9 Photos - Aug 3, 2011
Photo: Mind Blowing - Retouch ComparisonPhoto: Retouched version is on the left :)

Basically, every single pore on this lovely girls' skin has been massaged by Photoshop, either by healing, cloning, dodging or burning. I am obsessed with smooth gradations in the skin. I inspect the image from very tiny (2 inches on my monitor) to very large (200-300%) and if I spot any pore or patch of skin that stands out, it gets lightened or darkened until it is no longer noticeable.

Does it look fake and overdone? YES... IT DOES - but for some unknown reason, I LOVE IT.
Not that I would want to make every image look this Photoshopped, but at least I know I can, when I want to :)

Lighting Info:
- 22" white socked beauty dish 2 ft. in front of subject at head level
- Small silver reflector at waist level for fill
- Subject up against thunder grey seamless background

AlienBee 800's
Paul C. Buff beauty dish

Canon 5d Mk ll
24-105mm L Lens

All processing done in Photoshop CS6Photo: Retouch comparisonPhoto: Photo: Chillin' - Retouch ComparisonPhoto: Latest retouch experimentPhoto: Close up comparison... retouch is on the left :)Photo: Back story:
My studio is currently undergoing renovations. The space is only 450 sq. ft. and consisted of 3 rooms: kitchen/living room, bedroom & bathroom. All in all, this isn't the worst space in the world, and I am very grateful for what I have. I used the living room area for my light set ups and backed up into the kitchen to shoot. 9' x 19' total. Workable, but somewhat cramped. Especially when I shot those 3 teenage boys in there...

So I had the wall that separated the living room from the bedroom removed, and instead of all the black & white bed sheets hanging on the walls to conceal the green walls, I decided to paint as well. After much research, I chose a neutral grey color, instead of the popular white and sometimes dreary black options. I brought my grey card to the paint store and long story short the guy volunteered to 'custom mix' my grey. BIG MISTAKE. Upon picking up the paint, the sample swatch looked quite blue to me, but I blamed my bad eyes and chanced it. However, after Fred & I painted the whole studio... it STILL LOOKED BLUE. I hate blue. And the idea of potentially introducing blue color casts had me sick. But repainting had me feeling sicker!

Oh no... what to do?

The place was a mess, but I figured the best thing to do was a few 'test' shots, with lights and Fred, to see the effect the blue walls had on an actual photo. I just took 2 seconds and threw 3 lights up, one bare bulbed AB800 on the left of Fred, pointed at the wall, one bare bulbed AB800 on the right and pointed at Fred and one AB800 in a 36" x 48" soft box in front and slightly to the left, angled down. I have no idea what the settings were, probably what they were on from the last time I used them. I quickly fired off a dozen shots and promptly downloaded them into the computer.

Well, you can see in the 'before' shot that it wasn't my imagination. Blue as all get out. It was a pretty simple fix in Photoshop to turn the wall grey and fix the cast, but I just couldn't stand the thought of blue in the end. The next day it was back to the paint store (a different one) with the grey card in hand. This time the sample matched perfectly and Fred & I re-painted that night. I have yet to take any test shots, but regardless, I am satisfied that the color is now the grey that I chose. In the end, I have to admit that I just love this photo of Fred. So you may not always get what you want, but at least it's something :)

Retouching took oh, about the usual 10 hours.Photo: Retouch comparison