the really high end photographers you'll see them using it less and less.

Instead you'll see that they're using dodging and burning techniques more and more.

Personally, I, too, prefer dodging and burning over FS. It is a bit more laborious/tedious, but in my opinion it looks much more natural.

Another poster suggested that you spend more time and energy becoming proficient with dodging and burning. I agree with this.

Tyler Schwab's picture

FS is not easy. It takes a bit to get used to. It looks like you used a mixer brush on the low layer. If that’s the case, use shorter strokes and pull back the opacity of the fs group a bit. Fs is a good technique, but I personally use it in conjunction with dodge and burn. Dodge and burn being the main method, then fs to smooth a bit. Keep practicing. You’ll get it down in no time.

David Patton's picture

Thanks everyone for the replies, and sorry I'm getting back to you so late! I'll definitely keep all this in mind, and work more with dodge/burn!

Broken Canon Art & Photography's picture

Just me, but I feel there needs to be less foreground or not as harsh foreground lighting and a soft background lighting to separate the subject.