A good image, can be made better through processing it would be rather ignorant to neglect learning software as they progress almost monthly (or even daily). Not all photographs need to undergo processing of course, but it would help if you know how to erase that stray hair that bothers your client -- instead of reshooting for such a minor detail.
Software: Adobe Photoshop CS6
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Skin flaws/Costume flaws are easier to spot if you're on the other side of the camera, than the one looking through the viewfinder.
What do you mean Kuri?
Photographers look at the shot itself, more on components of lighting and composition. And that's a LOT to look at and take into consideration. Models on the other hand, see themselves and all their glorious flaws. More or less, a favorite shot of a photographer can rarely be a favorite for the model.
EQUAL FOOTING: I am both a model and a photographer on most occasions, I understand the pain of just standing there while your makeup starts to melt while your photographer looks for the 'perfect' angle and doesn't really get it. While as a photographer, you take as quick as shots as humanly possible sacrificing quality over quantity displeasing most people including yourself, the client/the model.
SKIN FLAWS: This should be common sense, not everything can be fixed through lighting. More so if the lighting is a bit dramatic and leaning towards darker tones. Females in general do not want their pimples and pores highlighted.
COSTUME STAINS: This isn't necessarily a bad thing, unless it makes your model look like she just sat on chocolate.
STRAY HAIR: Keeping a wig in tact or hair in place is not all possible unless you always have a Make up artist with you whose focus will only be on keeping the model perfect -- otherwise do keep an eye out for messy hair/wig.
PALE MAKEUP/WRONG LIPSTICK SHADE: Sometimes, the makeup doesn't look as good in the picture itself, and you need to either perk up or lessen the color.
The lip shade is distracting, it shouldn't be THAT pink, also you can notice that I was slightly dehydrated at that point. I also had pimples on my chin and cheek so even with the lighting it wasn't possible to erase them so we do it here in Photoshop.
On the image above:
I've created NEW LAYERS, One for "Prop/Costume Fix" and another for "Skin Fix" (You can just make one for Skin fix for now)
It's not necessary to name them of course, but it'd help you look for the layers when you reach around 30+ layers.
CREATE A NEW LAYER
Press "CTRL+SHIFT+N" or " ⌘+SHIFT+N" and hit enter/return key ( I will no longer mention MAC commands after this), remember that it's important to know WHICH LAYER YOU ARE IN/YOU ARE EDITING.
On the above image:
I've selected the brush tool, and removed the other layer to lessen the possible confusion. So now we only have ONE NEW LAYER, which is for the SKIN.
Hardness - 10 %, Size - 30 (Or depending on the flaws you want to erase), Opacity - 20%
Moving on- I look at unnecessary folds on my clothes as well as things like stains, and minor flaws we normally get while moving around. Notice that I have made a NEW LAYER on top of the "SKIN FIX" layer. Let me explain what just happened on my face.
What I used was a combination of the Brush tool (Shortcut B), and the Eye dropper tool (Shortcut I) or simply hit the alt key while you're in Brush mode/while you have the Brush tool selected.
Copy colors from the surrounding areas and paint them over the flawed area.
Hit the letter "J" on your keyboard, (yes hit it! Hit it! Kill the bastard! Ok, I'll stop with the stupid joke) and make sure that you're SAMPLING ALL LAYERS. Tick/Check the "Sample All layers", and "Proximity Match" is selected as you can see on the bottom image.
What does that do? Ticking "SAMPLE ALL LAYERS" makes sure that you get IMAGE DATA to copy from the ALL layers present. You see, when you create a new layer it's basically EMPTY. and you can't copy nothing. So make sure you have this option checked.
While "Proximity Match" makes it copy the pixels/picture data near the area you're clicking. It's very literally named, much like all the photoshop tools.
Creating Depth: Basics
Don't expect to use blur, or levels just as I did say basics
We will be using the dodge/burn/sponge tools -- of which I have a love/hate relationship with.
DUPLICATE THAT LAYER
Most of the tools have settings like the "BRUSH TOOL", they're all about opacity, hardness and size.
Now how to apply these lovely tools? Simply click+drag over the spots you want to edit.
We can see that my face achieved a little more depth due to the dark hues from the burnt areas. It darkens color, remember that so it works well for the black wig Mikasa has.
What I did here was cut out my lips from the entire picture and applied dodge to it in a separate layer. It's just as good to edit the same duplicated layer you had with the BURN TOOL. I'll explain cutting out parts and such in another tutorial as it delves with what most people consider the hardest yet powerful tool in photoshop.
There you have it folks! I've worked on this last week but it seems making a tutorial that's integrated on a website is harder than one that's in a full layout. This took a couple of hours to make so I really hope it helps someone out there!
Feel free to comment and whatnot if you've an idea what/how to improve my way of giving a tutorial. (No video requests please, that takes WAY longer and other people who do that get paid or are doing JUST THAT as it takes days) Anything else, feel free to holler!
Thanks and cheers!