Thursday, January 22, 2009

TUTORIAL - Photoshop editing (or how not to get carried away) - PART 2

how fragile we are

I just realized that I deleted this from you tube and now the text wasn't making any sens but I'll upload another video. and replace the one is missing. I deleted it because it wasn't obvious how I did a few steps especially the sharpening part and I wanted a much clear video about my typical work flow.
 Meantime you can always visit my site : www.claudiaveja.com

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Photoshop editing (or how not to get carried away) -
p h o t o s h o p
t u t o r i a l s
a n d
r e l a t e d
s t o r i e s
 I LOVE YOU !   (how fragile we are)

1. What I started with and how many steps it took to get to the end result.
2. How I did it and WHEN is time to say ENOUGH. Story board (the steps) for this image.
First of all I'd like to say that Adelina and Robert are by far over the average (beauty-wise), as you may already very well know, and that was exactly my reason in choosing them for this photoshop editing tutorial. Because after the editing is done in such a manner, the end result doesn’t give away much about the actual process.That's a good and bad thing at the same time. It's good when an image editor does something that isn’t really obvious, but it’s also bad, because it gives false impressions and it contributes to this "image" we have about how we all should look like.

As you'll see in the video they don’t really need any editing in the fist place (Adelina for instance never has any problems with her skin or hardly anything else as most models generally do) and the shot was taken in the studio, so the photo wasn’t asking for any editing whatsoever. The original image was spot on sharp, WB-ed and well lit, so it made the perfect candidate to begin from and that was my other reason for choosing it as a starting image. This exercise is intended to demonstrate some Photoshop editing techniques that I normally employ, but only up to a point. Beyond this point lays that place where editors of gossip magazines usually go to feed us (meaning normal people, innocent enough never to suspect there is a difference between reality and the actually published photos) more and more reasons to believe that the stars and the celebrities are so much better looking then they really are... Just don’t get me started....

I'm sure you already know that Photoshop can do wanders. This is not to show what Photoshop can do when Photoshop is really asked for (bad lighting or maybe gorgeous models having a bad day :) ). I only intend to demonstrate some techniques that I use (that would be in depth in part II) .

So here it is - the first part of this tutorial - that shows WHAT I did starting from that photo. I will soon post the second part about HOW I did it.

The steps :
Any image, no matter how good it is to begin with needs some editing. The way I do it is not necessarily the perfect way, is just my way.

1st step (after RAW processing) is cleaning up the dust and/or scratches if it is a film scan, correcting skin imperfections and removing any other things that don’t belong in a good picture or in the picture we need to create.
2nd step is adding anything that might improve the picture, in this case some hair. Closing their eyes also gives it a nicer feeling.
3rd step is sharpening (only) the important parts of the image. In this case the faces and some hair. (*Ah yes I DO (and not just I) do sharpening before curves but not before noise reduction when needed. But that's another story all together.)

4th step is adding some contrast to the image and if the WB was not correct or corrected in the RAW format, then this is the time to do it.

5th step is about defining the interest zone with light and shadows in the right places. In this case the faces were brightened and the rest was darkened in 2 separate steps.

6th step is about color and is done with previously prepared versions (in different colors) made from the Raw or in a safe for editing techniques. This is not really necessary or recommended when doing stock for instance but can be fun for internet only projects. In this case I wanted some more colour on the lips so I played (in 2 steps) with the curves. This wasn’t really necessary, except maybe in the cropped version of the photo, where it does make a difference.

After this, your editing will depend on what you want to end up with. If you sell the image as stock, this would be the end of the image editing. If it's an art piece, this would be just the beginning... One might continue with some vignetting, texturing, layer combinations...
The sky is the limit.