How do I make a portrait with a very slight blurring of the skin?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by thomasmain44, Aug 27, 2006.

  1. thomasmain44

    thomasmain44 TPF Noob!

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    Can someone give me some pointers on how to take a portrait where the womans skin will be ever so slightly blurred or blended in order to hide skin blimishes. Maybe this has to be done in Photoshop but I wasn't sure if a filter or filtered lighting would help me out with this. Thanks for any help.
     
  2. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    You can do it in photoshop very easily, or you can buy a "soft focus" filter for over your lens. The cheap way is to put pantyhose over the lens. It's not going to blur only the skin though. The only way to achieve the effect selectively (that I know of) is through photoshop.
     
  3. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    You can stretch black or white, fine net stocking hose over your lens, or smear vaseline on it. Like Matt said though, it's difficult to avoid applying the effect to the entire photo. I like PS.
     
  4. ShootHoops

    ShootHoops TPF Noob!

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    Gaussian blur maybe?
     
  5. modbohemian

    modbohemian TPF Noob!

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    An excellent way to smooth out the skin without creating a blurred effect is to shoot into the sun early in the morning or just before sunset. The sun becomes the backlight, but then you poke your camera between two enormous white posterboards, which will then create the front lighting. The effects are astounding and have an amazing effect on ironing out any lines or blemishes on the skin.
     
  6. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Historic note:

    In the days of film and home darkrooms [ask Grandpa -- he may still remember . . .] the trick was to use ksmattfish's stocking mesh stretched over an opening in a piece of cardboard. This was interposed twixt lens and easel for a part of the exposure. The softening effect was variable, depending on the ratio of total exposure with and without the mesh. Really serious blemishes were removed with a scalpel blade.

    What did you say? Oh! Of course not. We didn't do that! No way! We used the scalpel to scrape the dark spot from the print, not the subject.
     
  7. NoteGraphics

    NoteGraphics TPF Noob!

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    Using a gold reflector will also add warm tones to the skin, and careful adjustment of lighting will help. Avoid over brightening areas - if a subject has "pimply" skin for example oblique lighting will highight this - think of a hill casting a shadow.
    Failing that, if possible get the model to use a soft foundation make-up. ( Male models are less willing to do this.... ;-) )

    To photoshop it i would not use Gaussian Blur as it moves pixels around - try using "noise" instead:
    Duplicate the layer with subject on it - select FILTER > NOISE > MEDIAN.
    Add about 10% and reduce the layer opacity to 50% or so.
    Now the clever bit ! Make a layer mask for the blurred image and subtract the highlights such as eyes, lips etc...

    As an example of :- Use of gold reflector to soften lights, careful makeup, touch ups in Photoshop ... and trust me..she does not have skin that good ! ! !

    [​IMG]
     

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