Free Photo Retouching

Discussion in 'Graphics Programs and Photo Gallery' started by Zeplin, Jul 29, 2010.

  1. Zeplin

    Zeplin TPF Noob!

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    Hi!
    My name is Philip Zeplin, and I'm a student studying Visual Communication at The Danish Design School, where I will be finishing my Bachelors Degree fall 2010, the leading design school in Denmark. Afterwards I have applied to Tokyo University of the Arts.

    To further expand my retouching portfolio, and refine a few techniques, I'm offering free photo retouching of high-quality photo's. I am most interested in facial/model retouching in the glamor area, but depending on your photo I may be up for retouching anything else too.
    Your photo most be high-res and in good, sharp quality though, and I reserve the right to turn down anyone. If your photo is retouched by me, you will keep all rights to your image, the only things that I demand in exchange are: that you never claim that you retouched the picture and that if asked, you state that I did, and that I can use the photo in my portfolio.

    You can see previous retouches (comparison and high-res) here at flickr:
    Photo Retouching - a set on Flickr

    Example:
    [​IMG]

    I hope some of you will be interested, and that we can work together!
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2010
  2. oldmacman

    oldmacman TPF Noob!

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    Which of these sets is the retouched image (final image)?
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Zeplin

    Zeplin TPF Noob!

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    With both the ones to the right is the retouched (as is with all the images in the sets). Surprised that wasn't clearly visible :)
     
  4. oldmacman

    oldmacman TPF Noob!

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    Well, yes, that is why I asked first. In this case the retouching, to me, is not an improvement on the original photo. If you are doing something else, that is fine, but I wouldn't call those two shots retouches.
     
  5. Zeplin

    Zeplin TPF Noob!

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    Well, quite obviously, the second picture is very strongly manipulated, and should be considered somewhat more "artistic" than simple retouching. That should also be quite obvious from simply the way the image looks. Since you state that you could also see this, I am left wondering why you asked in the first place?

    On the first picture, I fail to understand you. It most certain is photo retouching, in every sense of the word (if you strongly disagree, I would like to know why). Whether you prefer the original is a matter of personal taste (though if so, I would have greatly appreciated that you said why you think so), which you are of course entitled to.
     
  6. Steve01

    Steve01 TPF Noob!

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    It was clear, I think that was the point.
    I don't think oldmacman considers them improvements over the originals.
    I happen to agree.
     
  7. Zeplin

    Zeplin TPF Noob!

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    It's always good to read through posts, before replying :) As I said before, if it was clear, why ask? It was clearly a question regarding which was the retouched picture, and which was the original.

    And as I replied before, if you think it looks worse, thats a perfectly fine personal opinion to have. But if you say so, I would greatly appreciating knowing why you think so. Otherwise it's not much critique, but just flaming :)
    And of course, I would like to know why you think the first picture specifically is so bad, and not the other ones located in the folder, when others are far more retouched and changed. As I said, if no deeper information is given than "I don't like it", then it's nothing more than being mean, and hardly anything useful for me at all (because no offense, but whether you personally like a picture or not, and only that, is not much useful to me).
     
  8. oldmacman

    oldmacman TPF Noob!

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    The first picture looks to be a beautifully exposed studio shot. It has been manipulated to the point where:
    - the red dress is now purple
    - skin has gone from mocha to ebony
    - you have reduced the number of tones in the shadows when photographers try to maximize detail.
    - the blemishes on her exposed arm have not been dealt with
    - bumps under the dress are distracting. That is the type of issue I would see being resolved in retouching.
    - the contrast on the completed image moves the lips into the realm of Al Jolson... not a flattering image.
    - the lips have overpowered the beautiful gaze. If you want to engage a viewer, it's done through the eyes. As humans we are drawn to eyes.

    None of the above is meant to be mean-spirited. It is an honest, critical look at your retouching. The reason I asked the question in the first place was because you may have had some reason to push the image the way you did; perhaps it was a school assignment or a client asked for something specific. I don't like jumping to conclusions. When you confirmed that you consider this a retouch, that makes my analysis a little different.
     
  9. Steve01

    Steve01 TPF Noob!

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    I did read all of the posts, there were 3 at the time.
    I walked away from the computer for a while before typing my post.
    By that time there were follow up messages I did not see.

    What I said is I don't consider the edits improvements over the originals.
    That can hardly considered flaming or being mean and it wasn't meant that way.
    It's not a critique it's an opinion.

    You did present yourself as " .... interested in facial/model retouching in the glamor area" and these photos aren't retouched they're heavily modified and in my opinion not in a style I would call glamor.

    Don't be so thin skinned Philip. ;)

    As for these two photos.
    The edit of the old guy is overdone but I think it would work for me if the grunge effect were much subtler and maybe in B&W, for me it's just to much of what it is.

    I don't know what to say about the girl in the red dress.
    It's a strange choice you've made.
    If the intent was to make the girl look like a darker skinned black girl it didn't work IMHO.

    The image in your original post is nice and well done, what I would consider "facial/model retouching in the glamor area".
     
  10. Zeplin

    Zeplin TPF Noob!

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    Thank you for your replies. Before replying individually, I think I see whats going on, and would clarify a few points:

    I think what you (who have replied) have misunderstood, is what exactly "photo retouching" encompasses, or at least we are battling over words here.
    Retouching has many stages, and what I feel/think you who have replied are talking about here, is what I'd often call "stock photography retouching", where the image is "improved", but without any particular change to the originally taken photograph. This is not what I'm interested in, and I thought that was clear, sorry if it was not.
    Of the second picture, I would think it QUITE obvious that it was not a subtle retouch, and when talking about glamor retouching, it would not be done in such a style.

    @oldmacman,

    Thank you for clarifying some of your points.
    - the red dress is now purple - yes, as I had darkened her skin and the mood of the picture, I felt the color of the dress wasn't fitting, and hence changed it.
    - skin has gone from mocha to ebony - yes, I felt the current color scheme wasn't particularly pretty, and thought a very dark skin tone would fit be more beautiful. That, of course, is up to taste.
    - you have reduced the number of tones in the shadows when photographers try to maximize detail. - I don't quite see it, but I will keep it in mind, thank you.
    - the blemishes on her exposed arm have not been dealt with - How would that make the image WORSE? I do notice that some of them are still visible, though I did go over the arm, so thank you for pointing that out, however as you talked of being over-processed, I fail to see how keeping the old would make it worse?
    - bumps under the dress are distracting. That is the type of issue I would see being resolved in retouching. - Thank you for pointing that out, but same as above answer.
    - the contrast on the completed image moves the lips into the realm of Al Jolson... not a flattering image. - personal taste, I find it quite appealing.
    - the lips have overpowered the beautiful gaze. If you want to engage a viewer, it's done through the eyes. As humans we are drawn to eyes. - Didn't particularly like her eyes to begin with, though I do agree that in the final picture more focus should be on the eyes. Nose, lips and ears however also share the space of what humans notice in another's face :)

    I do however still fail to understand your first question. You did not ask me WHY I made the images like they were, only which was retouched and which was not. When I stated I felt it was obvious, you replied negatively. Yet now you say it was to see if it was an assignment, but I still really do not understand how that has any relevance to your first question?

    @erose,
    As mentioned above in this post, "I felt the current color scheme wasn't particularly pretty, and thought a very dark skin tone would fit be more beautiful. That, of course, is up to taste." I may be jumping to conclusions here, but it seems like a touchy subject to you? Skin color I mean? Changing skin color is the same as changing hair color, I see nothing "distasteful" about it?
    And though I understand what you mean, this is Photo Manipulation (though if we are being really technical, all tampering, even contrast correction, is photo manipulation):
    [​IMG]

    @Steve01,

    Thank you for your reply. Personal opinion or not however, I still cannot use that for anything unless reasons are given (just a bit), or a bit more specifically. I would consider that common professional courtesy.
    "and these photos aren't retouched they're heavily modified and in my opinion not in a style I would call glamor." - a battle of words, and answered now to erose. You should however look into more digitally manipulated pictures, as for instance mine which I posted above, before calling the African girl's picture "heavily modified".

    In the picture of the man, it is quite obviously not a subtle change, nor is it meant to be. Indeed, a strong B/W might work better, though I quite like the current color grading it currently has. But a solid suggestion.

    With the woman, there was nothing particularly I was "going" for, other than making an image I found appealing. But I feel that you think the blacker skin tone somehow seems very fake? If so, anything in particular?

    Thank you on your comments on the (now posted) first picture in my original post.


    In general though, it is quite weird that this has come up, as I did not ask for critique on these (that's what image retouching forums are for), but for high resolution photographs to work on (which I am still seeking).
     
  11. Steve01

    Steve01 TPF Noob!

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    I think it's the lips.
    A person with skin that dark would have darker lips.
    My very first thought when I saw it was it looked unfinished and unnatural.
    The lips should be red as with lipstick or a more natural color but it looks skewed, wrong to me.
     
  12. Zeplin

    Zeplin TPF Noob!

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    So not the skin then?
     

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