Honest critique requested...

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Be burtially honest, please. Thanks in advance
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Before & After pics

Chad, her skin seems too red, and those bright red blobs in the bg are distracting to me. What I did here was Select both the white & black points in Curves from the catchlight in her eye for the white point, then the darkest point in her pupil for the black point, This seemed to correct the color balance problem. After that, I just hit it with a mild amt of USM, 60% .6 and 2 Threshold. Yhem I made a feeble attempt at toning down the red blobs using both the sponge tool and paintbrush set at a very low opacity. Also, I saved it at a more reasonable file size of 150k. Yours is a whopping 432 k.
Your original:
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Tweaked:
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mrdinh said:
i like the shallow dof...seems a little flat...maybe its my monitor?...
Do you mean you would prefer more color saturation, or do you mean I should move closer and zoom less to give the model a more three dimensional feel?
 
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Chad Gladstone said:
Be burtially honest, please.
Greetings Chad:
I’m not sure anyone needs to be to "Brutal” with this image as it a good image. The shot itself seems to be well taken with good exposure and a great pose.
The background could be improved on a little as one should try to note the hot colors while you are composing the shot.
The big issue with this shot (in my opinion) is that you did real well till you got to the post processing of the image.
The skin tones are off, the background it a little distracting. Both of these issues can be dealt with in either PS or any other processing program. Steve has shown one option as to how to improve it. But as you begin to look at the processing end of photos you will find that there are many different things that can be done to an image that will change the look one is looking for.
In my mind, the skill involved in processing makes or breaks a photo. So its worth the time to learn how to do a couple basic tricks so one can be armed with the skills needed to take an (okay) photo and make it better.
In this case, I took the liberty of uploading your image and I spent less than 2-minutes with it. All I did was tone the image and give it a little more of a soft look.
Processing someone else image is hit and miss at best because one have no idea what look you were trying to get. Because of this I did not do very much other than to (try) and show you what is possible.
I hope you don't mind me working on your image and if you have questions or if you think I can help just yell....
All My Best

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JAM

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Steve,

Your color balance tweaks definitely look better on my monitor. Chad - I'd use the healing brush to remove the freckle on her forearm and the one above her left eye (picture right). I'd also use it to get rid of some of the wisps of hair on the face and the cloning tool to clean up the wisps on the outer edge of her hair. That oval shaped fold along the scoop of the shirt could go. Maybe cropped a little tighter?

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I thnk I like Chad's version of it - seems a little toned down and has more mystique to it

The original one seems a little too "poppy"
 
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Any time you hit a subject with a direct flash,

Chad Gladstone said:
mrdinh said:
i like the shallow dof...seems a little flat...maybe its my monitor?...
Do you mean you would prefer more color saturation, or do you mean I should move closer and zoom less to give the model a more three dimensional feel?
it has a tendency to make the image "flat". Fill flash is sometimes necessary, but using it in conjunction with at least some natural light is much preferrable. That, or get that flash off the camera...way off the camera. But, as you know this makes for a much less portable rig. I think it's Tom Weber here, who used 2 or 3 SB800s connected to stands & umbrellas very effectively in his outdoor portraiture business.
 
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Hi Chad,

I am not much of a portrait expert or a critic, but in my opinion your portrait is very good. I had heard from someone that the hands, eyes and expression in a portrait are the most important, and I find that to be true in most cases. In your shot, all these three elements are perfect.

As to the skin tone, I recently had a post in the Technical Discussion group about monitor calibration. Your shot has made me wonder about the whole issue again. :D. I find the skin tone on your original very slightly reddish, but I still think it is the closest to the "correct" skin tone compared to the other versions posted in the thread. So it seems like our monitors are all calibrated quite differently. :roll:

Regards,
-Vinod
 
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Vinod Menon said:
Hi Chad,

I am not much of a portrait expert or a critic, but in my opinion your portrait is very good. I had heard from someone that the hands, eyes and expression in a portrait are the most important, and I find that to be true in most cases. In your shot, all these three elements are perfect.

As to the skin tone, I recently had a post in the Technical Discussion group about monitor calibration. Your shot has made me wonder about the whole issue again. :D. I find the skin tone on your original very slightly reddish, but I still think it is the closest to the "correct" skin tone compared to the other versions posted in the thread. So it seems like our monitors are all calibrated quite differently. :roll:



Regards,
-Vinod
I do think it may be a monitor calibration because my version, though processed warm, appears accurate on my monitors. She was actually blushing and has some red toned highlights in her hair - both of which I attempted to accentuate. I agree I may have over compensated, but Steve's version on my monitor has a distinct green tint to the teeth.
I really appreciate the feedback - I really like the composition and exposure but I wanted to hear from the experts. I will keep working on the color balance and clean up the shot.
 
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Oh boy, a brutal free for all on somebody else's image! :twisted:

That's a real nice shot Chad. It looks as if you might be going for a glamor look, so with your kind permission, I'll apply my digital makeup to your shot. You are also working with a lot of red, so I'll go with that!

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I de-wrinked and de-spotted on a layer, then blended it back in to about 70% opacity. Then I added a glamor layer: make a layer copy, gausian blur it to about 15-35 pixels, set blending mode to 'overlay' and reduce to 20% opacity. This adds reds and yellows to the shot, but that's ok for the most part, but I erased the hair from the layer. Flatten. Then select her teeth, and take out all the yellow and most of the red with the Hue/Saturation tool. Select her eyes for a little digital Visine - get the red out. For both her eyes and teeth, I replaced the missing color with lightness. Finally just a bit of sharpen brush to get her eyes looking lashy.

That's about it. With some experience with choosing brushes and amounts, these steps take less than 15 minutes.
 
B

Brew

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That does it, I have to dig into PS more then I am!!!!!! :?

It is amazing what can be done.
 
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OK, I've got 1 more tweak!

Thsi time, using Chris' pic as a base, (nice work, Chris), using the eyedropper tool in Curves, blew up the pic to 1600%, and selected the white point from the SB's catchlight, and an adjacent black point from the pupil. fwiw, I did all my tweaking last night on an uncalibrated old surfing monitor. This time I used my good Sony editing monitor, which was just cal'd a week ago.
so, I give you Chad's original:

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And, with the latest Chris & Steve tweaks:

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Re: OK, I've got 1 more tweak!

Steve S said:
Thsi time, using Chris' pic as a base, (nice work, Chris), using the eyedropper tool in Curves, blew up the pic to 1600%, and selected the white point from the SB's catchlight, and an adjacent black point from the pupil. fwiw, I did all my tweaking last night on an uncalibrated old surfing monitor. This time I used my good Sony editing monitor, which was just cal'd a week ago.
so, I give you Chad's original:

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And, with the latest Chris & Steve tweaks:

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Steve that looks much better - I am blown away by everyone's photoshopping abilities here. Thanks for the post processing tips and for all the help and responses. I'm sure she will be pleased with the final result.
 
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Re: OK, I've got 1 more tweak!

Steve S said:
Thsi time, using Chris' pic as a base, (nice work, Chris), using the eyedropper tool in Curves, blew up the pic to 1600%, and selected the white point from the SB's catchlight, and an adjacent black point from the pupil. fwiw, I did all my tweaking last night on an uncalibrated old surfing monitor. This time I used my good Sony editing monitor, which was just cal'd a week ago.
Well thanks Steve! Now if only I could see the %^*#(% colors!!! :evil:
 
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Re: OK, I've got 1 more tweak!

Chris101 said:
Steve S said:
Thsi time, using Chris' pic as a base, (nice work, Chris), using the eyedropper tool in Curves, blew up the pic to 1600%, and selected the white point from the SB's catchlight, and an adjacent black point from the pupil. fwiw, I did all my tweaking last night on an uncalibrated old surfing monitor. This time I used my good Sony editing monitor, which was just cal'd a week ago.
Well thanks Steve! Now if only I could see the %^*#(% colors!!! :evil:
Thanks for your work on this image Chris - I provided me with some direction on where to go with this image.
 
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Re: OK, I've got 1 more tweak!

Steve S said:
This time, using Chris' pic as a base, (nice work, Chris), using the eyedropper tool in Curves, blew up the pic to 1600%, and selected the white point from the SB's catchlight, and an adjacent black point from the pupil. fwiw, I did all my tweaking last night on an uncalibrated old surfing monitor. This time I used my good Sony editing monitor, which was just cal'd a week ago.
Well thanks Steve! Now if only I could see the %^*#(% colors!!! :evil:[/quote]

Dude! I forgot you were colorblind! No wonder you left it with so much red tones in the skin! ;)
 
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Re: OK, I've got 1 more tweak!

Steve S said:
Dude! I forgot you were colorblind! No wonder you left it with so much red tones in the skin! ;)
Remember Marty Feldman's character in Young Frankenstein?
"Curse these eyes!"

Lately though I haven't even been fighting it - I just walk straight into the (red) light which is interesting, but wrong. I need a formula to apply to the numbers in order to get skin right. Now that I've got your image to compare to mine (they don't look very different to me... :shock: ) I can (hopefully) work out heuristic functions based on the RGB differences.

So your final edit really gives me something to sink my teeth, uh eyes, into. ;)
 
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Re: OK, I've got 1 more tweak!

Chad Gladstone said:
Thanks for your work on this image Chris - I provided me with some direction on where to go with this image.
A lot of the facial touch up stuff is from The Photoshop CS Book for Digital Photographers by Scott Kelby. It's a really helpful book.
 
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