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Testing 1-2-3-4 (Photoshop technique critique)
Old 12-01-2002, 03:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
J T Smith

 
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Funny thing is I am doing less and less airbrushing these days and in fact not even using the rubber stamp or blur tool at all as I have been working with quality make up artists that creates the opportunity for less retouching. However I just had some constructive criticism on my work looking to Photoshopped. So I am bringing it to the forum for critique. Lets look at all 4 examples and first tell me which look you prefer. By the way, neither of these 4 images are airbrushed in anyway shape or form. No blur tool, no rubber stamp etc.

The first image is very raw with no work other then resizing. The other examples are simply adjusting curves and levels and a technique that I developed to match the fuji S1 preview screen called select color fade neutrals at various levels for desired effect. So let me know if you hate them all or prefer one or the other or find them to photoshopped. This style is soon to fade away as I always move on to another forte at each beginning new year.....



The last image is a technique I shoot for sometimes with the blown out high contrast look on the S1 and it replicates the preview screen on the S1. Since the gamma on the LCD and lack of resolution on the screen on camera it does not pick up all the flaws but in creating this technique or similar there of, it gets accused of being over shopped. Need feeback please.

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Re: Testing 2-3-1-4
Old 12-01-2002, 03:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Personally I like the second one the best. It's seems to be a good balance of highlights and shadows. The third one would be my next choice. The highlights are a just a little too blown out for my personal taste. It seems too exagerated.

Just my opinion.

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I like the first
Old 12-01-2002, 08:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Jt,

I like the first one best. Perhaps a tiny bit of contrast, but not to make the eyes white or loose detail in the shadows. The mids I like alot.

It is more of a fashion magazine look to me, and that is what I prefer. I love contrast and blown out skin, but this image doesnt call for that in my opinion. Her eyes, expression, and overall beauty steal the show... dont let photoshop take away.

Just my two centavos worth.

Chip
 
 
Re: Testing 1-4-2-3
Old 12-02-2002, 01:05 AM   #4 (permalink)
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In isolation, I prefer #1, then #4.

When switching between images, it's #2, as that suddenly appears "right"--my eye is adjusting to the brightness of the others.

#3 doesn't work for me in general; it's too contrasty without being contrasty enough, if that makes sense.

 
 
Re: Testing 1-2-3-4 (Photoshop technique critique)
Old 12-03-2002, 01:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The latter two are superior IMHO. Have you ever considered using a red filter instead? It affects skintones signifigantly more than other portrait attributes, and can help wash out skin like this yet retain midtones in other areas (but then, or course, you HAVE to shoot in B&W mode). Or you can drop out the red layer before you convert to B&W too. For example, the transition zone is the har from dark to light is a little compressed in the last one IMHO. I like the hair in #2.

But on another level, there is no such thing as being "too 'shopped." Before Photoshop, we did the same manipulations in the darkroom. Did you ever see Marc Foucault's image of the Mont-Saint-Michael in France, where he soaked the negative in hot water until the emulsion ran? Awsome.

I can remember cutting up 6x6 PC filters and making 3-part filters that were part PC5 and part PC1 because I wanted higher conrtrast on one part of the image and less on another. Today, I have a few recent images where the response curve looked like a drunken rattlesnake by the time I was through. Big deal. At the other extreme, I remember a nutcase (yes, you'll agree in a minute) who shot only large format, and had over 50 lenses... many low quality or very old. He refused to ever use a filter - said is was 'cheating.' If he wanted a softer focus, he would choose a lens that was lower quality, or older and full of dust internally. No kidding.

A tool, is a tool, is a tool. The ONLY thing that matters to the image is the end product. The only one who should care about the process is you, and how your workflow is efficeint for you.

That's my $0.02. If you paid more, you paid too much.


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