Let's face the facts and admit that frequency separation is quite likely the most misunderstood and misused retouching techniques, plain and simple. If you've never heard of frequency separation, then do yourself a favor and browse YouTube on the subject before reading on.
Articles written by Nino Batista
If there is a question I get asked the most about my retouching approach in Photoshop, it's: "how do you achieve your skin tone?" While I, of course, appreciate the acknowledgement, I also wondered how I could create an action in Photoshop that would help me streamline my usual skin tone workflow. After a while, I came up with something I thought worked well and decided to give it away to you. Check it out!
Internationally known for his fine art portraiture with his signature color palettes, artist Jaime Ibarra has been respected and loved for this photography and post production work for several years. However, a devastating diagnosis recently has him reluctantly reaching out for help, as full-time artists unfortunately have to do when tragedy strikes.
One of the best educators in the realm of Photoshop and post-production for beginners is Unmesh Dinda of PiXimperfect, who is widely regarded for his easy-to-understand video tutorials on YouTube. He's back at it again, taking viewers through about an hour of simplified and well-explained approaches to high-end beauty retouching.
Whether you believe the approaches are passé, amazing, or just reasonably useful, frequency separation persists in the photography industry still, and has for years. Here's how to use a new method I created that expands control over all three main ranges: highs, mids, and lows.
Full disclosure: I am about to tell you about my new Photohop plug-in, and yes it's a product of mine, via the new brand NBP Plug-ins. It's called Freqsep Control, and I intend to show you why I think it's so amazing, and a little bit about the history behind its development which began at the start of 2017.
When you are especially particular about your adjustments and want your dodging and burning to utilize the maximum amount of image data possible, nothing beats Raw Smart Objects for the task. This is also ideal when you're making significant changes to exposure, whether it's for dodging and burning or other adjustments. In the end, more data almost always amounts to smoother, better looking changes.
If you're one of the countless photographers seeking out the best way to perfect skin on your portraits, then you've certainly been on YouTube tracking down video tutorials in hopes of unlocking the secrets behind the process. And if you're just starting out, invariably you've run into some hurdles. For most experienced retouchers, the tried and true technique for proper skin retouching in portrait work is, of course, the seminal "dodge and burn" method, and for good reason: it works. But perhaps you are brand new to the concept of dodging and burning for skin retouching and still haven't found much success with it? If so, read on.
Back in 2015, I produced some home-grown lighting and shooting video lessons for my very first subscription-based photography tutorial channel on YouTube. The first wave of feedback I received was various forms of "YouTube offers a paid subscription service?", and the second wave of feedback was more or less "Rad!" After almost a year idle, I am relaunching this channel under a slightly modified premise. As such, a few of the tutorials from the original channel are now available at no charge.
Whether you're just getting started on portrait retouching or have been at it for a little while, there comes a time when you will realize you're doing it all wrong (I know I did). The list of things that can go potentially awry in the beginning is massive, so I've narrowed it down to 10 amateur mistakes I've seen most often in this video.
Recently, while on a speaking engagement in St. Louis, I had some time to chat up several glass manufacturer reps at the conference and ended up testing several lenses, including a side-by-side comparison of the new Sigma 135 f/1.8 Art and the manually focusing Zeiss 135 f/2 Milvus (read that here if you missed it). I also snagged a new 85mm option from Tamron, the 85 f/1.8 Di VC USD, and spent a couple of hours with it. How did it go? Well, let's just see.
It's been a good while since I've bothered reviewing any gear, so when presented with a bevy of manufacturer booths at a conference I was speaking at in St. Louis recently, I decided it was time to once again test some equipment and babble about it a little. In this case, I pitted the brand new Sigma 135 f/1.8 Art against the year-old Zeiss 135 f/2 Milvus, because why not.
I have been asked countless times over the past few years about how I go about culling and selecting portrait shots from a shoot. Frankly, I have had so much trouble trying to organize my thoughts on the matter into a cohesive tutorial, I opted to simply never do one. Until quite literally this morning. My approach was to click record and improvise whatever popped into my head. So, as the catchphrase says, "Here goes nothing!"
If you've been shooting any type of portraiture for a significant amount of time, you will likely find yourself working with a handful of subjects (or perhaps even just one) on a recurring basis. Most of us have been there, or are there right now. Perhaps you have one specific model that you've worked with for years (your "muse" as it were), or maybe you go in phases with a different select model for a few months before moving on to another. But is this practice a good idea or not?
I'm back today with another utility Action for you all to download, for free, and see how it works for you. It deals with luminosity mask level control of what I often call the Big Three of image control: highlights, mids, and shadows. It's the most common use of luminosity masks, so, why not streamline it into an Action?
It's been a little while so I reasoned some new free Photoshop Actions were in order! As you may recall, I create Actions based on simple processes I find myself doing regularly in my retouching workflow, mostly in the interest of convenience and efficiency. Today, however, I've essentially updated a previous Action I gave away, now dubbed Smart Flare. Let's break down what it does and why.
Short version of the story: I love issuing challenges to the awesome readers of Fstoppers, but I also have this wild schedule of mine that changes at a moment's notice this year. So, without wasting more of your time, I'll just say "my bad" and get right to the Capture One Pro EIP Challenge winner.
Adobe Photoshop is a visual cacophony of tools, tools, and more tools. There is seldom just one way to accomplish the look you are after, and beginners endlessly scour YouTube seeking the end-all answers to their questions only to find 27 different ways to, say, "add contrast." It can all be a bit confusing until you remember one key thing: There is no right and wrong. If you get the result you like, and those viewing your work seem to like it, then you've succeeded. To that end, I wanted to review one (of the dozens of possible) ways I utilize Gradient Maps for my color work in Photoshop.