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Your opinon on skin softening
Old 01-19-2006, 10:52 AM   #1 (permalink)
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How much is too much? How much too little? I posted the following image of Jenny to another forum and mentioned the model had some of the most flawless skin I've ever shot. Some one relpied that the she had too much "texture" in her skin.

When I work on an image, I go through with the healing brush and take out blemishes. Then if there is just too much to fix with the healing brush, I switch to using a blurring technique to soften the whole image. I use a layer mask to paint the smoothing back into the image.

I'm seeing a lot of softening lately. Whenever I see a model with an image that has been softened I ask myself "How does her skin really look?" I go looking for other images in her portfolio that aren't obviously smoothed. If there aren't any, I figure she has pretty bad skin.

Do you think this image needs softening? Yes I'm asking for a personal opinion. An image you've have and/or haven't softened would be nice too.


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Re: Your opinon on skin softening
Old 01-19-2006, 11:08 AM   #2 (permalink)
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The model's skin is lovely, but it does have a lot of visible texture. (This has as much to do with the lighting angle as it does her skin.)

I would probably apply a light blur with the Snapshots technique to her skin because this is a tight closeup headshot.

However, my opinion on skin softening is that if you can tell I did it, I screwed up. (That's my opinion on most retouching, actually.)

For instance:



This model has quite a bit of skin texture both on her forehead and on her cheeks. I removed *almost* all of it, using the aforementioned Snapshots blur and the Healing brush. (Also, I had a really good MUA so there wasn't as much to take off to begin with.) I did leave a little bit so that her skin didn't look unreal, including a few freckle sort of spots. Even though she's obviously an alternative model with a fantasy makeup job, I don't want her to look fake. If that makes any sense. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

M
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Re: Your opinon on skin softening
Old 01-19-2006, 11:16 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I think this one has more to do with the way the light falls on her skin than anything else. I like it. She does have really nice skin.

I think if you can tell it's been worked then it's too much.

Mike


No skin altering techniques at all on this one.


Standard post production for me on this one


Model: Haley Frank
MUA: Mary Frantz
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Re: Your opinon on skin softening
Old 01-19-2006, 11:24 AM   #4 (permalink)
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[ QUOTE ]
I think if you can tell it's been worked then it's too much.

[/ QUOTE ]

That's generally my criteria as well. I'm afraid though that I'm getting a little hypersensitive to it. I didn't think you'd done any general softening to your second image when I first saw it, but now I can kind of notice. But that's because I'm a highly trained professional [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] And you told me.

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Re: Your opinon on skin softening
Old 01-19-2006, 11:28 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I say it depends. I like a realistic look to my photos. I like to see some texture.

But, I can see where a Make-up company would want their photos to look flawless. And, I can see if you were shooting a client that was a high-visibility person (celebrity...on any level) they'd want to look good, but not over touched up. I would say it depends who you are shooting for.
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Re: Your opinon on skin softening
Old 01-19-2006, 11:38 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I've never really understood why we need to make human skin look like skin by Mattel. Human skin has texture, it has pores, when it doesn't have those things, then it no longer looks human and that isn't a good thing.
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Re: Your opinon on skin softening
Old 01-19-2006, 11:42 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Ron,

You're unique. You've got a style that's all your own. I wish I could say the same thing. Keep doing what feels good to you man. Don't take every single negative comment to heart. If you think her skin has too much texture, then soften it. It's your image.

I like it as is. Of course, I'd probably like it softened up a little. What were you going for when you shot it? That's the real measure.

Mike
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Re: Your opinon on skin softening
Old 01-19-2006, 11:42 AM   #8 (permalink)
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One of your Goddess pictures why I posted this. Because it didn't smooth out all the texture in her face.

When I shot my first TFP I shot with a MUA. She wanted pictures for her book. After the shoot I asked her how much retouching she wanted me to do. I mean it should represent her work. It is an ethical delema when you are claiming the make up and skin are what they seem. We could start a whole thread on that issue.
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Re: Your opinon on skin softening
Old 01-19-2006, 11:44 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I like the image and don't plan on changing it. I was just curious how others decided when and how to soften.
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Re: Your opinon on skin softening
Old 01-19-2006, 12:15 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Yes. I think the MUA in this situation would probably want me to smooth out the skin more. To me, it is supposed to be a "Statue of a Goddess come to life" So, I tend to want it to look more toward the living, they may want it to look more toward the "statue". Differing opinions maybe.

You have a very good point about the ethical dilema. But, either way, the image wouldn't be the same without the MUA. So, who am I to judge?
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