Friday, December 24, 2010

I haven't thought about skin in forever

I haven't thought about skin in forever.


What's changed? I suppose the models. Maybe the makeup. Or maybe I've changed. Sure good skin is still important. But I find average skin much more manageable now than before. I've gone through so many iterations of my own skin-treatment/techniques that I never find myself thinking or working on skin much anymore.

Of course there are exceptions. Particularly when we need the skin to be ethereally perfect like the following images portray:

Cailin. H3DII-31/HC-80mm 1/500th, f/9.5, ISO100

Yesterday a Facebook friend asked me some questions about skin that I hadn't ever thought about. While we both used the spatial frequency separation technique, he claimed that he couldn't get the skin texture to become as uniform as the texture found in my images.

I said, "It's not like i paste on fake skin or that I have a perfect "pore map" as suggested by certain websites where you overlay skin from another model... those are always the real (original) pores. If they are uniform it's only because the pores are by nature uniform and evenly spread across the face"

I asked him if he was using spatial frequency separation. He said he was. He asked me about my LF and HF layers and forced me to think about something that I hadn't thought about in a long time.

I realized that I don't really do much after I separate the LF and HF layers. I do most of my "fixes" before spatial frequency separation. The key is simple: When you start out with a better image, the separation is better and your LF layer doesn't require as much work. I suppose I front-load those efforts and fix the low-frequency issues with D&B so that I don't have to deal with it later. Or more importantly, so when I blur my LF, the blur comes out nicely without having to use a large pixel radius and a lot of threshold.

That being said, my workflow for skin has undergone many changes and I have mental algorithms for computing how deep to go and with my blurs etc. For what it's worth, my processes have freed me from focusing on the texture of the skin. These days I find I have to blur out the texture in the end with some overall Guassian Blur so the skin doesn't look so "poresy".

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