Friday, October 9, 2009

In the Trenches #4

After two very destructive layers to bring up the exposure and sharpness, this is Layer #4: cloning and touch-ups. This is normally one of my first layers, but I guess when you have a shot so soft and poorly exposed as this one those issues take precedence. I merged the existing layers together on a new layer (Control, Alt, Shift, E) and touched up the blemishes around the mouth, a couple of stray hairs on the cheek, and got rid of those awful shadows under the eyes. It's tricky touching up a portrait of a child. You hate to make this into too much of a glamour shot on such a young subject, but at the same time for me as a retoucher there's a minimum amount required. I tried to keep that in mind here -- no selective brightening or color shifting, just cloning to get rid of distractions. What starts to enter my mind here is that after Topaz, sharpening, and now retouching, I'm left with skin tones that are somewhat lifeless -- somehow the warmth has been lost. And while the face has improved the background is still blown out. Still a long way to go.

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