I need some photoshop help with Newborn images

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Sarah23, Jun 10, 2008.

  1. Sarah23

    Sarah23 TPF Noob!

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    I didn't know where to put this, so if it needs to be moved then thats ok.

    I had my first newborn session this past week, and now I am needing some help editing them. The parents wanted b&w for most of them, and so I am needing help converting them and getting that nice, creamy light skin that you see in most newborn pictures. These babies were blotchy and fuzzy (they were preemie twins) and when I go to convert it they just look gray. BUt if I try to up the contrast a bit to make them a bit more white, then the nice darker shadows of course go gray instead of black, and the white blanket in some of them loses all of its detail.

    So can someone point me in the right direction of where to start? Am I just going to be doing a lot of dodging and burning, or something else?

    Thank you Thank you Thank you!!
     
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    A newborn image? Is that when it's just come out of the developer and before it goes into the stop bath? Sorry - couldn't help it.
    From the sounds of your problem, you're going to have to spend a lot of time creating and working in adjustment layers, doing one step at a time. I'm sure some of the more skilled post-processors here can give you better guidance, but I would suggest selecting areas, creating adjustment layers, tweaking them, and moving along. Slow and painful, but it will get the job done. Are these RAW, TIFF or JPG?
     
  3. *Mike*

    *Mike* TPF Noob!

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    How are you doing your B&W conversions? Different techniques will give dramatically different looks... Maybe you just need to try a few variations. :eek:)
     
  4. Lacey Anne

    Lacey Anne TPF Noob!

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    Try using a red filter for lighter skin when you do your conversion. If you post one, I'd be happy to show you...
     
  5. AndrewG

    AndrewG TPF Noob!

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    ...yes, or shoot in black and white using an orange (G) lens filter for lighter and smoother skin tones.
     
  6. djrichie28

    djrichie28 TPF Noob!

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    For the blotchy skin there is a couple of techniques you can try. First is the healing brush, sometimes that helps clear that up. For silky smooth skin (I use this technique when post proding my daughters images) there is a series of steps to get that effect:

    -Duplicate the main layer
    -In the new layer, goto 'filter', 'blur' and choose 'gaussian blur'
    -In the dialog box, set the radius to 50 pixels (You should see the whole image go way blurry)
    -Hold the 'alt' key and click 'add layer mask' in the Layers box (You should see the image come back again in focus by masking the blurred layer)
    -Press 'b' for the brush tool and set the Opacity to 25-30% and paint over the parts of the skin you want to smooth. Try not to over do it, and try not to go over an area again and again.
    -After you are pleased with your results, Click 'Layers' and then 'Flatten Image'

    After that, you can try to convert to B/W again. If you are using CS3, use the Black and White adjustment layer. Works great for setting your shades.

    Good luck
     
  7. kellylindseyphotography

    kellylindseyphotography TPF Noob!

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    Hey Sarah
    Try upping the yellow and the red on the sliders in your b&w conversion. That should help.
     
  8. Sandspur

    Sandspur TPF Noob!

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    1. Adjust Levels - NOT Brightness or Contrast!
    2. Convert the image to B&W using Image>Adjustments>Channel Mixer.
    3. Click on the Monochrome box in the lower left corner.
    4. Adjust sliders as needed.
    5. Once you're happy with the B&W image, re-check and adjust Levels.

    Of course, you can do this all on new layer if you want. Or just duplicate the original and go from there.

    There is another alternative: Levels first, of course! Go to Hue/Saturation. Desaturate completely. Re-tweak Levels if needed.

    But, generally, I like the first technique better.
     

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