Thank you Czechman

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I finally took the time to try out Czechman's skin smoothing tutorial and am very pleased with the results. Esp considerng how easy the process is.

Pics were taken with 80-200 f/2.8 AF-S wide open.

Model is the daughter of a friend. It was an impromptu shoot and I cut off the top of her head a bit, but the point is not about my shooting ability; it's about the processing.

CC always welcome
Original:
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Processed:
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This site continually amazes me with the vast amount of knowledge that is shared. Thanks for all the help.
 
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Hey Kevin - I too am a big fan of this technique. Nice pic and nice conversion. But, I think you may need to dial it down a bit. The face isn't too bad, but the blur in her right armpit is. I think you have lost too much detail in your photo. You could even try to erase this portion of the photo in you blurred layer if you wanted to leave her face alone.
 
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I'll have to agree with Anthony and say it's a bit to much. I do like the original, makes for a nice BW conversion.

Hope you don't mind:

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Wow, didn't notice that.
Fixed
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I've always been a sucker for B&W images of kids and old people.
Not sure why, but people my age look better (to me) in color.

(and No, I don't mind you messing with my pics. I'm always interested in other people's views of how I can improve my shots)
 
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Kevin, good use of Woody's tutorial and I think you did an admirable job with it. Your daughter is beautiful. One of the things Woody has stressed in the use of his tutorial is to keep it to the areas you want to soften. Using the erasure tool you can "undo" the areas that need no softening. As an example I find the upper body of your daughter to be too soft and has lost the character needed to make it believable. In her facial area I personally try to keep the blur to a level that will soften blemishes but still leave some texture to the skin. I hope this has been helpful to you.

Here is a more subtle application of the blur treatment:

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Your original for comparison:

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Kevin,

I still think it is overdone. Most of the time, for kids, skin treatment in PP is not needed. In this case I don't think any treatment is needed on skin outside of the face.

The neck and chest area looks very fake to me. I would say work only the face and use a very low opacity on the blur layer so that the face still blends with the un-retouched neck.
 
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I agree with Samer on this one.

Children generally don't need the Czechman skin treatment. I would have just gone with the original and done a little bit of cloning to get out any spot imperfections in the skin.

The neck and chest in all versions of this have lost so much detail that they look plastic and fake.
 
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Thanks for all of the comments.
I'll keep honing my skills.
I probably got wrapped up in the novelty of it and just overdid it a bit.
 
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Just a thought, I think that some may be missing the point of this thread. Kevin was trying out the Woody tutorial and used his daughters image to do that. He may have gone too far but he did learn something in the process. Woody's tutorial is excellent and when used properly the viewer may not even be aware that it has been used. All of us have some skin imperfections and discoloration and to smooth that out without being noticed is a good thing. I don't even tell my subjects/models that I am using it but when they look at the picture they like it. Don't we all wish that we had a childs skin but alas, we do not. The skin smooting tutorial is one way to even the playing field a little. Todays lenses and cameras are unforgiving of even the smallest imperfections up to and including pores. Thank goodness for a way to fix that.

I hope that Kevin does not feel that we are being too hard on him for in effect he was just happy that he learned to use the Tutorial. Thanks for sharing your image and your PP work with us Kevin.
 
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No one gets this technique right the first time. It *seems* simple, but doing it right takes time and you have to develop your eye for getting the amount just right. I think one of the keys is doing it in a way that it is difficult if not impossible to tell that the technique has been used.

With children, if you are going to use the technique, leave the blur layer no higher than about 20% opacity.

Gordon's version leaves nice skin detail and the blur layer is basically transparent......a good example of using it correctly

But.....the photo itself is very nice and the cropped head works just fine....I wouldn't worry about that a bit.
 
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I hope that Kevin does not feel that we are being too hard on him for in effect he was just happy that he learned to use the Tutorial. Thanks for sharing your image and your PP work with us Kevin.
I don't feel that you guys are being too hard at all. If I was afraid of a bit of harsh criticism, I would'nt even post them publicly. I want the comments and critiques because otherwise I would think that I am perfect which I know is not true. Just ask my wife.
BTW, she's not my daughter. Just a friend of the family.
 
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I don't feel that you guys are being too hard at all. If I was afraid of a bit of harsh criticism, I would'nt even post them publicly. I want the comments and critiques because otherwise I would think that I am perfect which I know is not true. Just ask my wife.
BTW, she's not my daughter. Just a friend of the family.
First of all I love your photo! As Stuart said "No one gets this technique right the first time". I sure did not, and still don't many times. I also agree that you probably don't need it with children for the most part.

The following is a quote from Woody himself regarding the use of his technique:

"Think of it this way... When a car comes out of a body shop do you think it's better if your reaction is "That's good work" or if it looks like it was never there?

99% of my skin technique involves removing blemishes and flaws and then just a hint of blur to polish things off. Skin texture is critical for natural looking portraits."


With this in mind, I think you do great the next time you use the technique. Keep up the good work! :smile:
 
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Kevin,

Looks like I got to the party a little late.

I never add a blur layer to a child's portrait. Their skin naturally has the texture you try to achieve with a blur layer on a mature face.

Fred's quote is indeed how to approach the technique... master the blemish removal techniques and tools and you will find that many times you'll never need a blur layer. Skin texture is what divides fantasy from reality and is critical to a good portrait... but I already said that...

But it bear repeating.

I'll bet if you dialed back the opacity to about 10-20 like Stu suggests the photo will be right.

Here's my candidate:
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