- Keep it Real: How to Retouch Without Resurfacing
- Incredible Footage of the First Dog to Ever Fly on a Wingsuit (Video)
- 15 Famous Landmarks Photographed from Completely Different Perspectives (Album)
- How to Improve Your Portraits by Using Butterfly Lighting (Video)
- Helpful Tips for Buying a Secondhand Lens (Video)
Posted: 27 May 2014 10:31 PM PDT
The following article features post production tips from Lindsay Adler. To see more, don't miss her course Skin 101: Lighting, Retouching and Understanding Skin on CreativeLive May 29-31.
Thanks to websites like Photoshop Disasters, it's easy to delight in humorously awful photo retouching—but for professional photographers, every amateur post-processing foible is a reminder that with great power comes great responsibility, both to your clients and to your brand.
How Much Skin Smoothing is Too Much?
"The way people screw up is that they smooth out everything too much, and I don't mean detail. Your face clearly has highlights and shadows," Lindsay explains, noting that the biggest post-processing mistake is "blending the highlights and the shadows too much," which can make the face flat.
Instead of wholesale smoothing, make note of where your subject's highlights, contours, and shadows are. When removing blotchiness or discoloration, ensure that you're grabbing sample colors from the same part of the face, which can be a dramatically different shade depending on whether or not it's, say, under the cheekbone or above.
Highlights, especially, are important for retaining a natural look, because, says Lindsay, "one of the places you can see texture on people's skin is in the highlights." Therefore, areas like the bridge of the nose and the peak of the forehead are opportunities to soften and smooth—but not completely erase—the texture.
Know When to Discuss Processing With Your Client
Knowing the subject matter of the photo is also a huge part of retouching, says Lindsay. In portraiture, communication with your client can determine how much editing you do.
"I have a mole on my neck—I would absolutely remove it. It's not a part of my defining features," says Lindsay, who recommends asking point-blank which scars, moles, or freckles they may or may not want in their photo. "Other people, if you remove it, they're offended. So I always ask."
For fashion and beauty shoots, though, she says she's much more liberal with reshaping and retouching.
Retouch Tones, Not Texture
Another huge tip that Lindsay offers is to focus on retouching tones, but not texture. Rather than taking the clone tool to your subject's entire face, which can give that overly-processed, air-brushed appearance, Lindsay recommends separating out two layers—one of which is just the texture of the skin, which will remain even when you do things like lighten under-eye circles. For exact specifications for how to do this, check out this clip, which gives precise details on what to tell Photoshop:
And finally, says Lindsay, take breaks—not just for the health of your eyes, but for perspective:
Get more advanced retouching tips from Lindsay with her upcoming CreativeLive Course, Skin 101: Lighting, Retouching and Understanding Skin.
Posted: 27 May 2014 06:14 PM PDT
Dean Potter should rightfully win at YouTube: he’s combined the adorableness of yapping dogs wearing costumes with the visceral terror of wingsuit BASE videos. The result? Contemplations on dying alone, petrifying leaps of faith, and the unspoken bond between man & dog:
It’s profoundly unclear whether Whisper, the mini Australian cattle dog, is really enjoying falling from a rock several thousand feet in the air any more than, say, lolling her tongue out from an open car window. But she seems pretty cool with it.
It’s fun to watch a BASE jumping video where the GoPro is turned around, rather than facing forward like usual.
That was probably the easiest part of the rig. Getting Whisper up so high certainly did not seem like an easy task, but Potter is clearly a conscientious pet owner. (In fact, he’d probably disagree with the term “owner”; Whisper has joined him on numerous mountain treks and climbs before, so perhaps “partner” is more apt.)
If free-falling at inhumane speeds with an animal strapped into your backpack seems at all, I dunno, weird to you, recall that BASE jumping is the kind of extreme sport that attracts high-fashion Italian supermodels, New Yorkers who break into American icons, and people who see the world’s tallest structure and say to themselves, “Yeah, I wanna jump off of that.”
So, really, maybe adding a dog in the mix isn’t that crazy.
Go to full article: Incredible Footage of the First Dog to Ever Fly on a Wingsuit (Video)
Posted: 27 May 2014 02:35 PM PDT
When it comes to photography, perspective makes a world of difference in the stories that pictures tell. Below, in the images of famous landmarks from around the world, you can see how it’s possible to create an entirely different photograph simply by changing perspective:
A good photographer will always consider different perspectives when setting up his composition to ensure that he’s capturing the moment at just the right angle for his intended vision. When out taking photos, try making adjustments by moving to different angles, changing lenses, zooming in or out, or shooting lower or higher to the ground. Then, review the images to see which version best portrays the landscape–you may be surprised!
Go to full article: 15 Famous Landmarks Photographed from Completely Different Perspectives (Album)
Posted: 27 May 2014 01:45 PM PDT
Have you ever wondered how fashion photographers manage to capture such beautiful light on models’ faces? Butterfly lighting is a technique that you can use to achieve professional results in your portraiture. In this video Mark Wallace explains how it’s done:
What is butterfly lighting?
There aren’t actually any butterflies involved; the name refers to the shape of the shadow created by the overhead light. Wallace sets a light up on an axis directly above the model and above the angle of the camera so that it shines directly down on the model’s face. This direct light creates a butterfly-like shadow beneath her nose.
How to Use Butterfly Lighting
Wallace uses a beauty dish to soften and diffuse the light. When using a beauty dish, it’s important to note that the grid has a tab on one side that is worth paying attention to, because it is quite difficult to remove from the light if installed with the tab facing inward. A good boom stand is also an important piece of equipment to have so that the beauty dish is securely supported.
After the overhead light/beauty dish is set up, you’ll find that there are still strong shadows beneath the subject’s chin. A reflector held beneath the subject’s chin, angled toward the face, will soften this shadow and give your model a lovely glow.
An added benefit of using a reflector with this type of light setup is the creation of beautiful catchlights in the model’s eyes:
One of the many benefits of using butterfly lighting in your studio is that it allows you to achieve a soft, diffused light on your model with relatively uncomplicated equipment and minimal post-processing.
Wallace notes that using butterfly lighting in the studio is fast, easy, and works with almost any face. You can achieve dramatic improvements in the quality of your own portraits by using this technique.
Go to full article: How to Improve Your Portraits by Using Butterfly Lighting (Video)
Posted: 27 May 2014 11:11 AM PDT
Purchasing a used lens, whether from an online auction, an individual, or in a brick and mortar store, can be a nerve-wracking experience. There are a number of things that can affect the quality and usability of a lens, and if you are not savvy as to what to look out for, you may end up with a lemon. In the video below, you can learn how to examine the lens before you purchase it to make sure you are getting what you are paying for:
Things to Look for When Buying a Used Lens
If you are buying a lens online, you may not be afforded the opportunity to inspect the lens before purchasing it. In situations like this you should always try to work out a trial arrangement or ensure there is a return policy in place that will grant you the right to return the lens should it not be in the condition you expected.
Secondhand gear is a smart investment for photographers on a budget. With the proper check for function and quality, you can purchase used lenses at a fraction of the cost of brand new camera lenses.
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