Monday, July 20, 2009

Skin Tones: Nikki Limo

Revisiting one of Nikki's pictures from her shoot and this time retouching in the same manner and fashion that I've been processing for Lauren's shoot. This time I took extra care to remove bothersome highlights and shadows and only bring out the highlights that should catch/reflect the light. Unlike my old processing, I did less with the burning but still retained a healthy shimmer/glow in the skin.

This follows with my current stage of glamour retouching; creating that healthy, perfect looking skin while still retaining texture and pores and really pushing the highlights in the right places to accentuate facial contours and definition. Whereas before I did not differentiate between highlights and shadows (basically I'd brighten all highlights and darken all shadows), now I am picky about what theoretically should be a highlight and what should theoretically be a shadow. Every person's face is different, following the bone/facial structure the camera will capture highlights and shadows that may not exist in faces of others. Add to that the complexity of expressions and unevenness of skin and flesh and then lighting, and you have a recipe for disaster. I think this is where artists (i.e. people that draw) have the edge because they envision the three-dimensionality of a person's face based on highlights and shadows and thus see these things in their mind's eye before realizing it on whatever medium they play with. I suppose this is where having a theoretical or technical understanding of this stuff comes into play.

Coming back to the picture, Nikki has great skin and is actually disarmingly stunning when you meet her in person. When you first see her, you can't help but marvel at how good-looking she is, but after you talk to her you're immediately disarmed by her down-to-earth charm and personality. There's simply something about her that puts you at ease even in the midst of a lingerie shoot like this.

Strobist info: 1 SB800 in Apollo Westcott 28" softbox camera slight upper but mostly left. 2 kicker/rim lights SB600's from right and left of camera, 1 SB-26 hair light from the top, and 2 SB-800 background lights front left and right with red gels.

Camera info: D3, 85mm f/1.4G, 1/250th, f/9.0, ISO200, triggered by Gadget Infinity (Cactus) V4.

Processing: Lr2 and PS CS3

Nikki Limo

© charles yeh 2009


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