Portrait Problem

We love a challenge! If you have an image that you think can be better, post it here and see what the rest of us can do with it.
ggroess
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Postby ggroess » Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:30 pm

Rob,
I took the liberty of looking a the image you sent out to the site.  You have made some really good changes to the image. 

In Shot 10 I have applied Hue clocks to your image using Curvemeister (CM) in the hue clocks you can see the skin tones and more importantly the color of the tray in the fore ground.  Why is the tray  important??  It can serve as a neutral for the image IF..and this is my big question about the image...Is the tray white?  If it is then Shot 11 attached is the color I would expect to see with the tray made neutral. 

The skin tones warm up in the image but for babies and small children they are not totally out of line.  There is more we can do for the blown highlights on the chair and the child's arm but the current posting resolution makes this a tougher task.  I'd like to cross post this to the "Got an interesting image" thread with your permission more users of the program will chime in on that string.

Greg
Attachments
greg10-jpg-2
greg10-jpg-2 (999 Bytes) Viewed 2541 times
greg11-jpg-2
greg11-jpg-2 (999 Bytes) Viewed 2541 times

mikemeister_admin
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Postby mikemeister_admin » Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:46 pm

Thank you for your suggestions.  I knew there had to be something I could do with the clock icons, but I didn't find it in the minute or so I spent looking for it.  I will take a closer look when I get home from work.

I believe the tray was pretty close to pure white, although I am not positive.

By all means, cross-post this to the "interesting image" thread.  I will be happy to upload a better version of this image if you can tell me what "better" would mean.  Larger size?  Different format?

RobR

ggroess
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Postby ggroess » Mon Aug 06, 2012 5:26 pm

The image is limited to 300 KB in size.

In Photoshop you can use the "Save for Web" menu item on the file menu to re-size the original image.  I would suggest that you make the image 1024 or so wide.  You can then use the quality slider to re-size it to fit the 300KB limits.  If you open a new thread out there with the image and put up your version and any questions you have we'll jump in and help you out. 

The Hue clocks are set by "Alt-clicking" on any point on the image.  They are configured in the settings menu.

Greg


mikemeister_admin
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Postby mikemeister_admin » Mon Aug 06, 2012 10:37 pm

Following suggestions, I redid Nathan from scratch.  I am attaching two files here, the original and the CurveMeister version.  Both were resized to 1024 pixels wide (and a fair bit more than that high, since it's a vertical shot), and saved for the web with quality set to ensure the files are under 300K.

This time, I worked with the image zoomed in in CM so that I could get more accuracy.  I used the wizard.  I set a black point in the pupil of Nathan's left eye.  I set a white point on the tray just under his arm.  I first set the flesh tone in the bright skin under his left eye, but everything turned bright red.  I dragged that point around until I got a pleasing skin tone, watching the bright area at the part of his hair over the left eye.  The final skin tone point was in the lighter part of the shadow along the left side of his nose.  I declined to set a gray point.

Thanks again for your help!

RobR
Attachments
nathan_1024_original-jpg
nathan_1024_original-jpg (240.8 KiB) Viewed 2541 times
nathan_1024_cm-jpg
nathan_1024_cm-jpg (282.3 KiB) Viewed 2541 times

mikemeister_admin
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Postby mikemeister_admin » Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:45 pm

Well I reckon you should be well pleased with the result ROb.  It is a difficult image, but see how easily CM will give good results.

I had a quick play and wound up with something that is not really any better with lots of layers playing with different aspects of the image.

First I thought about what I wanted to achieve, which was basically to bring the face more alive (contrast depth), slightly even out the tones of both sides of the face and have him looking right into me - so the eyes were the most important area of the image to try and enhance.

I did the following...
a) an action I have called AutoChannels - on a new PS layer (in luminosity blend) it does an AutoLevels on each channel, to save me time fiddling with the curves and setting a B&W point [note this is not always a good thing to do as WE should determine what is important in the image, not do it by numbers, but it seems to work 9 times out of 10 and saves one hell of a lot of time]
b) CM in RGB with a very slight curve for tones/luminosity to darken and add contrast
c) a masked Curve adjustment layer in PS to lighten the eyes
d) a masked Curve adjustment layer in PS to make the whites of the eye white
e) a quick paint on a Colour blend layer in LAB mode on the arm and back right background to reduce the highlight glare (which is a personal hate of digital images compared to film)
f)  Back into CM to curve for colour in LAB - I normally curve in LAB for both luminosity & colour (in one step) for my snaps, but always do them separately if the image is important
g) Dan Margulis standard Postcard Sharp action and mask out the left side of the face and background

All these steps were very quick compared to writing this up!

I was quite happy to have the table top blue instead of white as I wanted the bib to be bold and I was past masking out my curves!

I do not like the colour of the background, somehow it seems false and I wonder if it is better dark [2nd image] (curved in CM LAB with 'a' channel as mask).

Thanks for sharing this - very interesting.
Zog
Attachments
nathan_1024_zog-jpg
nathan_1024_zog-jpg (201.27 KiB) Viewed 2541 times
nathan_1024_original-copy-rgb-acv
(66 Bytes) Downloaded 78 times
nathan_1024_zogbackground-jpg
nathan_1024_zogbackground-jpg (201.03 KiB) Viewed 2541 times

mikemeister_admin
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Postby mikemeister_admin » Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:35 pm

Many thanks for your work on my grandson!  I particularly like your treatment of his eyes.

RobR


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