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Help with this picture please

Discussion in 'Retouching and Post Processing' started by Skittledoo, Oct 6, 2008.

  1. Ok... I posted the original of this picture in another forum earlier... now I need a little bit more photoshop help...

    so... here's the original edited and cropped since there was too much dead space above and also because the picture at first was a tadly bit overexposed.

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    now... when I took this picture I set it up on the tripod, set the timer and then ran over behind my friend Stefanie for the shot since we wanted a decent picture of us. However, I really don't like how my arm and the back of my dress pop out on the other side of Stef... decided to edit that part out... and came up with this

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    Now... I was fumbling a lot because I kinda screwed up Stef's shoulder a bit and attempted to fix it. Does this look alright or should I fix it more?
    The red circle is around the shoulder I was having difficulty with.

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    I just don't want the photo to be obvious that it was edited because I want to do a decent print of this one for her. I just didn't like the back of me protruding out like that though because I personally thought it was a bit distracting.
  2. Ok, first of all, you're both beautiful :) 

    Even before I'd read your whole post, my eye was drawn to the edge of the shoulder, it certainly looks a little rough. If it's rough at web size, it's likely to be quite shoddy at print size.

    The other thing you haven't mentioned is the obvious repeated pixels near Stef's elbow. Not a great look.

    For this kind of work I would avoid the Clone tool altogether. It would be much better to copy a big chunk of greenery from another part of the photo (you said you've cropped, so you should have plenty of spare greenery in the original shot) onto a new layer, and move it so it's obscuring the entire area you want to get rid of, ie your arm. This would also obscure other parts of the photo - eg Stef's arm.

    Then I'd use a layer mask to reveal Stef's arm, and to blend the new foliage into the original foliage. Some cloning may be necessary for the latter step, but not much.
  3. mattsteg


    Aug 10, 2007
    The side of Stef's arm that borders the greenery seems *really* straight, like it was squared off when you edited out your arm from behind it. Maybe consider revisiting that part as well. Once I noticed that I couldn't look at the photo without being drawn to it.
  4. RayGuselli


    Oct 18, 2005
    Quick try

    a larger image would be helpful but did my best

    Also took another part of dress out which I thought was a little distracting

    Lovely picture

    Best wishes


  5. Hi, Amber. Great models, but...

    Careful cloning could hide the parts of this picture you find distracting, but the time and effort might better be spent elsewhere. The image is flawed because primary focus is on the background, which draws the viewer's eyes away from the models. Imho, you'd get a better return on time invested and a more credible result by simply re-taking the picture.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 6, 2008
  6. C'mon Ray, Amber asked for help. Simply showing her what you can do, without adding any advice, is not helping. If you don't provide some wisdom about technique, you'll just be creating another one of those I-can-photoshop-better-than-you p*ssing contests which seem to abound on photography forums.
  7. Here's the way it works, Damien. People submit edited versions, and when the original poster sees one they like, they ask how it was accomplished. Otherwise we're writing textbooks on subjects that aren't of any interest.

    Fact is, he can do it better than most. But I think you attribute his motives unfairly. He was just trying to help.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 6, 2008
  8. What? Don't give me that nonsense. Take a look at my first post, and Ray's, and tell me which one you think is more helpful to Amber? And I guarantee it was quicker for me to write my post than it was for Ray to do his PS work.

    It won't have escaped your notice that Peano is very well regarded around here, and for good reason. Every single one of his posts is informative, he never just joins in for a chance to show off his (immense) skills.

    Credit to Ray, he's a great operator, but yes, I question his motives in this instance.
  9. RayGuselli


    Oct 18, 2005

    Sorry I didn't include workflow....I did it very quickly, in a hurry, rushing off to work this morning.

    As Frank said....if it was what the poster wanted, then I would be happy to assist further AND with a larger image. I have written tutorials where asked and would have been happy to do so in this instance.

    My motives were, as always, to help....I have no interest... to use your words...

    I-can-photoshop-better-than-you p*ssing contests

    In particular, I have no interest in the use of unpleasant language in the forum; which happens to be frequented by very young and old alike; many of whom find this language offensive.


    Look to your own post Damo77.....I thought it was a great idea and used it....

    No cloning...just copy, paste and mask!!!

    Easy........ when you know how as you obviously did!

    Peano....well regarded?

    No Damo....he is THE BEST!!!!

    Now let's get back to helping others and forget this nonsense about motives....way too deep for me...I just want to have fun, get help and offer it whenever I can.

    Best wishes

  10. Amber this is a lovely shot -- there's something to be said for the background fighting with the subject for attention -- had you thought of perhaps throwing the background out of focus and reducing color intensity of the background?
  11. yamo


    Jun 28, 2007
    Santa Cruz, CA

    Greetings. I agree somewhat with Uncle Frank about the background dominating the picture too much. So why not kill two birds with one stone?

    So... tighter crop. Simple shift of image on a layer with mask for shoulder (less precision required, highly feathered okay because this area will be blurred). I used lens blur layer, masked, filled black and painted mask with 0% hardness white brush... to taste (a sort of blur vignette).

    I also worked the skin tones with CMYK curves. Two curves pulling cyan down to my taste in skin tones. Added back a little cyan for your friend and added a dash of magenta.

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    Looking at the crop again... perhaps a bit more clearance on the left...


    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 7, 2008
  12. What a difference ! That's what was bugging me from start... much more than too_sharp_ background_compared_to_the_models, or a bit of fabric showing on off an unwanted place :smile: !

    The original image definitely had a bad WB, and you did an excellent job correcting it ! (i know how to do that on a RAW file, but on a JPG... it's more difficult -for me at least !).

  13. Would you mind outlining the steps you used for that adjustment, Peano?
  14. After all this discussion, I couldn't resist giving it a go :redface:. Here's my try.

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    Rather than trying to blur the background, which is very labor intensive unless you don't mind a halo around the subjects, I simply toned down the greens in the hue/sat menu. I adjusted the skin tones by clicking [neutralize] in the [match color] menu, and then adjusted levels a bit. And I used the [polygonal lasso] tool to select the areas when Amber protruded at frame left, and then cloned the bits of her out.


    Apr 30, 2005
    20 minute CS3 retouch - Nice composition in your first edit. JMHO...Your both Hotties :) 

    1 - open in ACR and correct white balance

    2- select areas you want to clone out with quick selection tool. Refine with pen tool

    3 - clone out arm, dress, hand

    4 - select background, again using the quick selection tool. Refine with pen tool

    5 - apply lens blur hexagon (6), radius 4

    6 - levels, color balance. burn/dodge/sat

    7 - apply imagenomic portraiture if you want to smoothen skin

    Without imagenomic -

    With imagenomic -

  16. WOW ! Robert, you're just as good at PPing as you are at shooting !


    NB. the only visible diffrence between "Imagenomic" result vs yours is that the skin looks ohhhh slightly lighter... else, i don't see any other improvement ! ...maybe my eyes or my monitor !?!
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