Suby & Sins House

09 Feb 2009 2,360 views
 
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photoblog image Beauty Retouching

Beauty Retouching


For the Purpose of...

We get asked quite a bit about skin retouching especially for close up beauty or portrait shots. Every retoucher out there has their individual styles, but one thing that remains constant with the best retouchers is that"whatever retouching they do to the skin, they tend to maintain that realistic skin texture that we human beings have".

Giving a picture that doll like plastic look does have it's place in the world of photography, but even that technique has to be used correctly and with the appropriate image to achieve the best looking image.

This is not so much as a tutorial as we would have liked it to be, retouch time for this particular image was almost 4hrs. So sitting down to explain what we did to this image in detail is virtually impossible. The previous image on this site took over 2 sittings a total of 7hrs for retouching.

Beauty images are some of the hardest images to retouch because the details one has to contend with, are so in you face any errors or poor retouch/edit will be picked up on immediately. Not many photographers like to show before and after images as it starts to bring out the "why did you not get it right 1st time?/ We dislike retouching" brigades. However in the "real" world of make belief, these are the tricks of the trade your normal photographer or retoucher has to have in his/her arsenal if they want their images published in the best magazines in the world or used in the best adverts. Now beauty images are very different from your every day portraits.

So for example, if we took a portrait of a public figure Anne Robinson, Obama or even Joe or Jane Bloggs, we would approach such a session in a totally different way from a beauty shoot. We would want to capture not only the character of the individual, but try not to erase that personality and character that person would display in their everyday life. View the diverse work of Annie Leibovitz and you may understand where we are coming from.

In the image above, the model is merely a canvas used to convey a product or is endorsing a product. A portrait shoot, the main aim is to convey something about the subject, their life or working area. Once one as a photographer starts to understand the basics of how to approach each individual shoot, they will find not only the quality of their work improves, but photography will come a lot more natural to them.

As we have written so many times on this site, learn the rules, then throw them away and make yours up as you go, you will realise that you will always base whatever you do on some form of rule or the other even if you do bend it to suit your needs.

Words of Wisdom
As Rome was not built in a day, do not assume because one has a camera and all the tools of the trade, one automatically qualifies themselves to be a Photographer. Just as owning a carpentry kit does not make one carpenters. Photography is an Art form, a profession, a passion, it also shares the added benefit of being able to be classified as a hobby, this does not lessen the fact it is a hobby that learned properly could (while still being a hobby) allow one to call themselves PHOTOGRAPHERS.

We definitely are still Suby & Sinem - Creative Photographers

"Ars Longa, Vita Brevis"


Beauty Retouching


For the Purpose of...

We get asked quite a bit about skin retouching especially for close up beauty or portrait shots. Every retoucher out there has their individual styles, but one thing that remains constant with the best retouchers is that"whatever retouching they do to the skin, they tend to maintain that realistic skin texture that we human beings have".

Giving a picture that doll like plastic look does have it's place in the world of photography, but even that technique has to be used correctly and with the appropriate image to achieve the best looking image.

This is not so much as a tutorial as we would have liked it to be, retouch time for this particular image was almost 4hrs. So sitting down to explain what we did to this image in detail is virtually impossible. The previous image on this site took over 2 sittings a total of 7hrs for retouching.

Beauty images are some of the hardest images to retouch because the details one has to contend with, are so in you face any errors or poor retouch/edit will be picked up on immediately. Not many photographers like to show before and after images as it starts to bring out the "why did you not get it right 1st time?/ We dislike retouching" brigades. However in the "real" world of make belief, these are the tricks of the trade your normal photographer or retoucher has to have in his/her arsenal if they want their images published in the best magazines in the world or used in the best adverts. Now beauty images are very different from your every day portraits.

So for example, if we took a portrait of a public figure Anne Robinson, Obama or even Joe or Jane Bloggs, we would approach such a session in a totally different way from a beauty shoot. We would want to capture not only the character of the individual, but try not to erase that personality and character that person would display in their everyday life. View the diverse work of Annie Leibovitz and you may understand where we are coming from.

In the image above, the model is merely a canvas used to convey a product or is endorsing a product. A portrait shoot, the main aim is to convey something about the subject, their life or working area. Once one as a photographer starts to understand the basics of how to approach each individual shoot, they will find not only the quality of their work improves, but photography will come a lot more natural to them.

As we have written so many times on this site, learn the rules, then throw them away and make yours up as you go, you will realise that you will always base whatever you do on some form of rule or the other even if you do bend it to suit your needs.

Words of Wisdom
As Rome was not built in a day, do not assume because one has a camera and all the tools of the trade, one automatically qualifies themselves to be a Photographer. Just as owning a carpentry kit does not make one carpenters. Photography is an Art form, a profession, a passion, it also shares the added benefit of being able to be classified as a hobby, this does not lessen the fact it is a hobby that learned properly could (while still being a hobby) allow one to call themselves PHOTOGRAPHERS.

We definitely are still Suby & Sinem - Creative Photographers

"Ars Longa, Vita Brevis"


comments (18)

totaly agree with you 2 here, 4 hours is a good job!!
Suby & Sinem: Thanks Patrick, one of the easier images to retouch from this shoot smile
btw, just looking at the image again, DID YOU HAVE TO SPOIL THE FUN by telling which one was RAW and whcih one retouched?

LOL wink
Suby & Sinem: LOL, cracking up here Patrick tongue
  • Dr A. W!
  • United States
  • 9 Feb 2009, 06:38
thanks for the tutorial without the tutorial folks

lol at patrick tongue
For a mag, perfect.
But I am no fan of overdoing touch ups.
When the subject says "Wow, who's that" then you've done too much.
Nice skills tho!!
Cheers
Rob
Suby & Sinem: Thanks Rob,

80% of the work we do is for the industry that wants this type of images, definitely can't bite the hand that feeds us smile Obviously it's not for everyone we understand, but someone has to do it, we accept the challenge with lots of glee smile
  • Laurie
  • United States
  • 9 Feb 2009, 11:56
Of course it really helps when you have a beautiful canvass such as this model who is amazing to begin with. smile
Suby & Sinem: Thanks Laurie, she is an exceptional canvass, sorry model grin
seems odd that after spending 3/4/5 grand on camera equipment then the lights/studio another couple of grand, taking a shot and then having to spend some 4hours touching the damn thing up doesn't it lol,

Seems not only do you have to be skilled behind the camera but a ps genius too, which in a way kind of begs the question when does the photo stop been a photo and becomes something rendered by a computer, but who cares when they look like your worksmile
Suby & Sinem: Well the answer as they say is out there Tim, when you have the answers, do let us know smile
  • johnnyg
  • United Kingdom
  • 9 Feb 2009, 17:28
as everyone knew i hated retouching but people change and time moves on. what suby and sin are saying guys is, you need to learn when and where to retouch for what ever market it is your shooting for. mag work, newspapers and the like ( including fashion) have no time for images that are not absolutely perfect in their eyes because nothing for them or their clients would portray the products as they'd want.

I've learned that can also be true for portrait work, a lot of the people I shoot these days expect you to clear up any blemishes they may have while others want to be shot as is.

as the saying goes, you give the client what they want not what you want to give them.
Suby & Sinem: We could not have said it any better or more eloquently than you have here Johnny
  • johnnyg
  • United Kingdom
  • 9 Feb 2009, 17:40
question for you guys, do you keep a copy separate of the raw image from the copy or do you write over the raw file.

i don't know if you use lightroom, aperture or phase one for you raw conversions. j
Suby & Sinem: Eeeckk eeeccck eeecccck, Johnny you did not just suggest we write over our digital negatives/RAW/NEF/... files. We keep em all separate, thats why we currently have about 5 terabytes of hard drives all over the place, a lot of stress archiving all those huge RAW files, but always worth it.
  • sk
  • United Kingdom
  • 9 Feb 2009, 19:17
chief retouching guru. heavy stuvzz
Suby & Sinem: Thanks bro grin Glad you like
This is lovely Suby, though I think the raw image has a sensual touch about it. Great touch up though.. 4 hrs on a shot is more than i can ever dream of putting into a picture.

Please do take a look at my blog , I need critics. I know I have got some foul equipment all the same it is a start.

cheers.
  • Harv
  • United Kingdom
  • 11 Feb 2009, 16:21
Very nice shots. Thanks for giving us the inside look.

I'm beginning to learn that taking the photograph is just the start of the journey to a "final" image. Sometimes the journey is short, and sometimes it is long (4hrs+!) but it never starts and ends with the camera - just like it never did with film.

For us amateurs, the amount of post-processing is a matter of personal taste - what works for me doesn't necessarily work for others (and certainly wouldn't work for a commercial shoot!), but I live and learn.

I have to admit, cracked up as I was by Patrick's comment, I did have to have a second glance - I could have sworn you'd added "hot pixels" to the retouched image and thought, "now why would anyone do that?" (LOL)
Amazing
  • Sidney
  • Philippines
  • 15 Feb 2009, 01:18
Amazing change !
Great job...I definitely prefer the girl on the right ! ;-)
Suby & Sinem: Thanks Again Sidney grin
Interesting this image and your comments to accompany the image.
I used to avoid re-touching images, just basic adjustments, in Aperture. But eventually it gets demanded, so getting a copy of CS3 I had to learn. I now have retouching to the standards of an agency I now deal with (celebrity pictures) - previously they would have done it themselves (for a reduced percentage if the image sold).
I'm still learning new tricks and methods of doing similar things. I spoke to a photographer I really admire (Andy Lesauvage), thinking he spends ages on each image, he told me each images take 5 mins, but he has devised some actions, which he keeps very secret so no one can copy him. Most of my images take 15mins, I discovered channels are a very good way to create masks for certain areas. A guy call Guy Gowan uses this method. I'll try to post some examples in a few weeks after my next studio session. It'll be interesting to see your comments. We can only learn and improve.
Sorry for the long post, I got carried away.
Suby & Sinem: Hi Nathan, we all have actions we use to make our lives easy, also depends on the type of job, or jobs one does, For example, high glossy magazines images, a 5 min joby may not be enough, but for straight lifestyle celebrity in daily shot, spending more than 3 mins on the image may even be too much smile

Will be checking your blog this week then smile
this still needs more work but it is a good start.
love your info...
You do a great job! All the portraits I have seen of you so far contain the personality and character of the person, though they look very nice and beautiful.
To save time lots of time, try the software Portraiture, it's really great!
Many thanks for showing this comparison.
Suby & Sinem: Thanks Paul, had a look at the software some time back, does not work for me, we prefer the freedom and detailing we can get with Photoshop smile
Stunning job well done!

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