Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Kenna: Secret

I can't tell you what Kenna's secret is because I don't know what it is. But that's the way Kenna works, she's mysterious :)

What I can tell you is how I work and how things have progressed over time to where it is today. Lately, I've been looking for a "crispness" to images that I have been seeing in others' work that seems to elude me.

But I'm getting closer.

There is a certain "paper-quality" to the images that I've been attempting to achieve with both Secret and
Kenna... And I'll tell you what the issue is: When you shoot at 12.1 megapixels (which is 4256 pixels on the long side) and then resize to 1024 like I do when I post to web, you're going to lose a lot of the detail which would otherwise make an image crisp and sharp.

What's the solution? Overall sharpening to counteract the anti-aliasing filter will help. Output sharpening on resizing will also help. I've found that adjusting for levels decreases the "haziness" of the image thus lending to an overall sharper look and feel. But the truth is, nothing is going to bring back those middle frequency details that are lost in both my retouching and resizing. Some have suggested reintroducing a small amount of noise which can help but I feel that perhaps NOT killing those middle frequencies via spatial frequency separation might be the best bet.

But the time savings in using the
spatial frequency separation method is extraordinary. So it's a compromise. Every retouch is different as well so there isn't a one-size-fits-all means of obtaining that crisp and sharp feel to all images.

Is there anything unique or special about this image that I don't usually do for others? Not particularly other than that I've been upping the vibrance on this and Kenna... Also I've gone back to playing with levels and trying to get them as crisp as possible without losing too much detail, really it's a compromise which means I have to adjust the middle levels bar. Lastly, I didn't go over the skin with the "spatial frequency" healing brush this time, which means the skin should retain a lot of the finer detail that should translate and hold even after a resize to 1024 pixels on the long side. Why do I resize to 1024 pixels on the long side? It's completely arbitrary. I feel it's a good web size that all displays can handle and not too small where it's useless.

What a body huh?

Camera info: D3/24-70mm f/2.8G @48mm, 1/200th, f/7.1, ISO200

Strobist info: Tried and true. I love the AB800 with beauty dish gridded with the 40 degree gridspot + Ray Flash adapter (on SB-800) combination.

Model: Kenna Cade

Makeup: Kelli Zehnder

Wardrobe: Kenna/Michelle Green

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