When it comes to raw converters and photo library managers, our choice of products has recently become more limited with the demise of Apple’s Aperture. My impression in the past was that one’s choice is largely based on features and ease of use with little difference in image quality between them. That opinion was quickly changed when I started digging into Phase One’s Capture One Pro 7.
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So it goes without saying that there are a ton of different ways to match skin tones across your subject or between images in Photoshop so it's often just a matter of picking the option that is most convenient or intuitive. Despite the wide array of choices, I seldom see people use the selective color adjustment layer for this task. The beauty of selective color is that it allows us to go off the numbers rather than intuition and achieve an accurate result in little time.
In beauty and portrait retouching, one of the most important goals is to retain skin texture and keep the image from looking soft. We often however face a situation where the existing texture is unflattering and harsh. While we could heal out each pore or patch manually, this often leads to sub-par results and takes a long time. In this video I'll show you a unique, precise and fast way to target a particular texture frequency and offset it in a largely automated way.
As the old adage goes, it’s not the gear, it’s the photographer that takes a good photo. While this is generally true, is there something to be said about $20,000 worth of Broncolor lighting gear? I mean a flash of light is a flash of light, right? Or is it?
When it comes to the quantity of lights that one needs, opinions are often heavily polarized and a hotly contested debate often rages. There are those that are staunch supporters of one light while others claim that a handful of lights are needed before anything meaningful can be done. Ultimately neither group is right as there is no definable minimum or maximum number of lights that one should use.
Last week we compared Adobe's Lightroom to Phase One's Capture One Pro 7 and discussed the pros and cons of each raw processor. Following that article a lot of people downloaded Capture One (C1) to try it out and others told me that they tried the product before and gave up. Given my own experience of feeling overwhelmed by C1 at first, I decided to make a tutorial video to help guide you through everything you need to know to get started with it.
As you may already know, I spend a good deal of time polishing my photos in post production and have taught retouching in Photoshop for some time. A few months ago I made the move from Lightroom to Capture One and haven't looked back. To test out it's power, I decided to see just how close I could get to my portrait retouching style using only Capture One Pro 8 and forgoing Photoshop entirely.
For the longest time I viewed tethered capture as a nice-to-have reserved for high budget shoots and simply shyed away from it. I tried it a few times and after constantly being plagued with technical problems, I decided I'm better off sticking to my camera's LCD screen and didn't give it a second thought. Through my ignorance, little did I know how much I was actually losing out on and how much time I wasted in the process.
Retouching problems start well before we sit down in front of the computer and begin pushing pixels around. I know this because as I reflect on my past work, I realize that I’m as guilty of making countless mistakes as much as anyone else. Rather than talk about techniques like dodging and burning, frequency separation, etc. let’s focus on more high level problems that might be leading you in the wrong direction.
Although there have been countless articles written on the subject of Frequency Separation - including several here on Fstoppers - the current state of retouching has me somewhat concerned about its use. Its widespread adoption, use and overuse has brought us to the point where frequency separation is fast becoming the number one culprit for poorly retouched and cringe worthy work. While I’m not convinced that we need to ban it outright, I do feel that the way we approach it needs to fundamentally change.
The evolution of a photographer is rarely a linear one. We get better, we get worse, we think we’re improving but we’re not, and then with some luck and a lot of patience and practice, we actually start to produce great images. For some that last point is never reached and it’s usually due to a few common mistakes.
With companies like Profoto and Elinchrom offering an increasingly broad range of self-contained strobes, Broncolor was no doubt feeling left out with its predominantly pack and head oriented lineup. That’s all changing now with the release of the new Siros strobe; a compact, wall powered, feature rich and wallet friendly flash unit.
There's little debate that Iceland remains one of the most sought after locations for landscape photography and this new video from Lytro further emphasizes why that is. Although created as a promotional piece for the Illum camera, Lytro have done a wonderful job on the film by focusing more on photography, story telling and the beauty of the landscape, and simply letting the advantages of the camera shine through on their own.
Too often people view lingerie or nude photography superficially and fail to see the photographic beauty behind it. While this stereotype is unjust, it’s also understandable. Too many photos of this genre forego the beauty and focus solely on tasteless sensuality. By sticking to the basics of what makes a compelling image, fellow Toronto based photographer Billie Chiasson reminds us just how tasteful and beautiful lingerie photography can be.