"You Look Better In Red"

Discussion in 'C & C Gallery' started by ElNico, Aug 5, 2020.

  1. ElNico

    ElNico TPF Noob!

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    (Newcomers to this thread - See my first post on the second page for a streamlined collection of the images posted throughout the first page.)

    Hi everyone. This is an edit of a photo from a shoot I did last summer, with the colors desaturated except for the red parts. The original is also included below for comparison. I created the edit using Paint Shop Pro 5 (yes, this software is very old :p); the original was taken at f/4 and 1/200s, if it matters.

    I welcome C&C on this image in general, but I'd especially like to know whether the lips look good. I had trouble getting them to look right because of how the model's lipstick fades, and I'd like to know whether the border between the red and the B&W on the lips still looks too sharp.

    Thanks! :)

    [​IMG]
    DSC00281 Better In Red
    by El Nico, on Flickr


    Original:
    [​IMG]
    DSC00281 (square)
    by El Nico, on Flickr


     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2020
  2. Dean_Gretsch

    Dean_Gretsch Always looking... Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I have to say I like the original better. The vibrancy and skin tone just jumps out at me. I think I'd use the spot healing brush and drop the highlights on top of the hood. Nice image though.
     
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  3. weepete

    weepete TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    I'm not a fan of selective colour, IMO it's got a tendency to kill any subtlety of the shot and takes away more than it adds. In this shot it really doesn't work for me.

    Your original has some pretty nice skin tones and the lighting is fairly good. I'm confused about the aspect ratio, which doesn't seem to fit the shot and compositionally it lacks context or narritive. I think you really need a flag or diffuser on the highlight on her hood which is blown. I'd also have really liked to see her eyes here, as there's no reason for her eyes to be closed and it may provide a much needed strong focal point.
     
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  4. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I think that if we're going to de-saturate anything, the model's skin would be my last choice.

    Good exposure on the model, too bad about the specular highlights on the cloak.
     
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  5. ElNico

    ElNico TPF Noob!

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    I like the original too; this edit is just a thing I wanted to try doing, and this photo felt like a good candidate to try it out on. I actually really like this photo in general, and have made multiple different edits of it in addition to the original. In fact, I think the idea for this edit (I did most of it last September but only got around to finishing it now) came about because I'd been planning on doing it with a different photo which has a bit more specific reason for it, but I wanted to try it with this one as well because I was already doing a bunch of edits of it.

    I used a square aspect ratio for this edit because I wanted the full width of the torso but didn't think that the selective colors would look as good below the waist as for the hood and torso; I then cropped the original in the same way so as to better serve as a comparison. I'll show the less cropped version below, along with the other edits I've made.

    If this edit isn't the best version of this photo, that's fine; again it's just something I wanted to try out in this case. As long as you don't think that the lips look badly edited, I can just treat it as one of the multiple versions of this shot, not necessarily the best.

    The idea behind the pose was that it's supposed to be serene and have a bit of a fantasy feel. I feel that the serene part comes across best in one of the other edits below, the extreme close up on the face. I'll also include one from this set that I've also put in my portfolio in which her eyes are open. (There's another one I've posted, but that one also has closed eyes.) Later I'll go through the set again to see what else is good.

    I don't know if Paint Shop has a "brush" that reduces highlights (I can look), but I can reduce highlights on a selected area, with feathering. It's late now but I'll try that later, possibly tomorrow.


    Less cropped version:
    [​IMG]
    DSC00281 (crp)
    by El Nico, on Flickr


    Other edits:

    [​IMG]
    67751493_2568245446548098_1207253381679422993_n
    by El Nico, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    68804097_161541308298908_1850829696632085576_n
    by El Nico, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    67754503_202948094031695_177010893812149080_n
    by El Nico, on Flickr

    Another photo from the set, with eyes open:[​IMG]
    69324396_2686374994708296_3737361258536757982_n
    by El Nico, on Flickr
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2020
  6. twocolor

    twocolor No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    #1 - No selective coloring! We've all done it, but it's a trend that isn't popular anymore and if you're subject is the girl, making her outfit the only thing in color draws your eyes to her outfit and not her. And though the outfit is part of the story, the girl should be the most important part of the image.

    #2 - Fix the blown highlights on her hood.

    #3 - bring down the brightness of the lace on her bust. My eye goes right to the lace...which is near her chest....which is probably where you don't mind the eyes going, but they stay on the lace. When I glance at the image the first thing my eyes see are lace, blown highlights in the hood, sunspots on her gloves than back to the lace. There's so much going on that my eyes don't have a spot to rest.
     
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  7. ElNico

    ElNico TPF Noob!

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    This is helpful, however it sounds like you're talking about the second image in my first post. That image was never meant to stand on its own; I only cropped it the same way as the desaturated version so as to serve as a side by side comparison. If you don't like the selective coloring, you should be looking at the 3x2 version (the first image in my second post) as the "unmodified" version; or perhaps one the two here below. I thought her face might be too off center in 3x2 version so I did a couple more crops just now. The first is 7x5 and I feel frames her face better with rule of thirds; the second is a custom crop that just cuts off the white panel on the skirt, if you think it's better that way.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I know I need to fix the highlights on the hood, but do you still feel that the sunspots and the bodice lace are too distracting in these versions? I actually rather like the sunspots on her gloves, and to a lesser extent on the leaves behind her; I felt that the spots of light filtering through the leaves made it look more like she was standing in the middle of the woods, which makes the image feel more exotic and fantasy-like.

    Also, how about this version? Hood highlights aside, do you still feel that the bright spots are too much of a distraction in this version? (EDIT - On reflection I think that this might also be a slightly different shot than the one used for the other edits. I don't currently have the original file for this image, just a rip of the version I had put on Instagram, so I can't quite tell for certain.)

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2020
  8. twocolor

    twocolor No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Actually, the crop has nothing to do with it. The brightness of the lace and the hotspots takes your eye away from her face! I did a quick edit since your profile says it's okay to edit. So LOWER the brightness in the white lace - the hot spot in her hood needs to be photo edited since it's so blown out you can't recover anything from it. Same thing as the hot spots on her gloves and even on the decorations on her corset.

    I also don't like the second edit - however I am a very classic and true to color photographer so that is just my opinion.

    One of the facts of photography is to not blow highlights. Some cameras when shooting in RAW can handle more blown highlights than other cameras, but that doesn't mean you just give up trying to keep them in control. Find a full shade spot where there are no sunspots on the subject. No amount of cropping can fix blown out highlights. If you have access to the model again, I'd go give it another shot!

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Soocom1

    Soocom1 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    OK, from my personal perspective:

    In the original post and the original un-desaturated image IMO is the best.

    First the obvious:
    The uncropped image a few pics later causes her bust to literally bust out, and the B&W has a real problem because no red or blue filtering was used. (See old B&W filter use for specifics)
    What it does is literally make her chest look overly obvious.

    The original cropped photo though, causes the red in the bust area to be balanced out and doesn't make for a boudoir photo. Comparing it to the uncropped version, the bust area literally pops out because it overpowers in the amount of red in the image. Skin tones in B&W are altered with the filters vs. the B&W here which makes the skin tones and bustier part merge into a singular tone.
    it lends again to overtly boudoir.

    Otherwise the pose and prose are good and agree with the highlight.

    The altered images especially with the blowouts muted makes the image work well.
     
  10. ElNico

    ElNico TPF Noob!

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    Okay, I've just tried fixing the highlights, and found something really weird.

    Most of the editing I've done of past photoshoots has been in the Windows "Photos" application, in which highlights and shadows (amoung other parameters) can be both increased and decreased, but I can only edit an entire image, not a select area. For brightness, contrast, and saturation, Paint Shop seems to have the same functionality (Windows Photos has "Exposure" and Paint Shop has "Brightness" but I'm assuming those are the same thing, since the latter is placed alongside Contrast); but it seems as though Highlights and Shadows can both be only increased, not decreased.

    Colors->Adjust->Highlights/Midtone/Shadow brings up a box with those three parameters, each of which is a value from 0 to 100. For Highlights, 100 is "no change," and decreasing it makes things brighter. For Shadow, 0 is no change, and increasing it makes things darker. Midtone starts at 50 and can be both increased and decreased.

    This is so weird to me that I feel like I MUST be missing something here. I'm assuming nobody else here actually has Paint Shop Pro 5 since it's at least 15 years old; but from my descritption, does anybody have a clue as to what might be going on here??



    That said, adjusting the highlights in Photos made barely any difference to the gloves, and of course doesn't help with the hood. Regarding which -

    Trying to fix part of a photo that's severely blown out isn't something I've attempted to do before, and I don't really know how it's supposed to be done. I've found a combination of tools in Paint Shop that might result is something usable if I fiddled with them enough, but I suspect that that's less effecient than whatever you did, so I'll just ask - how did you do that? Thanks. :)
    (EDIT - There's also a method in another program I've used in the past to make an unwanted object "disappear" that might work here, but I'd still like to know how you did it for learning purposes.)

    Straight-up shade wouldn't work in this case, as for several of the shots (including this one and the one below) I wanted to use a white reflector to bounce light up form below to add a glow to the face. I guess I could made it (using either natural shade or a blocker) so that sunlight doesn't fall directly on the subject but still hits the reflector; that's just tricky.

    I don't think she models anymore (she's since removed all of the modeling photos from her Instagram profile), but I'd be up for trying a similar concept again with a different model.


    I'm unclear on which images you're saying are better than others in this paragraph; though I think I understand why you're saying they're better. I get that you think the second image in my first post is better than the uncropped one; but you also seem to be saying that one of the B&W images is better than the other, but I can't tell which one you're saying is better ("Skin tones in B&W are altered with the filters vs. the B&W here" - I can't tell which photo is which in this sentence), or whether you think that that B&W image is better than the cropped and colored one from my first post.

    Also, if you think the cropped one is better, do you think it would be even better if the aspect ratio wasn't square? Maybe 10x8? Do you think that it being square is off-putting, as weepete suggested above?

    I don't know what you mean by "see old B&W filter use," unless you're just telling me to "look up how to use a B&W filter."


    I went through the whole set again; here's one that I think has a good connection, unedited except for cropping. (Yes, this has the same problem with the light on the hood.)

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2020
  11. Soocom1

    Soocom1 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The use of B&W filters has an effect on skin tone and the colors it blocks.

    Ergo: if you use a red filter for B&W on the lens it BLOCKS the red and makes it appear darker, almost black.
    Here is a lead on it. Using Filters in B&W Photography | La Vida Leica!

    Funny enough a yellow filter will pop out the skin tones.

    BUT if your shooting digital, unless the camera can be programmed to shoot B&W you have to use the filter programs in Photoshop etc.

    This will differentiate the skin tones from the cloth.

    I have used several cameras in monotone and put colored filters onto the lens and actually did a comparison a while back. The result is quite significant.
    Old Soul: A B&W test. Red filter or not.


    In post No. 1 (except the blowout of the hood) looks nearly perfect. In post No. 5 the uncropped version of the image in post No. 1 shows more of her outfit, that much red overpowers the rest of the image.
    Ergo: The cropped version (Post No. 1) has much less red and thus better balanced color.

    Now consider that the image IMO is actually quite nice overall.
    I like what you did and the prose. Just the desaturation thing did not quite hit it off completely.

    hence why I am talking about filters and faux filters.
     
  12. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    We are now up to 14 unnamed photos. Kind of hard to give critique in this situation, but I am not a fan of the original selective color / black and white shot.
     
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