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Retouching Q&A

Lesson 25 from: Commercial Photography: From Start to Finish

Joel Grimes

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Lesson Info

25. Retouching Q&A


Class Trailer

Day 1


Ten Things That Spell Disaster for a Photographer Part 1


Ten Things That Spell Disaster for a Photographer Part 2


Ten Things You Need to Know about Branding


Shoot: One Side Light Beauty Shot Part 1


Shoot: One Side Light Beauty Shot Part 2


Shoot: One Overhead Light Headshot


Shoot: Edgy Three Light Setup Part 1


Lesson Info

Retouching Q&A

There was another question from mary from costa rica who wanted to know, how would you treat a female athlete skin? So it has that grungy detail on our body without bringing out the flaws on her face. It's kind of a fine line with a female athlete. Okay, so that is a fine line, but had I gone in and done my frequency separation skin and clean it all up, then it's not going to reveal is bad. So you do the skin retouching first, smooth it out, get the best and then apply that grunge ready to do some q and a. So speaking of retouching, women's, skin tone and whatnot, yesterday when you were editing ashland's photo, you did guardian blur on certain parts, right don't like on her arm, you know, I did that frequency separation and the bottom part of that the low, the low we call low and high layer I take the the lasso tool and I selected at a blur guzan blur and then I around thirty ish percent or, you know, whatever, and then you can adjust it to whatever you want but that yeah, that smooth...

ed out the skin. Okay, so I was just wondering, like, if you did it, you know, on on ly part of a cheek or something does that if you're looking at it up close, does it look like the texture is gone or does it still kind of does it look kind of splotchy? It was hard to do it right? It should be a real smooth yeah, I mean, I've done it on this girl I mean, you know, I mean, I can't blow it up we're in the wrong one um I find it pretty pretty smooth frequency separation technique is probably the best thing out there right now, but but do everything in moderation in terms of how much you do it so you don't want apply too much of that here's the here's I would say skin retouching is a riel art and with there's levels of skin retouching that we in terms of ability that we need achieve I am not going to be doing skin retouching for a cosmetic company. Those people are on a whole other level now you can get there, but I don't need to get there my skin retouching has to be pretty darn good, but there's a level that I'm not even close to be in terms of, you know, the best of the best and so but the frequency separation is a good technique and here's another thing a good skin re toucher it may take a couple days for them to risk to retouch a skin uh what an image so I'm trying to do it in about what's my limit two or three hours if I can't do in two or three hours I'm not doing it it's just not my personality so when someone comes along and says I'm the world's greatest ken re toucher I say let me shake your hand because I you know I can't do what you do I could never do what you do on the patients all right let's take some q and a from the chat room photo makers asked if you ever adjust the vertical distortion in a cr not just the converging lines but the perspective because the building is tilting away from the from him can that become a distraction to the portrait in composites what is your take on that well I adjusted it later in free transformed but in camera dobie raw I've never done it okay if it could be done I'd like to learn how to do it I just haven't learned how to do it is there a way to do it and raw I guess there is I don't he says there is he's asking you oh I don't I don't know about if you could do it in raw okay I think it's due later entry transform okay julie wanted to know if you can create an hd are from one version of a raw file saved with three exposure settings went rather than having to shoot three very good question number one question I ask myself back in ten years ago, I wanted to know if I could do that it doesn't make more sense here's the problem you are not going to game word bit depth if you have a fourteen big capture back then was twelve and you go and create in process in raw, a darker version of it and a lighter version of it and you have your normal and then you run it through your process you will get maybe kind of a little bit of a grungy look, but it will not give you that bit depth or the tones or the smoothness that you would get with recaptures, so you cannot do it. You say you could do it, but it doesn't give you the same in result, when I'm running three pictures, I'm getting a thirty two bit file concrete a mile deep, supporting my image. If I do the fourteen bit capture and do the saying, I still only have two feet of concrete that's a good question, that means their little brains working uh, but I had the same and I get that question a lot so it's uh but and there's people that are less smarter than me that will answer that for her, like there's books that thick on hdr but yes that's a good question and then picks he wanted to know if you have any tips on noise reduction in h dear well, you can apply north noise reduction reduction in camera. Dobie raw, work's really good. And there are third party software plug ins that reduced noise too. They're amazing. So if you get in a get into an area where you say bracketing hdr and you go old, my top one is in the sixteen hundred, you know, area where you think they're a little bit too much noise, you're gonna run a noise reduction through that and it's a good idea, but but, artie, camera, you have that ability. Well, I already know the answer to this question, but eric wanted to know if your shoot if you shoot back grounds like do the catcher eyes or driving by or you spend your day background hunting. And when I saw that photo of the building, I said, I bet geologist driving by we'll stop the car. Well, here's, what happened? We went to a bakersfield photograph. This is some of the subjects we used on their harley's way did some really cool stuff there this kind of that first attempt of not first, but one of the first attempts I did of being out in the in the, uh, feels shooting harley's with strobes and so we were there I don't have anything right here I guess I can't see without my glasses but I did it with cliffs harley's here tonight um but we were in downtown bakersfield and I'm like, well, what a cool place I gotta love for backgrounds so what do I do? I got up early in the morning I walked the streets between one hundred ten when we shot those harley so even in the morning was pretty warm but I didn't walk around but I can't I can't sit still when I'm in a little newer area like that and I see all these great alleys I cannot sit still I got to go out and shoot him it's like being a combination of a portrait photographer and a travel photographer well, you know here's what? I will tell you that when I started doing hdr and shooting backgrounds like I do now with just a tripod on the camera I felt like I was a little kid again. I felt like it was the early days of me shooting camp, you know, back in high school and just, you know, with all the strobe stuff and all the complexity I do with the portrait that's a lot, but with with hdr backgrounds I have me my tripod and camera and it's so much easier in is fun and you know I like like roaming and I'll go to we go to barcelona I'll just get up and I'm going to walk the streets and I just shooting backgrounds background question from martin who wanted to know when you shoot backgrounds do you need to get releases for any specific buildings or anything that you're shooting in case later you put them in a commercial image good questions these people are listening are there thinking um here's my theory on that if you have a recognisable um building and you're using it for an ad campaign um there might be an issue there and you say I would like to go get permission from this but um what I would say is that most of my backgrounds I clean up and do stuff so if there's logos and stuff I take it all out right um if I was to use an image like here's this was not going to send detroit in the packard plant but if I was used a background that was questionable um number one to clean it up so there's no logos and uh I guess like I said if it wasn't for advertising I wouldn't worry about it if it's for advertising than may they say maybe that's a situation where you want to make double check and make sure but but it's a good question because then today we have seen so many restrictions of things it's like you know but but I could say I don't know I don't know what the laws are and I don't know how the copyright laws work there's people that are really smart so number one don't give legal advice if I don't know it so I would say I don't know okay good answer so there's a couple more background questions I am awesome wanted to know if you ever use stock images for backgrounds and I've seen that before people said is that is that morally okay is that they're ethically okay much very good questions all right here's my theory on this I am an artist I do not want to use someone else's background right do you want someone to use your background for their artwork? I don't think so I don't know to me but I've talked to some photographers they go I don't have a problem with that but I was I don't care if someone uses my background and he pays you for it me personally I don't want someone using my backgrounds and here parlour reason why let's say I build a body of backgrounds and started selling them and then one day I get the big ad campaign and someone says I want to use that background and cliff has used it you know in one of his pictures and became very well known famous picture and now I want to use something similar is like wait he is my background before I could get to it that makes sense I don't want someone else using my background and then I had to compete with that I don't know that's me so here's what I would say if you're in a situation and you're in a situation where you're making a living and let's say you're shooting a bunch of baseball kids and you need a bunch of backgrounds and you don't have anything that's baseball related and all sudden click of a button for ninety nine dollars you have you know a couple backgrounds and you want to just drop those kids in it and then making the moms that happy I don't have a problem with that but when it comes to competitions lot of competition spell out you cannot use any images in this and your image is that you did not take things like that so I guess it's yes or no I mean it depends on the situation but personally I do not want to use someone else's background okay we have a couple let's just do a couple more background questions germ people really asking them and then we'll we'll wrap for the day so another question from mary from costa rica who wanted to know if you shoot all your backgrounds on natural light and do you ever light up do you ever let up your question no I never lied on the all natural light it looks little because that's what the hdr kind of gives you so that's a great question but no it's all naturalized not strobe and but there's some of that and I'm adding some street kings you know light like a little almost looks like lights coming in and it looks like it's lit but it's not it's, all done in photo shop and then brett ese wanted to know your background lens of choice. And are you are you always shooting at sixteen? Or what are you always shooting really closed down? What? Your eye for background, love? What angle and john were talking john he's like the long lens guy, right? That's I love white angle. So for a long time I had a sixteen to thirty five. That was my widest lens and I saw almost every time it was on sixty millimeter. Then I bought a seventeen till shift and I started shifting to the left, shifting to the right doing three pictures. I get my, um, bull sets, blend them together and make one big long panel. It gives me a thirty six megapixel capture. Uh, and so when I drop a picture that was actually this one right here that we just had on the screen, this is shot with a seventeen tilt shift left and right, so what does that come out to twelve millimeter. What is possible, and your aperture, usually you try, almost always f nine in the field, almost always seven point one in the studio. That was a quick and easy answer. Like that. Some answers. Way went to f ate a little bit, and when we shot the the the high speed and goto five six, so I moved things around a little bit, but I try to keep it in the sweet spot, and I don't want to go to f twenty two because that's going to be diffraction there's, a lot of diffraction there is getting lots of depth of field. I don't need it so here's the thing now with medium format, I need a little more depth of field, so in a studio and medium format, I'll probably go f f a f nine and in the field, I probably go f ten eleven.

Ratings and Reviews


Joel Grimes reflects the true meaning of a passionate modern artist. Seamlessly blending his old school film techniques in todays ever-changing digital world with such amazing realistic results. Not only in his own body of work, but achieving the same outcome while teaching LIVE, even when things don’t always run smoothly, much like the real world. Thank you Joel for sharing your hard work and talents, your struggles, most importantly, your honest open teaching style with such detail in every segment. Much appreciate CREATIVE LIVE for keeping it real with good talent, on and off screen showcasing common humanity in us all. Indeed, a revolutionary company. Manny DaCunha.

a Creativelive Student

As an editorial and photographic professional it's refreshing to find new cerebral information that goes beyond simple instruction. It was motivating to see Joel, a highly respected professional who is successful in "real-life", display his thought process, points to be successful, and insights into his art. When you have been in the industry, working full time, you need those moments to relax, visualize and re-energize so you can look at projects with a renewed vision and passion. Joel and his Commercial Photography course did that and more for me. If my schedule allowed, I would certainly join Joel at one of his workshops. Only thing better than this CreativeLive would be attending live. Thank you Joel.

Student Work