Post your Before and After, Portrait retouching, RAW processing, Photoshop effects

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#1 nathancarter on 4 years ago

I thought it might be fun to have a Before and After thread. Post as much detail on your process as you care to give.

I'll start with a Lightroom portrait edit from DragonCon.

This is my friend Alex ([URL=""]Calencraft Cosplay[/URL]) dressed as Liz from Bioshock Infinite. We're in Hardy Ivy park in downtown Atlanta, in the late morning. Fortunately, it's nice and overcast.
I used one Speedlight on a stand to brighten her a bit and give some separation from the background. No modifier, as it was a bit windy and I sure wasn't lugging a sandbag around. It turned out that with a bit of processing, the bare Speedlight also gave a pretty nice golden-hour sunlight look.

1. As shot:

[url=][img][/img][/url][url=]DragonCon_20150906_4676.jpg[/url] by [url=]Nathan Carter[/url], on Flickr

2. Working the panes approximately from top to bottom.
Not too much in the way of global adjustments in the Basic pane -very mild WB correction, lift shadows and blacks a bit, mild saturation tweak, increase global contrast and clarity. Careful with the ol' Clarity slider when shooting women, but I'm going to retouch her skin anyway.

A bit of adjustment in the Split Toning pane, primarily to add some warmth to the skin. I fooled around with the white balance for this, but it wasn't giving quite the effect that I wanted.

[url=][img][/img][/url][url=]Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 9.56.18 PM[/url] by [url=]Nathan Carter[/url], on Flickr

3. A bit more Sharpening than I usually apply. My 24-70 lens is a bit softer than my 70-200, but the 24-70 was the only lens I was carrying. (one of these days, I need to spoil myself with the 24-70 II instead of my decade-old original)

[Image redacted due to 6-image-per-post limit. It's in my Flickr album with the rest.]

4. Now, the heavy lifting with the Spot Healing tool, used in both Spot and Brush mode. This leaves some artifacts in the toning, but these are corrected later with the Adjustment Brush.

[url=][img][/img][/url][url=]Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 9.58.48 PM[/url] by [url=]Nathan Carter[/url], on Flickr

5. Now some cleanup and touchup with the ol' Adjustment Brush.
a. Go over all the skin with my modified Skin Soften preset. I scaled this one back from -100 Clarity to -50 Clarity and saved over the original; -100 is too much.
b. Now hit all the dark areas with my Skin Brighten preset.
c. A little bit of enhancement of the eye makeup.
d. Little bit of Iris Enhance. It didn't make much difference.
e. Not shown, went over the whites of the eyes with the Teeth Whitening preset. (this preset works great for whites of eyes, a little brightening while still looking natural)

[url=][img][/img][/url][url=]Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 10.00.40 PM[/url] by [url=]Nathan Carter[/url], on Flickr

6. Before and after.

[url=][img][/img][/url][url=]Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 9.54.23 PM[/url] by [url=]Nathan Carter[/url], on Flickr

7. Final.

[url=][img][/img][/url][url=]DragonCon_20150906_4676.jpg[/url] by [url=]Nathan Carter[/url], on Flickr

#2 ryohazuki224 on 4 years ago

Nicely done! That is some attention to detail there!
I still have a hard time with doing that type of adjustments in Lightroom, outside of color correction and exposure and whatnot. When it comes to fixing blemishes and other finer details, I still take my shot into Photoshop since I'm more comfortable that way.

#3 TykeJack on 4 years ago


First time making a gif, so I hope it isn't too large...

#4 nathancarter on 4 years ago

Looks good to me! Thanks!