Beauty Retouching: Skin Study #1

In my two decades in this business, I can honestly say that retouching skin has by far been the one topic of frustration for many a retoucher. With the new paradigm shift in the imaging world, a great many more young photographers have to do their own retouching and with that comes a new breed of frustrated artists. In this Case Study and in Skin Case Studies to follow, we'll be diving head first into the realm of skin. In this in depth series of videos I take an industry standard beauty image and retouch it from start to finish. From initial color and density settings we move on to taking inventory of what's needed to be done. We then start by adjusting all the problem areas of the image before moving on to the beauty retouching. Then comes the meat and potatoes of this series- beauty/skin retouching. In this series we use a subject with skin texture that I'll call an "average" skin type for the sake of argument. This means nothing terribly harsh, but the kind of skin you'll find in most professional beauty photography. We'll call this type of skin: Skin Level One. I start with the […]

Dodge & Burn Methods

So the questions at hand is simple...What exactly IS dodging and burning? Well if we ask Wikipedia we get something along these lines... "...A technique used during the printing process to manipulate the exposure of a selected area(s) on a photographic print"

Conrad’s Photoshop Workspace & Workflow Setup

Organization is key to productivity and knowing where your tools are and how to get to them quickly will not only save you time, but make you more money. So, let's talk configuration... My Palette Configuration Here I give you a visual representation of all the palettes I use in Photoshop and how I have them set up during my normal workflow. Constantly having to go to the file menu to search for often used tools is a huge waste of time when you can simply keep all your most used palettes open and available. If you've got the computer power and a little extra cash I HIGHLY recommend picking up a second monitor(I actually use 3). This multi-monitor setup allows you to work in your main window and keep your palettes and other tools and "distractions" in a separate window. My setup might not work for you, but I'm sure that seeing how I work will definitely give you some perspective. Work better!     My Layers Palette In a previous video I went back in time to share with you how different the world was back in 1996 when I first started in Photoshop. Single undo and no […]

Color Tools Comparison In Photoshop

There's an old saying that says "There's more than one way to skin a cat". Now I don't condone the actual act of skinning anything, but the sentiment holds true especially when it comes to Photoshop. I see SO many different styles of retouching and color correction and the fact is that they're all correct- if they achieve the desired result. Some photographers and retouchers prefer using Curves to color correct and others enjoy the ease of Color Balance and Selective Color. In this Case Study I've taken a simple approach to demonstrating the strengths and weaknesses of each tool so that you can determine for yourself whether or not you're using the best tool for the job. Color Correction with Curves Using a grayscale gradient I make a simple Curves color move on a section of the image and then try and replicate that move as close as I can using the other 2 color correction tools(Color Balance, Selective Color) on a different part of the image- side by side- so you can see how each tool works. Since Curves is my tool of choice and can handle most any color problem, I used it as the reference. So […]