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Concept-Driven Commercial Photography

Lesson 16 of 22

Skin Retouching in Photoshop Part 2

Joel Grimes

Concept-Driven Commercial Photography

Joel Grimes

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Lesson Info

16. Skin Retouching in Photoshop Part 2

Lesson Info

Skin Retouching in Photoshop Part 2

When I took and created a, um levels we already have a levels but let's just say they didn't have that levels q saturation I've got um uh black and white I've got photo filter and so let's take our black and white and go to, um soft light cut it back to about fifteen twenty percent I still have the ability to adjust my tones a little bit if I wanted in there on the skin er take my saturation and I won't do it as much on a beauty fashion as I did on my sports yesterday but I'm going to take my master back a little bit take the reds back just a little bit take the yellows you know minus we're doing minus pulling yellow pony red and the master just back so that is what doing what it's de saturating so why do I want to do that? Because I'm branding joel grimes right? I'm still doing the joel grimes look at you like a few slider the saturation I meant the saturation. You know what good? I sorry about that, folks let's look at the red that I do the same thing I did I think that has never hap...

pened to me before probably has being colorblind and ever saw it right? Well, like he said, whenever you're in front of somebody it's always when it happens yeah so you don't do the hugh here too you know part of it not to be uh but I had this little circle now has followed me around on here and it's kind of freaking me out you know it's like someone stalking me all right so we want the master back okay so photo filter probably not on this one I don't think I want to add the warmth on it right um so let's do this levels back it down so I can see the whole thing I would probably go maybe just a little darker in the mid tones on the high you could see the hester graham here now here's where I used a history graham hissed a graham if I pull it here it actually brightens everything and um if there's a like for grip for example this this history is picking up this white dress here so if I say I liked the levels in the highlights about here on my image but it blows out my dress here's what I d'oh I have amassed sitting there I have the ability to block that out by hitting a black brush and let's not set it at one hundred percent let's just knock it down a little bit and now I can just pay back the dress or anything else let's say maybe I do the body I believe the face glowing a little bit to make sense so what that mask it gives me options I didn't have to say you know years ago and um I like that I'll have it a little darker coming up toe light to the face so there's my levels and I'm gonna make a let's get rid of this one I'm gonna make another adjustment layer with levels and I'm gonna go back to my grady it tool the round uh great tool and I'm gonna go to black um here we go we're gonna go grab in a metal pole to hear so I have a circular mask now and I just pulled my um slider to the right to give me a little vignette see how draws your eye right to her bone there's my shot and so well here's nothing I'll dio I'll go too black and take a look at it I see a couple little wobbles back on the paper see that and that's what paper gets you get you wobbles so one of things that I tell people if you have a studio where you have a drywall you know more um I try to paint well especially white but I have a white wall and a grey wall and I can have someone leaned against it and when I shoot it smooth no what no wobbles and so that's a good thing to do is hit shoot against a wall set of paper papers always in your wrinkles and when you turn white two gray it exaggerates the wrinkles that's just the way it is so um it looks great on white and then you you darken it like we just did then you get you get a you know that shows up all the flaws so overall I think um that's the basic retouching that ay dio and we went through it pretty fast but let's go back to tab here so at this point um have you ever done this ever done you've ever reach touch somebody and then you go to sleep in the next day you wake up you go whoa what was I thinking right? And so the good news about this is for example, if I've done a few things like the dodge and burn see my dodge and bird is on a separate layers so let's take a look at it and it's going to be subtle here because, um dodge there's no yes no you see it I know that screen is a little bit blown out but it's there but I can always slide that into percentages I can take it down about eighty percent if I said I didn't went too far so a lot of these things you can come back to later and say um I went too far didn't go far enough um and so you're not locked and that's the beauty of layers adjustment layers um and you know masks things like that so you're minimizing the destruction by doing something believing it and then you know you have the locked into it the first time ever did eh shadow on somebody you know I'm not going I'm out put him in but did it I did it on the background layer and then I got all the way through it with I went too far but sit folks kingo back um and so unless you start over get the background and bring him back in which is what I had to do uh rebuild the background but any questions on that now that's a pretty quick you know, I guess uh take on retouching but there's some basic tools there that you can go and then maybe you've already you've already um have a set of retouching you can add some of these may be at all of them a just one thing you say oh, that makes a lot of sense I'll add that to my workflow because I could tell you every touch is probably just like your your I tunes has a different set of music, right? We have a different ways of working here but that something's way had a couple people who are wondering about touching the eyes oh yeah I haven't done that yet. Okay, fantastic. Well, we did it yesterday just briefly but uh again I make a adjustment layer I go two levels um I fill the well let's do it first I'll take and let's say I'm just looking at my eyes right I'm gonna pull it brighter and more contrast okay we don't go too far here and joel specifically to to remove the line of her contacts well okay well let's zoom in on that let's let's try that in a minute but let's go now I just put the effect on the whole thing right so teo to stop that ago command I now have blanked blacked out that that, um that mask was blow it up here and now I take a white brush and I take it it's just white brush opacity we'll leave it a hundred percent let's go down here and now let's make sure I'm not too sharp that's about good on my hardness and I just paint it back in and see that and so since I have a mass there let's go back down here I say I went too far or I want the blacks darker so I can go like this. I can go like this see how just isar who has kind of freaky but I have I have control over fine tuning that and I'll tell you what many times I've lightened the eyes up and the next day went well I went way too far well subtle layer mask and I can bring it back you could do that with let's just show you this let's go to um let's go to ah uh photo filter and let's go to let's just take a um let's go to blue okay, now watch this what color her eyes by the way do we know blue okay and I can do the same thing now where I go command I and then I go to my white brush hundred percent watch this and all I do is painting the blow and if I say whoa too much take the capacity down so simple it is I'll tell you what if you learn masks or you just adjustment layers with masks you can do so many little subtle things so I use him constantly you'll see I have twenty five layers from late levels toe hugh saturation toe and I work in the city the simple ways of like photo filter I can't go to a color wheel and change something it's very difficult unless someone standing on my shoulder so but here's what I just did a campaign for a client liquor I won't tell you who it is but uh big big liquor company and I had I had um a basketball player and then had the bottle liquor and everything because most basketball players drink heavily no but they wanted a purple background and so overall purple wash so what did I do? I went in and I grabbed a blue filter and a red filter and I just want the percentages like this look I didn't see purple but I just went blue with little red j peg off to the client he said we used to need a little more purple drugged the read a little bit sent off nailed it I don't see the purple but I can get there right because I know some basics about color I love it okay so we have balan boy who says if you have multiple images of the same subject how do you keep the color and contrast consistent across all of the images you're delivering well in my line of work generally I'm not doing a batch of images okay so if I do a campaign and there's three images and they want the same look I line them up so I'll do one I'll start we're going there and I'll bring the other one up next to it and I'll start looking at it and just making sure that the the the the feel of it is equal right but I'll tell you what if I've got my same set of steps on each one they usually look pretty darn close so I do the d saturating the same I do that you know each one they have that feel that looked pretty good but that's a good question now when I do black and whites and I do a like sort of see pia tent to it what I have discovered is that some images have like mohr dark senate you know mid tones and even though you say you're steep e is a twenty five percent strength you put the two up and it's like whoa they don't almost look right and so I'll feather that c p a little bit but that comes down to someone who really if they want to find to the color they have toe I have to get someone to do that and sometimes I'll have someone stand over me and you say what do you think that these all have the same tent or same looks same field and I'll need I'll need some coaching earned some help there but generally what what I'm producing is age old grimes branded look and so I get away with a lot of stuff that is people just go oh let's see that's got a lot of more not more green in it that's brilliant joel they don't really understand that I'm not able to see that so much but yet it's an artistic expression right? So they're accepting the artistic expression they're not fine tuning the color balance and so that goes back to the fact that when we have a weakness or strength whatever we want to call it um and that if it becomes my signature right then the people like for example I've never hardly ever had a client in the last six years come to me and say something's wrong with the color is not right I sent it over to go wow this is this is great this is exactly we wanted why? Because I'm not chasing reality and you know what? We're going to get into the on saturday but because I know I keep saying that but I'm going to go through a whole thing about our perception of reality and if you remember in the old days when we shot kodachrome kodachrome gave you beautiful greens beautiful reds, beautiful yellows, browns whatever lousy blues now even being colorblind I could see that now so I go out and shoot an architectural job back in the early days and what does a client want? They want blue skies right? And you should kodachrome you get muddy grace guys a little bit of blue in there but not much blue and the industry accepted that because code from was beautiful film so when fuji chrome came along all of a sudden had blue true blue skies in the fir first job I ever shot on fuji chrome I brought it in laid it on the light box art director went what did you do to the skies? I go well actually that's the true sky well did you have a filtered known that's the true sky we just got so used to gray muddy skies on kodachrome that the norm we accepted it and so that's part of the industry trends and the way we look at something eventually if it's done enough we accept it de saturated look, we accept it as normal or whatever it is we're doing and so that's the industry that's how it works our brain just accepted even though it's not him close to reality so I'm not achieving reality and I'm not trying to and we're gonna go back to our um whole selection here so let's go to that was the last shot let's just do that because I don't have time to fiddle so command are opens it up and I'm going to now make sure that I pulled back on my highlights look at how the the shoulders start to show up I'm gonna pull my shadows uh to the right again soften the contrast uh we're gonna leave that with exposure I could change a little bit here but I think we're still pretty good so I say okay, so this is how I do that high key look rights we're going to show you let me find my palate over here so I'm gonna go um right click new smart object via copy hey hen we had done this before once you learn to joel graves look it's easy okay so now I'm in my black and white again this is where I really pull it even more probably here then what I normally would write and remember what I said before whatever I do here it kind of does half over there so if I push it a little bit further than I should hear it's gonna be fine over so I'm gonna push as far as I can here let's take the red to see what the red does the way we want to make sure those lips don't go too light but you don't want to dark years right? So here we go okay and then I'm gonna go soft light so here is the hi if we want to call it hiking we'll call it whatever you want this is the look that I've got and so let me let me just show you what I'm looking at this and I think that's pretty close I see detail between the arms um if not I could always go back in here and we didn't cover this very much but I convert earn along here if I want but I'm not gonna do that now um but you can if you say I want a little more detail in that arm we could do that, but I want to show you something I didn't show you before so I'm going to um or here's what I think I could do this is just one little side trick if I go command j that doubles the strength of that black and white but if I turn it to screen, it even goes further right? So in this case I probably don't need that, but I can smooth it out just a little bit more and like I said, this monitors a little bit over so we'll be careful but I don't think on this image and you do that so let's go back down here so I'm gonna flatten this I'm going to command j I'm gonna go up to filter blur gazi and blur I'm gonna give it a radius of fifteen it's already defaulted cause I do this a lot I'm gonna go to um oh set my bloody mode too soft light feather back to maybe fifty percent on this one okay, so some around there let me make sure I'm looking good I am flatten do command j do quickly the layer filter other hi pass and I'm gonna bring just a little bit of punch back into the sharpness and I wanted to radius noble law no more to radio spokes I see way too many people going nuts on high pass so go to soft light blow it up take a look and let's turn it off and I want you to pull this back a little bit so that beings reads a little bit of christmas back in her and then I'm gonna flatten that then I go back to my hugh saturation what's I didn't forgot levels levels were going to go to black and white we're going to go to well let's forget photo filter because I think we're good so let's take my cue saturation we're going to go to saturation this time pull back each one of those members said before same old thing joel is very predictable and take the black and white off okay and in blending mode soft light go down about ten percent on that levels now weaken maybe pull up our blacks a little bit let's see what happens know I think I want to make mid tones on this one and I'm gonna bring my my my life uh start to lose my skin and I'd be really careful there but that's the this is let's go this way this is the whatever you want to call it high key look and obviously I have a little bit of a problem appear let's just do the brush do a copy and take out I'm on the run in there take out that little section up there in the top so there is my high key look and to pay on the girl's skin you'll get more of a personal look others I mean the lighter the scan the girl that you know that starts the better for that personal look um and so let's do this let's let's convert this whole thing to black and white for second so let's go back to my black and white let's go to normal and let's go to full and then let's take I can also still have control over sliders here if I want but I would say for what I'm doing here that's about right so long as I have detail in that arm right there detail their detail here I'm good to go but we don't do that there but that's that's the high key porcelain looked that I do so any questions on that uh love it let's see if we to you they know everything these guys they're set yeah I did have one question you talked about the joel grimes look and the sports has a very different look um but then your glamour but yet the back you know the workflow is very similar do you know you experiment? I'm sure quite a bit as you're doing this I mean you went through that still steps very quickly because you do them often do you find yourself getting well what if I try this and then bringing yourself away from your look and insane should I should I do that? Maybe that's too too much of a departure. Well this this whole white high key blown outlook was a departure and it just happened because I had a really light skinned model walk in the door and then I thought let me see if I try these big modifiers brought her and did that look and then I thought as I'm doing the photo shop what happens I've put put my sliders to the right and blow the skin a little bit I liked it and I built you know I don't have a ton of ales images but you know so yeah I'm constantly trying to departure but you see the steps or similar but I do have a different approach and so I think the question you asked earlier it's morning around breakfast was that hot it has this fit in with my client work right how do I um how do I go and say I'm gonna build a branding of a brand new look and so six years ago I was doing a lot of testimonials a lot of black and white testimonials healthcare you know conservative like goldman sachs jobs like that where it was more of a conservative arena so when I went and departed doing the sports e edgy looking stuff a lot of my friends said whoa you're gonna alienate all your clients that you've been working for and I said I don't care and the reason why I'm number one I understand that trends come ago right or trends change and so if I stay with trying to be conservative with my clients I would have never developed a look I have today but what here's what's happened a year two later here's five from doing campaigns for pfizer with the joel grimes look, is that not amazing? Because they're going long going, hey, we've been doing this for years, we want something new and they go and see my work and they go let's get that guy right? So I don't want to jump ahead of mine talks, but the beautiful thing is, is that if you try to chase a trend, you're always going to be too late, but you're never too late if you can create a trend that makes sense that the problem is, is that most of us don't believe we could create a trend or a look or a mitch that people say, I want that, and you do have the ability to do that, but you got to stick with your guns and take the risk and that's, the one thing we don't normally do is take risk, right? We're afraid, too, so don't be afraid here. So let's think of this, I'm just gonna I'm gonna kind of end with this concept if you try to think about what your clients want and need and then build a look that matches them, you can make a living, but you won't make a really good living if you say I'm gonna create a look that fits my vision as an artist put it out there do really well. You'll make a really good living, because what happens is, you're always at the forefront of what's happening and change and change and trends. And you're not thinking about what the client wants. The client comes along, goes, we want the latest greatest look, and you're sitting there position perfectly for it. And so I don't think I know this is hard, because I've been doing this for thirty years and commercial advertising, and when I started out, I thought one of my clients want I will build my look to meet the clients needs, and you could make a living, but you'll never be the top at the top rung, so that's, a different mindset, but it takes a huge risk to do it. And that's where, I guess you would say, I've learned that I'm willing to take their wrist and that's what it paid off for me.

Class Description

This course is part of the Joel Grimes Bundle.

Commercial photography isn’t about mastering complex lighting ratios or obscure retouching techniques. Successful commercial photography hinges upon your ability to turn your creative vision into a polished product. In this class, commercial photographer Joel Grimes will teach you how to think of your photography as an artistic process, not a mathematical equation.

Joel, a commercial photographer with more than 25 years’ experience working for top advertising agencies, will reveal his signature lighting, shooting, editing, and marketing methods. Joel will teach you to trust your artistic instincts by demonstrating how he conceptualizes two different photo shoots: an edgy athletic portrait, and a commercial beauty shoot. Joel will also walk you through how to identify the right lighting to attain your desired result.

After transforming the way you think about conceptualizing, lighting, and shooting, Joel will unveil his creative compositing techniques and tips and tricks for retouching skin. By the end of this two-day workshop, you will have a tried-and-true playbook for creating works of photographic art that dazzle commercial clients.

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Fantastic!! He is so down to earth and humble. His work is unique an exceptional and he shares his techniques, experience, tricks, and best of all his life stories that took him to where he is now. One of the best instructors in CL. I love how he checks the ego at the door and just shares his art and techniques with us. I definitely recommend this course and I was lucky enough to get it at a great discounted price but it is worth its regular price imho.


He's my new favorite instructor, there are many CL instructors I really like but the second I watched and heard him I bought the course, love his style, love his knowledge and the way he conveys it. His way of Frequency separation is fantastic and pretty precise and takes care of a lot of flaws. Learned lots! Thanks Joel! Thank heavens I am not color blind ;)


Joel makes it easy to follow when it comes to editing and shooting. He is a wonderful teacher and very easy to learn from. I enjoyed the photoshop techniques he taught as well as his approach to lighting. My favorite part is his advice on business it's very motivating and inspirational. I thoroughly enjoyed this course!