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Archive 2012 · Headshot in B+W
  
 
pinball_pw
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Headshot in B+W


Trying to improve on my headshots. I would love to hear your thoughts on this one. Reworks, thoughts, etc are all welcome.



Cheers - Paul



Oct 16, 2012 at 03:26 AM
AuntiPode
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Headshot in B+W


Here's a tweaked version. Can you figure out what I tweaked and why I made the tweaks?







Oct 16, 2012 at 06:30 AM
pinball_pw
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Headshot in B+W


1) Looks like you opened up the shadows a bit. I pushed them too much.
2) You modified the background around his head to provide some separation.
3) You added some negative space to make the leading eye centered.
4) You sharpened it a bit. I have to remember to do that. I don't typically sharpen until it is time for prints.
5) Did you rotate it?

Did I miss anything?

Here is a color version as well. Not really processed, but may serve as a better starting point:


Thank you Karen!




Oct 16, 2012 at 12:41 PM
Bob Jarman
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Headshot in B+W


Very informative posts! Thanks Karen!

Bob



Oct 16, 2012 at 12:44 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Headshot in B+W


Karen ...

It looks like your rotated the head counter-clockwise, yet the angle of his right arm suggests a clockwise rotation. Also, the line of his back appears altered from the original ...



Oct 16, 2012 at 03:22 PM
sbeme
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Headshot in B+W


In addition she took down the bright spots along the forehead and chin, darkened the neck, especially by the shirt line for more even lighting, more attention to the face.
Kudos to Karen yet again.

Scott



Oct 16, 2012 at 03:27 PM
Bob Jarman
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Headshot in B+W


RustyBug wrote:
Karen ...

It looks like your rotated the head counter-clockwise, yet the angle of his right arm suggests a clockwise rotation. Also, the line of his back appears altered from the original ...


Are we looking at the same image?



Oct 16, 2012 at 04:00 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Headshot in B+W


His right shoulder appears to be rotated counter-clockwise, but the arm seems not. Just wondering if there was something other than rotation applied to modify leading lines. Could just be me.


Oct 16, 2012 at 04:11 PM
ben egbert
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Headshot in B+W


pinball_pw wrote:
1) Looks like you opened up the shadows a bit. I pushed them too much.
2) You modified the background around his head to provide some separation.
3) You added some negative space to make the leading eye centered.
4) You sharpened it a bit. I have to remember to do that. I don't typically sharpen until it is time for prints.
5) Did you rotate it?

Did I miss anything?

Here is a color version as well. Not really processed, but may serve as a better starting point:
http://paulwarren.smugmug.com/Portraits/Becky-and-Jason/i-7gxJL3g/0/L/IMG7512-L.jpg

Thank you Karen!



I actually prefer the color version to the B&W and the rework.

He looks comfortable as opposed to leaning forward in an unnatural position. The slight smile seems natural instead of the cheesy grin we see in many portraits. Generally the only smiles I like are candids caught when a person is genuinely happy or amused.

Color has so much more real information than B&W that it does not need too much manipulation to show darker areas.



Oct 16, 2012 at 04:52 PM
sbeme
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Headshot in B+W


also lightened darker areas L eye.


Oct 16, 2012 at 05:30 PM
 

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eeneryma
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Headshot in B+W


You might have rotated his right shoulder slightly forward to eliminate the twisted folds in the neck.


Oct 16, 2012 at 08:25 PM
AuntiPode
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Headshot in B+W


Yes, it was rotated CCW (with background expansion to recompose) and the arm/shoulders were re-shaped. The rotation gives his face a more engaging look and it is a more dynamic pose. Adding space on the left better balances the pose. When rotating, the base of the shoulders/arm can become unbalanced and did in this image. Extending the arm to the left (reshaping) at the base gives the image a most stable balance to the image by building a heavier base. As people age, we often develop some fat on the back around the base of the neck. Therefore. some upper-back/neck base reshaping is often helpful and I did some here.

Notice that his right eye is on the bright side of his face. That makes it the primary and strongest nexus of attention. Positioning the nexus of attention is the most important part of the composition. His left eye is about on the left/right centerline, but that's OK because it isn't the primary center of attention.

The lighting had a couple of problems. His head wasn't separated from part of the background. Hair lighting or a repositioned rim light would have helped and a slightly repositioned light on the background would alternately have worked. I partially dodged the hair/background edge to simulate a better placement of background light. The second lighting problem was excessive light on his neck. I burned it to simulate less light on his neck. The light also reflected a bit too much on some parts of his face, such as his chin. I burned selective areas to compensate. I dodged around his left eye (on the right) and reduced the problem shadow where his left brow met his nose - an aging artifact that can be reduced without generally making a face look re-touched. I also slightly dodged a few bright places on his face to even the skin and slightly shape his right cheek.

The sharpening I added was to return the original sense of sharpness after upwards resizing, plus a wee bit of selective sharpening of his eyes. (Sharpening can also increase the appearance of contrast.) I also applied vignetting to suit the recomposed and cropped image. If I recall correctly, I also added a small amount of mid-tone boost to restore some contrast reduced by the selective burning and bumped the exposure and tweaked the gamma to compensate with the conversion to sRGB space. (I'm never quite sure whether dot gain 20% displays properly in all browsers, so I try to remember to convert images to sRGB, defensively. Anyone know?)

BTW, although there things to improve, this portrait works so well because the expression was well captured and the rest technically done well and it could easily support the PP adjustments. It was just tweaking a good image. The main point of the tweaks is to suggest minor improvements to making portrait shots that can make a significant difference in moving good portraits to excellent ones.






Edited on Oct 16, 2012 at 08:45 PM · View previous versions



Oct 16, 2012 at 08:31 PM
pinball_pw
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Headshot in B+W


Well I am sure glad I posted this. It has been a great learning experience. Thank you Karen for the detailed workup and write up. I will be reviewing this in more detail tonight and will see if I can emulate some of this with the color image.

- Paul



Oct 16, 2012 at 08:40 PM
sbeme
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Headshot in B+W


Karen,
Thank you for challenging us and offering your detailed analysis, corrections and illustrations.
Great learning experience, as Paul said.

Scott



Oct 16, 2012 at 08:59 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Headshot in B+W


+1


Oct 16, 2012 at 09:11 PM
AuntiPode
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Headshot in B+W


You are all most welcome!


Oct 16, 2012 at 09:18 PM
pinball_pw
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Headshot in B+W


I gave it a go with the PP skills that I have on the color image. I am not working on my calibrated monitor, which will likely lead to some mistakes. Here is what I came up with:


I tried to emulate some of your adjustments. Let me know what you think if you have a moment.

Thank you - Paul



Oct 17, 2012 at 02:06 AM
AuntiPode
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Headshot in B+W


When you try it in color, you add the complexity of evening the subject's skin tone, as often as not. Hard to get the color right without a calibrated display. My first whack at retouching was fairly complex and leaning to a somewhat desaturated rendering that often works for a male subject:














Oct 17, 2012 at 05:37 AM
pinball_pw
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Headshot in B+W


The hair/rim light is something I normally do. I was shooting family photos just prior to this and didn't adjust the position of that light for this. Do you use a flag to avoid the light spill on the neck? I need to work through that as well. I was using an einstein studio light with an octobox. I have a grid for it too, but I don't think that is called for here. I probably should just pick up a book on studio lighting and tighten this up a bit.

Thanks for sharing your image of the adjustment layers with masks. It does help me see what you are targeting. I am on the road today and tomorrow. I want to try this on my calibrated monitor when I get back. I also created a camera profile for the lens and lighting combination that I want to apply to the image. That will likely help me start from a slightly better spot. This has been a good learning exercise. I appreciate it. - Paul



Oct 17, 2012 at 01:21 PM
AuntiPode
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Headshot in B+W


A flag ought to work, or a grid if the source isn't too large, or a panel, or someone holding a piece of posterboard.

With a styrofoam wig head, a wig and some paint and a light stand you can make a model that never tires to use to practice adjusting you lights. https://www.gigibeauty.com/product_info.php?cPath=468&products_id=2169



Oct 17, 2012 at 06:56 PM





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