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The Art & Business of High-End Retouching

Lesson 2 of 32

Shooting for Retouching: Beauty Look


The Art & Business of High-End Retouching

Lesson 2 of 32

Shooting for Retouching: Beauty Look


Lesson Info

Shooting for Retouching: Beauty Look

I wantto make an adjustment here john I'm just gonna drop this a tiny bit where are we with this right now bring this around here hey don't kill her yeah good could I get an apple box for half the other is in great okay okay look if you just we're going to give you an apple box for your feet so that you can help you get you and you can give me a bit of shaping the body just there we go public your issues too if you want to take your shoes off up to you yeah make sure the models comfortable that always helps with expression thank you and you get your shoes seeing what felix is doing is amazing because he's making sure that the models feeling comfortable and that shows in the expressions you know when photographer doesn't communicate with their model it's going to show right away you're wasting a lot of time. Okay good so I'm just kind of using mirroring way have a secret language way beautiful all right you can bring your chin down just a tad if you want perfect good so what I've alread...

y achieved now she's twisted around a little bit and we should get a little bit more like on her hair if everything right way not quite good so I'm this is what always end up happening I compete with the light sources so what's going on here okay so let's see what happens here so I'm just going to keep doing light test flight test light test things were getting better that's getting better so we're getting more detail in the hat right I mean it's even under the chin you're getting more of a shot definition to like you're getting your son to see that you know the jawline coming in a lot more of the hair detail now it's starting to get really nice I want to ask you about this background mag job because that's my my telephone backdrop that I'm shooting one goat if everything yeah it's beautiful um I did a commercial job the other day and actually idea to retouch it right on the client kind of said can we make the background black yeah and I said to him yeah but I want to have a little bit of detail just in case we need to make adjustments is that kind of was correct no actually that's that's the best way to go because sometimes clients will change their mind later as well as you so well no they'll be like hey I actually liked it what it was originally okay and they'll write it so keeping that detail is very important so I have a little bit of detail but it would be very easy for me to to kind of make that black if I go down into the curves let's have a look e I don't might be making claims like like what you say, felix. Well, yeah, you could mask it out. Exactly. Could get that black background. Absolutely. You conduct the mask it out later, but I think having that detail before would be better than just making black now. So we're keeping the background just off black for reason. If I took this whole set up and moved it up here, there would be less light falling on the background. And you can actually go to black. Yeah. It's always better to have more detail than less that's. That's a primary example because, like I said, sometimes clients will change your mind, especially in post production will have multiple revisions, will just go back and forth. The other thing is, sometimes people like to shoot more contrast e but from a post production perspective is better to shoot. Live it flatter and have more information on both ways. So you can then change your mind if you need to. Later on that's a good point to what? I was going out. I read your minor there. This is working well. Could I build circular reflector? Do you want white? Please? Do we have a white side on that way could pop it out and make it wait? Okay, so again, if I was touching this myself, I wouldn't want to be a cz lazy as I can be, but I'm sending this to critique so I'm going to play around and see if just here you can see that on the screen I could get on just here I could get a little bit of detail I'm gonna play around with that and then I might even change the hair around to get it more into the frame and get more the shape on her but that's more photography thing not retouching and you know that's a good point because you shoot almost like there's no photo shop, right? I mean you're shooting to get everything is good as possible as if we can do it later it was lying about last night I was thinking about this is this where I go? Right? Well, we can just do that in photo shop because I have a re toucher on set and it's actually the opposite. I want to ask him questions that enable me to have a better final result. Yes, because remember, retouching is not about fixing your mistakes it's about making your work better aspirational right? Someone in the yeah yeah it's never about photo shop is not about fixing mistakes it's not a crutch it's not a safety net it's basically something where you get a good base file on the build off of it. You're not fixing makeup. You're fixing here, you're enhancing what's already there. Exactly. John, if I get you on this side of the set and we're just gonna try this to show I want to get some light into their hair mostly good, perfect killer and let's try. Why don't we do this? Just to get you to have that kind of what's? That seductress is kind of feel good and you're going to be looking kind of down on me, you know? Kind of. Yes, lovely. Good. And I should know. I see just by doing that subtle move, I have turned her around a little bit. There we go. See, we're starting to build you the image that just from that subtle thing where I don't even see her arms, but it gives her that mode to feel it lovely. So this is where we're going somewhere again, I have less contrast here than I would want, but that's the critique, right? Yeah, and here's. Another interesting point if you re toucher specifically it's always important to see the photography aspect of this because you're able to see how light changes on set and what realism looks like because sometimes what happens when you get in post production? As every teacher who doesn't have photography knowledge, you start tweaking light in a way that you don't understand and things don't look right, and this gives you a good idea what happens. We start opening up shadows and where they open up, right? You get a good idea of what light does in the properties of it. So I think we're the best things to do is for your future is it? Go on set with photographer like sticks and see what happens toa light. So you understand what looks good in post production and one other thing I was going to say, you notice I'm making adjustments and every time I take a picture capture one just takes that adjustment and applies it to the next image. It's brilliant! So let's critique, I wantto kind of comes get with you here and figure out where I want I would want to go with this if I was showing it to the plant on set because we have this tether t and it's kind of nice, and I think this lends itself maybe too a little bit of a warmer feel definitely, so I'm going to just play with that if I go cool, it kind of gets that commercial look right, I think it should be more, more dreaming. Now actually it's a good point how would you like to describe to people what type of toning you do you know the mood does it come from her expression? Does it come from you know, the the client but like I said with the make up you know I saw kayla and then I said, why don't we do this right and that because I should portraiture and normal people that's what I have to do right? I'm not um you know, we kayla is kind of I think you're michael lifestyle model right? Just nod yeah actress and think there's personality and that's why we chose her and for me that really well but it the person forms where I'm going with it it's a little bit different than what fashion photographer anywhere they need just object kind of makes this answer your question sure it's always or I think I think it's very personal, isn't it in terms of what direction you want to go to, everyone has their own choice and ideas and ever a set stone rule that's right? Yeah it's just this is just when I'm messing around in here I let you just go with the sliders and go do I like that or not exactly it's that simple it's never this is what it should be this one should be here because it's always a personal thing there's no rule that I follow I just go kind of like this is my I like it or not go ahead I'm just wondering where you do use any white balancing tools with this or you mostly working with your own I uh yes thank you for reminding me of this I have a color check her passport that I'm going to throw in there in a minute once we get closer to where we want to be with this picture that's what critique can use later to just click and have the exact right white balance again he's working off a different file than on what I'm showing but it also helps me in that psychological mindset if I get this to look great and the clients there going you know when I get that moment I'm like yes that's money could you also use like light room or something yeah I I used a picture before yeah on dh a sad using light room s sorry capture one recently and it just didn't crash right and when I tell it and it was like I did it thousand images on monday on a commercial shoot and not one problem it was just fantastic rate so I kind of become a convert and now I'm like mind's amateur thank your goodbye so I'm going toe play around this is the non technical technical bit right but I'm just kind of messing around seeing where I want to go with the contrast kayla could just relax you see already I've just add a little bit of contrast and the image starts to kind of feel a little bit more like something the client would want to see I kind of want to bring in a little bit of the shadow just to see where we're at with that hair there we go just getting a bit of contrast this clarity slider is good for clients but it's horrible for all postproduction because it makes a ll the pores really sharp and then pretty has to we touch them yeah stay away from me and I thank you for not doing everything just awful good and structure like sharpening should be your very last thing right yeah yeah I can selectively change the tone I'm kind of happy with that I just want to see if I add a little bit of yellow what happens that it gives it that little bit more clam effect on dh again the curves just like everywhere else just a tiny bit of contrast might give us a loan edge that the client understand there we go so if I go back to the original and then back to the image we already have a little bit more feeling in there so again this is for the client to see this is for me to see what's coming off the camera there's one other little thing I like to do which is where is the color editor there call editor is amazing because that allows you and pretty it's going to show this probably writer yeah, this was just like I had this moment where was going online? The best human emotion is when you really understand something I think that's one of the most beautiful things that happens in school when you saw the math problem I had this with kel editor like I can finally say what exactly do you mind if I show a little go ahead? We're going to be much better better ah ha moment because this I think this sells the program but I've never seen anything else do it quite like capture one doesn't hear let's say I want oh there's lots of programs to do it I just flicked on the lips right eye I do like the color but let's say I didn't write I can say click here view selected color range and this is now showing me how much the lip on the skin has some of the same color I can make it a little bit more pronounced I'll show you picking another color let's pick the color of her hair see it's only showing me the hair on some of the skin that in the same range and I can make adjustments just to that, so I'm going to go back to the lips turning this into a software class was supposed to be shooting but we'll do that later and then I can change I can kind of change I don't know if you can see it and it also changed the boundaries of the color too yes, exactly I can change the smoothness and that how it determines how the progression works between the different colors and she's looking really sickly on this image now and over here there's little you can bring I can so that's kind of going mohr into the purple or going more into the yellow but it's beautiful particularly with skin tones I'm gonna let's say somewhere right see that selected the skin tone down here and I can change is the lightness slider I can make her skin light and dark and if you have a lot of radiance in the skin a shadow that clips off too quickly you can use that to kind of smooth it out and the color is especially ida jewelry shoot with like lots of turquoise and red I could just manipulate each of those colors individual is beautiful so I leave that back to kind of where it was everything I wanted a little bit overboard with this adjustment coming back to that and now I'm kind of thinking that's a bit too warm go back to the where is my my car about my bounds here just go back to that right then, now I'm ready to shoot capture one will take that adjustment onto every every image you can actually set it so that it doesn't show no of software shows you the roar and then it takes some time to process well, that's harsh for the client to see capture one you can set it only show the next image when it's ready she's really neat little feature that I absolutely rely on because I used to feel like a bad photographer because my rolls look bad don't don't fall for that like that they will look awful, right? Because love you will ask me you know where should my raw files be before I get to my final product and a lot of times people don't realize that it's it's okay to have the raw files not looking completely as you would when you see the final magazine cover. But just the basic principles of making sure your light and shadows right are the most important things about the shop. And we say another thing about why you capture one known I used a picture, you know, apertures fine. Life was fine. I just think that this adds that extra one percent on where I met my my career, you know, using a phase one obviously it's expensive but we can add that little percent you know that loft diminishing returns every time you add one percent to your work when you kind of already have it figured out you're spending a lot of money to get that one percent you know what separates us from the very top of the industry is it seems like a huge chasm but it also seems so magical because maybe it's only ten percent but every to send so hard one you know exactly because when you get to that particular what sets you above everybody else keeps adding to it yeah it takes years yeah all right let's do some shooting things really quick felix just before you get too far into it any far from england critique is there anything that has done differently for a location shoot versus studio shoot they need to be aware of before retouching purposes do you do anything different? Yes for example if you're shooting outdoors there's more and being like to be considered about so there's more of a chance for you to blow it highlights and have less control over your lighting so a lot of times when we're in a shoot people have scrims that cover the sun so that they can still go the ambulance from the back and then still use a studio set up so sometimes people wonder like how are they getting such beautiful shots outdoors because I can clearly see the sun the background and the reality is, you know, a lot people are screaming the shots and they're blocking out the sun so they can still have a studio environment outside without having the sun being too interfering the shot. Secondly, things like wind is a factor when you have wind coming in there's a lot of other elements of nature that can play a role in that. So just be aware and pre plan go to location prior to and maybe even talk to retouch and say, you know this, we're going to shoot at here's a test shot, a model, what do you think? Because then you could save a lot of headache later, reacher comes back and says, well, it looks very dirty and windy, so maybe have, you know, a b flat or something that can block the wind, block the sun and then that saves a lot of time going forward in your post production fantastic, and I just wanted teo one more reminder for folks who may have just joined us after the pre show when we were just getting started today, we're focusing in the morning on shooting and we've got critique and felix here, and they're going to talk about how best to shoot for re touching things that you can watch for to enhance your ability to retouch or to make the retouching job a lot easier then this afternoon we're going to talk about art business over the next two days we'll be doing all the retouching will be very deep in in particular computer on working on that so with the questions that you're asking today, I'd say focus them on this kind of photography related retouching questions and then tomorrow and saturday is when we'll ask the actual in depth software related questions yeah, and I think this is fantastic because you get to see the dynamic that we have behind the scenes and you can also see where the files came from so that the concept sit better with you you'll feel a warmth it's, annoying, timely, limited space you'll see a lot of this face over the next couple of days so warm up to it that's what I would take us right? So we're doing this, john, okay? Kayla just leaned back a little bit so john can get it right where your faces because we've meted for there perfect and that's a file that will be very useful later on, and we only do that once. Thank you, john. Okay, protect do you have any other points about how we're doing the tether before I start doing the actual shoot? I think your privilege explained everything that I would have, you know, wanting you to cover regards a tethering, but also keep in mind that again like you mentioned a good point being this's your workflow but this can be translated toe whatever program is so it's fantastic I'm just a really quick question about the color checker eh, can you explain to people what that is what the color checker is? And then also this is something that you're just using for reference for later it's not something where you're going to take the picture and then make adjustments to your camera right now I don't use it that way I think there is a way to do that if I was really very technical, which I'm not, I would probably calibrate my camera and and all the software that's the way of doing that I started always buy getting like I had a white balance little card that was in my wallet and I think it's stopped working because they've got so dirty, but I used to use that a lot just because I didn't know you know if you if you're starting out or you want to learn it's just that little take that little bit of uncertainty out of it, I think that's what it's most its uses for its just so you know you're white allen's is right rather than going like I don't know you know you khun slide that slide all you want, but sometimes when you just get it right it just looks right and you just didn't couldn't I do that with slider? Yeah, and keep in mind even though there are times white balance a very artistic thing as well as and like, even though it's not perfect it's okay to be often, you know, on one direction if you feel like, um a particular mood is has a particular white balance, for example, so this is just being very technical and very accurate it's okay not to be extremely technical about it. Yeah, and if you said mentioned autistic and white balance, I'll pleasing color versus accurate color exactly. And jessica, tonight gone, you use the color checker with its own software to create the profile when you start when you first start editing or you going off uh, your own so sometimes what happens is like felix, for example, may use a color check her, you say, hey, this decree be exact white balance sometimes the client won't you leave it to me to decide so it's just a relative to who's shooting, which is why I mention the point of, you know, sometimes okay, if you don't have ah exact white balance price here because we can do that later on, but tons of question no, I don't do it all the time it becomes important if you like that the jewelry if they're hellas, you want to make sure they're just right you know, they spend thousands and thousands of dollars getting at the exact right shade of turquoise here out of the mine, and you can't replicate it in the chute. That's what? I just did a commercial campaign, this lingerie brand, and what they basically said to me was when they when they shot the files, the white sounds a little bit off because they're going for a particular mood. The client was then later they came back and said, well, I like the mood it's just that now the turquoise a different share of turquoise. Could you feed the color? Match it later? I can say, is that headache? Yeah, yeah, just happens also, I'm all you know. Yeah. So I'm gonna show you what happens if I dropped onto? I believe it's this isn't it? That's, the correct that's, the neutral white balance. And it was it made almost no change at all. See how perfect it wass that's? Just me particularly it was felix. Okay, um, so that that's that but I want to go back to this image and just show you what I do because fatigue mentioned artistic, you can change the calvin a lot and I think that always kind of dies but sometimes to give it that kind of phil look our play with the tent just a tad so you could kind of have this cross processed look by adding the red or the green I don't think that's as bad if you do it subtly I managed to do that's another really good point you brought up because with raw files typically people know that the amount of information you have in a raw file is pretty extensive when it comes to lighting but equal extensive when it comes to color because you can't change white balance like this once you've opened the fund for the shop it becomes extremely hard to come have realistic shifts like you would when you have the raw file which is also why it's important that the white balance perfect because raw file contains much more color depth as well. So while I'm messing around messing the image up for team when he goes back to that unlike just shooting wrong we're good he'll be fine good so we'll get to actual shoot yes now we're good for now we can chew eh? Perfect all right kayla so what are we going? What we're going to do I want you to get that temper towel thing going on they go she's an actress this's wonderful you could just tell him he goes yep I got this good and just perfect good and we can just oh, one thing I forgot to check slap I'm focus I am going to check that we are in focus on the ice using the little loop tool critique how I see the fire hasn't loaded in yet go to the center of the eye there we go it's a little bit soft goto lips let's see how that is uh I am going well with this focus I'm glad I'm checking this what do you think? Critic let's see what we have on this image and you should have thought one stop okay, I think I'm getting about one every two was fine that'll do that's the reality by the way that is so intense that getting everything you know on dh yeah and where? F eleven so this is one point two they have trouble with this. Yeah, okay, I think it's up and critique would you mind going over and driving and just seeing if we're getting if we're getting it in focus thank you. All right, caleb perfect and kayla feel free to vary the post every time and the eyes it's all in the eyes let's do a little bit of the like slightly open mouth yeah beautiful now it's perfect ah that's what I like to hear a good good halo that's lovely and can you just put your hand up into your head kind of like this yeah lovely good so I'm just you know if I'm doing a commercial job let's say we had jewelry we could show the julie her rings right there you see it's coming and I'm actually gonna come up a little bit on my tripod here and shoot down to do there we go that's the main thing is you know I might not get every post perfect I might not have the right idea right away I'm just going to move through and keep changing things until I feel it works so you noticed I'm focusing re composing focusing on the eyes re composing and each of the images are coming in beautifully there what do you think I'm going to also change teo portrait orientation just because I feel like we could get a little bit more detail on the dress and that might work nicely tell how your nails let's show ok it's good for retouching away let's give critique a little challenge perfect that's a nice doll you have there good let's try let's show everyone how you would do like a nail story like you know yeah exactly good perfect that's just I just wanted to show that we're not actually going to use the nails but kind of getting in front of the face and I haven't done the lighting for the nails so well good kayla let's do the same for tao thing I'm going came come up a little bit take any thoughts so far I think you know once you got your lighting right that's been great trying to see about the ice maybe eyes you want to get a little bit more on the eyes but we this is also because she's not she's leaning down a little bit that's a good point is making sure the expression exactly yeah exactly so we're going to stay up there and you know I might even do let's do it quite drastic like with eyes closed end up yeah beautiful and I'm gonna come in a little bit closer let's see what I can focus this thing I'm too close okay on second beautiful kayla and just turn your head slightly more good eyes and chin up beautiful day and I'm going to be competing right with this and just tell you head towards me a little bit on dh let me just direct you directly a beautiful death get it and I'm now aiken nothing else going for you and one second good oh god I'm really good at this very moment I all right let's try that again that's me just using the focus let's do I think that's what I had in mind let's see yeah it's close yet so far better that it was a frame better okay, get away with it john is the black side on there what do we have of the other side's gold besides gold, you want let's not use that. Let me just show you how the exact let me do one with victor and without just to show that little difference, kayla again, that light up, and I'm going to change the light around a little bit to get a little bit more contrast. I I wanted to see if we do this, that made me better that maybe better. So again, I'm just giving myself options. You know you want to get your client off, we look at when you look at falls like this, how much shadow you typically leave under the neck. Do you care? Like how, how deep it is? Yeah, and that's what I was trying to minimize with this with a light kind of coming up a little bit to get a little bit of a deeper shadow, I think there's a little bit too much concentration on the next year.

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