Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Mladenka Timeless Feedback

I got some feedback regarding my newest pictures from my brother who is a great retoucher himself. In particular he found "Mladenka Timeless" good but missing some detail in the contours of her face. His exact words were "I would've not blurred her face so much... it's distracting from such a beautiful pic already... yeah, it's distracting that I can't make out the contours on her face very well".

Since I'm still learning about post-processing and am sensitive to (but appreciate) all feedback I receive. I needed clarification and wanted to learn more behind my brother's response to seeing "Mladenka Timeless". Here's my email to him which reveals some of the Photoshop techniques I use to achieve the final look.
Hey tell me more about what you were saying on IM about how it's too smooth? Because I'm doing a new smoothing technique. In Taiwan I was using Gaussian Blur but now I've opted to use Surface Blur which gives more of a, "surface blur" which yields the effect of creating a smoother skin texture. On the other hand it might be because of the B&W treatment and the subsequent contrast done in Lightroom. In Photoshop I always process for the main glamour look and then in Lightroom I do the color processing. I suppose I shouldn't break up the different effects and should process in 1 program for the finished product but I find that processing generically for glamour in Photoshop then gives me lots of options as far as final processing in Lightroom. I'm going to upload the Photoshop results to flickr and tell me whether or not the contours that you were originally looking for are there...
Here's the uploaded picture on flickr. All I did was take my Photoshop-processed picture and then adjust for saturation and crop. These are how much pictures usually look coming out of Photoshop and into Lightroom:

Does it answer the missing contours? Or perhaps my treatment in Photoshop is still at fault for removing too much contrast between shadows and highlights? I might have to upload the original picture.

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