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The Art & Business of High-End Retouching

Lesson 23 of 32

Retouching Workflow: Sharpening


The Art & Business of High-End Retouching

Lesson 23 of 32

Retouching Workflow: Sharpening


Lesson Info

Retouching Workflow: Sharpening

Just keeping my layers named perfectly three honest with you as I'm working at whole, I'm pretty lazy about naming things so it don't feel like you're the only one I know all of you aren't labeling everything now I'm going to talk about sharpening because sharpening is something that I will do selective e and I say selectively because most of times I'll be honestly, I never sharpened, I don't, and the reason for that is I'm delivering the same file back the client and is already very, very sharp as it is, especially as you notice on this image, all the detail is pronounced on her face, and all this is sometimes detail that you don't even want to bring out to begin with. So you know, I don't sharpen everything, but what I will sharpen, if necessary is things like dresses or makeup because if you do make up really well and you correct that perfectly enhancing that will make the attention fall in the eyes again and I believe the attempt, the purpose of sharpening, just like the whole reto...

uching process is to enhance the motion of the image and what's already there. Similarly, when you look at this image, my attention goes to her expression in her eyes, so I'm going to sharpen specifically to bring attention back two eyes and maybe make other elements pop in the image now here's, what I'm gonna do for sharpening, I'm going to do another merge to picket layer, which is again making a copy of everything you've done so far so it's that shift option command e um si here and have included that in the action set as well, which is emerge visible merge visible stamp you have to remember that and I will name this sharpening now the way that I shopping is quite simple there's nothing complex about it and I will use my high pass they er what I mean by high pass is I'm going to go to filter other and high pass and now under the high pass I'm gonna hover my mouth over the image and click on the air that I want to focus on right now it's the eye so I'm going to zoom out here under the thumbnail adjust my radius to basically encompass what it is that I want to bring out so let's say I want to bring on the makeup and and I mention the makeup because if you know what is the eye itself is showing a lot of colors, meaning and probably over sharpened if I currently applied at its current state, so this radius is basically very, very good visual indicator and that's also the reason why I'm not very numbers based as a re toucher is because I'm very visually based having an artistic background and I understand things just by looking at what it does most of the way that I figure out for shop was just adjusting sliders you know, I never everything purposely looked at tutorials and said, what exact pizzeria should this be adding what number should you know my highlights yet? I never really paid attention that I paid attention to does this make sense to me visually? Is it look att does it not look it and then went accordingly and just like learning things, I learned how to do this technique just by understanding what was happening just by looking at it and playing around with the numbers I don't have a particular number in mind. So again, without being said, since every image is different, you do have to look at the image now here looking at the makeup, you'll notice that a lot of the texture is now defined. We thought a lot of color coming through if I just my radius to become a very high number, you see a lot of colors coming through, meaning it probably won't be a good idea to apply at the st so let's, go ahead on apply something around here where eight point five seems to be something we're getting all the texture detail available, so I'm going to hit okay and set the blending mode to either soft light or hard light now hard light essentially will pronounce a texture even more than hard light what'd I just say you know ok let's start that again the hard light will essentially pronounce a texture more than soft light okay? Why? I don't know because it's harder and softer softer in a city that's something that I have never really actually looked into isa difference on why that is why the algorithm says that soft light must be much softer than hard like aside from the name it's amazing when you look up the guide to blending modes google you will see on infinite amount of pages uh explaining what each blending, what does you need a phd to understand all that? But if you're curious, I encourage you to guys teo look that up because it's very fascinating from a scientific and mathematical point of view, but I really sucked at science and math so therefore I'm going to get into that discussion okay great now way have sharpening applied to the whole image and as you can see, I don't think own apply that back into our skin because that does not look pretty and I would not like to emphasize what's there because I think I did a good job of controlling that and what detail I want to be kept available on my retouching process, so I'm not going to further enhance that unnecessarily and have more work for myself this is also why did not sharpen to begin with I definitely don't wanna have more work than necessary okay great so I have my shopping there said to soft light and I'm going to mass this again you can also hold the altar option key before clicking on your mask and that will make your mask of black it can already see people say you should have helped you should have told them earlier that's all we do okay great now my flow is going to be set again something that's not too slow not too fast ten percent if you ever want to know what floated said something too just play around like I said, you know, make a new blank canvas, said it's a white and play around with your flow with the black brush and see what happens with each variable you get a better understanding of that okay my brush flow is ten percent I'm on my mask again I'm not on my layer I'm on my mask keep that in mind now I'm going to be rushing back and you notice or you may not notice see here I turn on and off it pronounces a lot of the makeup that's already there or when you go in hard light it makes the effect much more intense as well you could even do this to the color of the eye it enhances that all of it there are obvious areas you doing a sharpened like in the nose? You want to do that? That is not very pretty matter where you're from, uh, also some lip for the makeup. Um, maybe some of the hair here's, another cool tip when you sharpen everything else but the skin, it makes it look like you spent you and more time on the skin just not true it's, like you're building an illusion, you know, this whole thing is based on building this illusion of transferring what you see about that, about the image to actually making the image look like that the problem typically happens when you can, um, bridge the gap between the two fantastic so you can see that the matter sharpened implies very minimal, but it pronounces a lot of the areas that you want attention to orm or attention on more soothing skin. So again, it's something that doing minimally but this is what I would typically do for shopping. I don't trumpet the entire image, even if I they tell me, you know, that's going to go for print, whatever, I leave that to their side because I don't want to be left in charge of exactly how much sharpening its going to be applied because they can come back to me and say, you screwed up my file and I don't know what typically it will look like after print once I apply particularly for sharpening and again maybe that's a personal preference but I dont on what I do on a regular basis now let's talk about exporting settings now with exporting let me go in first save this file so command s it's safe to where previously located so now the quickest way I think to probably exported file um see isthe I'm gonna try see safer the web under file oh thanks yes I'm just praying it doesn't crash on me like that be amazing but I hope it kind of does he can see a real world situation what happens people panic at three am and morning this is headline not typically does happen the other way it always happens during a deadline with three and deadline and you have to make sure that it's delivered accepted crashes on you in the client's screaming down your throat that they wanted yesterday which is a real world situation maybe next time we'll have real world scenarios like that have a pretend client screaming at me while I'm working I'll be amazing uh however I've been lucky to have really amazing clients so thank you guys okay, great. So what I will typically do here and the reason I like dysfunction is that let's say that um photoshopped wants to work with me here let me do this that moving okay, first and foremost, let's. Pretend I'm saving this for the web. Ok, I will send it to jay pig and next I will adjust the height or with that I like. And the great part about this is it's linked so you don't have to remember proportions anything that nature even adjusted by percentage on dh I will say have it set too again, the image size doesn't mean anything. I am just using a random number, it's just based on whatever output you're using, I will then make sure also to have convert to srg, be selected so that it does a conversion for me. For the web, the quality now, typically the quality will be based on whatever you know, intention you have, if you're going to be uploading this to somewhere where you don't mind how slow or fast images load, I want to keep it a hundred percent quality. However, if you are going to be using, say, facebook, for example, I would probably bring down the quality as much as possible prior to because what happens with facebook is it used this compression algorithm that turns your beautiful photos into mush, okay, and that typically something that you can't get away from because it is still going to go through the algorithm. However, if you compress the image as much as possible prior toe uploading it it may be a better idea so with that being said, what I will do is drop down this quality slider as low as possible until I get something that's deemed very good looking without as much picks elation impossible, eh? So that we don't have to render you know ifyou'd like facebook used their engine to render the file on their behalf. Now the good thing about this is it shows you the exact file size that it will look, it will be once you've expert this so in this situation my quality is say satisfying like seventy percent, which I think is quite okay number two be out because the image still looks quite decent if you look at it from a little thumbnail view the other cool part while this menu is whenever you go ahead and re size the image theoretically by putting in your settings it does it for you in the preview section so you know exactly what it's gonna look like and the exact size it's going to be so here we go we have something that's quite reasonable and a thousand pixels in height on we have somethings quality said seventy percent which seems pretty reasonable considering that you know, seventy percent is typically something that would be looked down upon on but on facebook it looks better than whatever their engine is doing and then I'm going to be said to j peg some people say that png works better some people say je gook's better I don't have a preference because I noticed that when you opened the png facebook converted to a j pick try to save it again it's a jpeg and it doesn't keep the png qualities there so I could keep it a jpeg and then say safe we're done and then it exports and makes it perfect great critique okay this is awesome love to see the whole procedure from beginning to end one of things that a lot of people are questioning is how when they're working with their print lab's and kind of figuring out like or working with their clients and need to figure out okay I you need this in this particular set up and you need this color space and you need exit wine the do you set a pre sets for everything or do you just does it change for every time that you are exporting a new image typically what happens is when I'm working on an image my presets I don't have presets only pre said that I would have is you convert to adobe rgb or converted rgb if I'm doing it manually through it to father something of that nature however most of times I will just manually click on converted sergeant b through the export menu but again, I don't have any presets unfortunately, but you know if it is inefficient rework fly do you recommend keeping presets excellent great let's keep going. Okay, fantastic now so that's basically it in regards to the my whole work. So for the post processing section now let's, go ahead and take a look at the before after one more time and as you can see, we've done quite a bit and again, this will be available for download. You can check out everything in beautiful ht detail especially you want to see the new degree but that I did didn't do and, uh you can see how much everything kind of scary you look at everything that I do. Okay, now I'm going to go ahead and save this. The vehicle feature is that when it's saving still work on your file before in previous version the photoshopped you couldn't get to wait so you could take a water break or something which you probably should every hour you know take a five minute break to get some water, get some rest, walk the dog so were some questions yesterday about kind of retouching and I fatigue and how long you can feel comfortable, yeah retouching for before your eyes started make the work worse yeah devon, this is not a natural environment, very toucher victory were at home at two a m in mourning working and not on a saturday morning, so what I would recommend is don't I think that just because I'm working for extended hours that's what I do regularly, I do take breaks quite often, maybe every hour so you drink ofwater go walk, look outside the window, contemplate life the meaning of it basically, whatever it is, some people to yoga it's been like five minutes breathing your could still fall asleep I recommend not doing that, but spend that five minutes just relaxing, you know, recovering your brain because you know, that is because your passion about it don't let it consume your entire life have other hobbies and things okay, enough about the procession going continue and go on way should have guess you get a car and you get a car no it's not happening, you're not getting a phase one. Sorry, so if you've got, say, for example, multiple different come shoots that you're doing that you're editing and stuff like that do you change things up like I do a wedding? I do a portrait, I do a wedding or do you stay in the same flow? So either you say subjective or so that we don't get bored or, you know, how do you handle that when you're dealing with I typically say, if I have a beauty set to do, they have seven images of beauty on me. I have another pending job, so I may have portrait's like corporate head shots or whatever it is. I will then change up between the job's as I'm working, so I'm not so repetitive because he'd get really boring. I know for accurate and consistency save. People say, you should just, you know, you working through all set, but I'm not wired that way. I can't just fix on an image, so it keeps your brain fresh and excited every time you working. Oh, I think it's really boring, and you make I make a lot of mistakes. I'm progressively going on the same side now and then, yeah, but the flow and worked for everything stays exactly identical.

Class Description

One of the biggest challenges a photographer faces is the amount of time spent on retouching images. Creating a beautiful high-end finished photo requires the right tools and techniques — but the process doesn’t need to dominate your workflow.

Join international retoucher Pratik Naik, owner of Solstice Retouch, as he shares his secrets for creating beautiful photos in less time. You will also learn the business and marketing side of retouching — everything from working with clients to creative branding opportunities.

During a live photo shoot, Pratik works with photographer Felix Kunze, demonstrating how photographers and retouchers can work together to craft a final product that exceeds the expectations of both parties. You’ll learn every single step of the retouching process by watching as Pratik turns Felix’s raw photos into high-quality images.

Whether you’re a photographer who wants to present high-end final images to your clients, or you want to break into the world of retouching, Pratik will provide you with the skills necessary to be the best at your craft.

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 14.2, Adobe Lightroom 5



Really wonderful course, thanks. May I suggest a fantastic idea for maybe those who purchase the course? It would be extremely useful to be provided with a summary of the content of each video segment, perhaps a 30-60 second video with written 'dot-point' sheet at the end of each segment, to be reviewed at a later time. It just takes too long to replay each video to get the important messages. The notes provided by Pratik were a step in the right direction but they need more detail of what was presented, including tips and tricks, in each segment. In this way, once having watched the entire course, you could go back and review the nitty-gritty aspects of each segment quickly and efficiently. These quick 'summary' clips could make up a separate 15 minute video, recapping in detail the hard-core content of the course, without interruptions from questions. This would be extremely useful and hopefully not take the presenter too long to film. I feel this would be a wonderful 'added value' aspect of buying the course, as it would not be available for for free viewing. It would certainly encourage me to buy more of the available courses. Keep up the great work at Creative Live! I have stopped my Kelby subscription and just watch you guys now!! Well done!! Peter Bourne Australia


Pratik has been a revelation and a revolution at the same time, even kinda a benediction because of its huge generosity to show us such an efficient and powerful workflow. His genial approach turns impossible things into possible. What amazed me most, was Pratik ability to see further the shot and take the best of it to reach the perfection. The original photo is still there, very recognizable, but through a precise and meaningful workflow, it becomes eye-catching, high quality, high impact. Pratik is a wonderful person, very genuine, high talented, with a sophisticated sense of the aesthetics and arts. This course changed drastically my way to look at photoshop and at the retouching techniques. Thank you!!

user d3cdf7

I have been a retoucher since 1992 and a commercial photographer and I am amazed at the wealth of information Pratik is teaching us. Love his great sense of humor. Yes, retouching takes me way into the early part of the morning...up to 4 am. I've learned to listen to Books on DVD from the library which help my attitude much better. Several degrees behind me and I know I was meant to make a difference with portrait photography. NO ONE wants reality, especially at elder ages. So I continue to learn to retouch professionally and not use a quick retouch filter which renders a fake look. I may incorporate a light retouching filter, but I find I must always do some manual retouching first, in order to have the appearance look real. Which is the old first rule to retouching itself. In the film days, I use to make my own texture screens in order to create more beautiful faces. My photographer friends would ask for my help in using them, when they had blurred an important celebrity shot. The texture screen would help spread the dots and give the appearance of your digital noise now. The results were the image looked more focused Thank you Pratik Naik, for being so generous with your techniques. I am interested in how to price out retouching jobs, as I have been told I give my retouching away with my photography. Thanks,, Jeri Goodwin-Akari cherished moments photography in walla walla, WA