Monday, October 5, 2009

Elle Woolley: Shadows

The way you see this picture is pretty close to the way it appeared on the back of my camera when we first shot it. Dark. Shadowy. And if you've seen my work, then you know this isn't the first shot that I've done in the shadows for the shadows. In retrospect I should have exposed this shot for a nice round histogram so I could have more details to play with and then decide what parts that I didn't need (the highlights and the darks) to compress the brightness levels for good tonal range on the face.

But I didn't.

I think I learned quite a few things with this image:

-Expose properly when shooting and retouch later for effect
-When and why to compress brightness levels
-Adjusting "local contrast" with unsharp mask
-To retouch with a specific effect/feel such as the cool darkness in this picture but without losing skin tone
-Using the inverse of high-pass filter for skin softness
-Using the spot healing brush as a faster version of the healing brush
-Using the patch tool to reduce uneven skin tone
-Always sharpening the final image for a "crisp" look and feel
-Bringing out the color and the details around the eyes
-Sometimes simplicity and angles are your friend. This shot was taken from a higher angle than most of my work
-Watch out for distracting stray hairs
-Never finish an image without looking over it from multiple angles
-Never finish an image because you're in a rush to finish it

All that said, I did have some trouble with some uneven tones in the skin as a result of lighting, saturation, and makeup. I have a new technique I need to try courtesy of Chris Orwig of, from whom I've learned lots of my PS techniques. Anyway, this image was fun to work on and required lots of patience because it was not only an image that I retouched using my typical techniques but also an image on which I used lots of new techniques.

Camera info: D3/24-70mm @70mm, 1/200th, f/9.0, ISO200

Strobist info: AB800 with 20 degree grid camera front left for hairlight/rim-highlight and AB800 in 28" Apollo Westcott softbox camera upper left for main light. No fill card or fill light was used for this image. Triggered with Cactus V4 (Gadget Infinity)

Model/wardrobe: Elle Woolley

Makeup: Kayla Bresee

1 comment:

  1. Great image! Good job, Charles.