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Building a photo ...
Old 01-28-2008, 05:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I recently posted this photo:

Click for larger version
Building a photo ... 


I then showed someone on another forum the original shot and they were quite taken by the metamorphosis that the photo went through when I showed them the workflow. I thought I might share it here and get some comments.

First, some caveats. I was trying to come up with a simple photo that showed the use of creating flare in a photo using a plugin. I didn't pick a photo that really had the appropriate lighting for this, but nevertheless felt it would still work as an example due to the misdirection provided by pretty model Amy. I think most of you can guess where the sun really was. I'll just say that there were no reflectors or flash used. These were just outtake type shots to establish the location where the photos were taken. So here is the first before shot:



The photo on the right is how it looked in BreezeBrowser Pro and the one on the left how it looked in CS3's RAW converter with RAW adjustments made. I think you can see the difference a few movements of sliders can make in a photo (I used exposure, fill, shadows and a bit of saturation).

Now in Photoshop, I did two things on the first pass. First I made the horizon line more or less straight using the ruler tool (could have done this in RAW). I then cropped the photo and that brought me to here:



By the way, the cropping is just a basic rule of thirds crop --- nothing very notable or original.

I then wanted the skin to be a bit softer and to take a little edge off the highlights so here is the next step screen shot:



I used CEP 3.0's Dynamic Skin Softener to do this as you can see in the layer's palette. Carefully examine the skin and the edges of the highlights between the before and after and you'll see the subtle way it effects the edges of the highlights.

But still not much pop in this photo. So I moved to the next step which was to add a Glamour glow, which brought me to this screen shot:



I used the CEP 3.0 Glamour Glow for this effect. I think you'll agree that the transformation is quite noticeable at this point.

Next I added the flare, again using Mystical Light and its Flare filter. You can control what type of flare (I chose desert sun) and where the rays are and how many and so forth. By the way, I mislabeled the layer in the screen shot (it should say Mystical Lighting not CEP). Here is the screen shot:



Lastly I added my copyright notice and I was done. Well, not quite done. I then had to save it for web. I used WPro

http://rfredricksmith.com/link/?a=FredMiranda

for that which does a stair step reduction to the target size and does low sharpening as it does this. This takes the soft glow and adds a bit of sharpness to it (I call it my soft sharp technique)

Well that's it. Questions? Comments?

Cheers,
rfs
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Re: Building a photo ...
Old 01-28-2008, 05:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Only thing I might have done, additionally, would be to raise the "water line".

Not let her head touch the water line and maybe remove the islands. I sure do like the flair, and the effect this has on the rocks.
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Re: Building a photo ...
Old 01-29-2008, 11:42 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I don't know that I like the flare in this photo. The shadows on her indicate that the sun is definately above her. Also, at a distance, the flare would show as a reflection on the water, I would think.
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Re: Building a photo ...
Old 01-29-2008, 09:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Fredrick, thank you soooooo much for taking the time to show someone like me how to do some of these enhancements. The photo and the model are both very eye-catching, the photo really 'pops' out to you. I'll admit that my second thought was about the direction of the sun, but the photo caught my attention and that is probably the most important thing about a photo.

Thanks,
PTL,
Lee
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