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From Shoot Through Photo Editing: Fashion Retouch

Lesson 8 of 10

Toning and Retouching High Key Image

Lindsay Adler

From Shoot Through Photo Editing: Fashion Retouch

Lindsay Adler

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Lesson Info

8. Toning and Retouching High Key Image

Lesson Info

Toning and Retouching High Key Image

So let's look at some of our other files. Alright, so the next one that we're going to take a look at would probably be this one for compositing a head piece. And now that we did the intense one, this will probably seem a little bit easier I think. And I wanna show you a little bit of what I would do for toning, to lighten up the skin. I'm going to be doing, I have a class on advanced photo retouching, separate from this. So I'm not gonna be diving too much into retouching. But the information is out there, should you want it. So looking at these photos, you know, this is what I was talking about as an example of, I thought that there was too much of her palm towards the camera. And so I like, you know, when it's a little bit more subtle, a little bit more turned towards her face. Let's see. Also her looking over her shoulder, I thought her shoulder was a little bit broad there, but not too bad, I could definitely work with it. So let me just check my focus. Okay, alright, I did good, ...

didn't embarrass myself. Alright let's see. So I'm thinking, for time's sake, I'll just kinda select one of these and then we'll build something. So I'm gonna select this one. And I am going to lighten up the skin tones and get the contrast and whatnot right in Lightroom. For the exposure overall, if I go to the right-hand corner, top right-hand corner in Lightroom, and I mouse over that right triangle, what it's showing me is it's showing me all of the information that is completely overexposed with no detail, these are the pure whites, it turns it red. And so what it's saying is a lot of the highlights in the background are pure white. But I warned you of that, that it's totally fine. I don't need detail in those highlights, so that's fine. I would be more concerned if I start to see that on the highlight on her cheek, or highlights in a prominent area of her body. That's when it becomes a little bit distracting or less than desirable, and I would make changes here, either with the local adjustment brush or I would just play with the highlights tool. The other option on the other side is when you have a true black, or a black with no detail, if you notice there are no true blacks in this photo. The reason I wanted to bring this up is because if you do try this at home and you put a soft box behind your subject, or curtains behind your subject or something behind your subject, what you're doing is you're shooting into a light source. That curtain or that soft box became a light source. And when you do that, regardless of if you're using a lens hood or regardless of how you get set up, you do get subtle lens flare. Even if it doesn't look like it's lens flare here, but that's why you don't have a true black. Because you're shooting into a light source, so there actually is no solid black. So often, if you are shooting into a light source like this, you will have to add a bit of contrast or a black point in post. It's just the nature of shooting in a heavily backlit situation. Same way as if you'd shoot outside with lens flare on purpose, it's usually a little bit flat but it might be exactly what you want, or you add some in post. So I am going to, I wanna lighten up her skin just a bit. So I'm gonna increase my exposure a tiny bit. But another trick that I have in Lightroom to lighten up the skin, is on the right-hand side I'm going to go down to my hue saturation luminance panel over here. And I like extreme, that just fits my personality. And so often when I have dark skin tone, I like really dark. And when I have light skin tone, I like really light. It's just stylistically. So I know for this woman's skin tone, skin tones are made up of reds, yellows and oranges. Just know this to be true. So if I go over here to hue saturation luminance, hue is going to be, if you wanna change what red looks like, the representation of red. Is it more orange, or is it going to be more pink? That's what changing hue would be. Saturation, you guys know saturation. And then there's luminance. I can go into each color, each and every color and change the brightness or darkness values of that color. This can be really cool, for example, if a girl has on a purple dress, you can make that purple dress a lighter purple dress or a darker purple dress. In this instance, what I can do is if I go to luminance, you see how on the right-hand side everything gets lighter, it's more towards white? And on the left-hand side it's darker. That's saying for each of these colors, if you drag it that direction that's what's going to happen. If you drag the red now to the right, notice her lips, you know, I can drastically change what they look like. Now typically for her, I can also tell that her skin tone is a little bit more in the yellow and orange colors, you can see that here. So watch if I increase the luminance of the oranges and yellows. It lightens up just that part of her skin tone. So kind of for the before and after. If you wanted to kind of even out skin, you could do that. And I also like to do this sometimes if somebody has just blotchiness, redness in their cheeks. If you come in over here and actually drag the reds just a little bit to the right, make them a little lighter, a lot of times it clears up some of that darkness and that redness in the skin. So it might just be dragging those, and it could make a huge difference. The other thing you could do as well, is you could also use this targeted adjustment brush. It's this little target here. If you click on it, gives you a dot, and now wherever I click and drag on the photo, it'll lighten or darken specifically those colors. So, if I click and drag up on her arm here notice it lightens up the arms and everything related to it. Now obviously, super extreme, so I'm not gonna do that. Or the other way, I can go really dark. I think I'm gonna keep it pretty neutral and work on it a little bit more in post. So that all looks fine to me. I'm going to open this up in Photoshop and start doing a little bit of my compositing and whatnot. For a photo like this, I would probably spend, on retouching, maybe 20 minutes? 25 minutes on the skin or something like that, unless I knew that it was going to be a huge print, and then I would spend more time. I am a big proponent of make it good enough, not perfect, because otherwise you'll spend forever. Alright, so for example I could perfectly make this background white, or I could just paint white. And that's what I'm gonna do, 'cause you can't tell the difference, and it looks fine. One thing before I get into the rest of this, I would get rid of the wrinkles in her neck, just so you all know. Because I think in the lightness and airiness of the picture, those are, and everything's soft and smooth and light, I feel like those are kind of abrupt lines, so it takes me away from the mood of the picture. Not because there's anything wrong with neck lines, it's just I think it takes me away from the mood. And I would even out the skin here a bit, and I also would liquefy in this case. I would make her shoulder and her arm a bit narrower. So I am going to do that real quick. I'm gonna duplicate the background. I talk about this more in my retouching class. So, going to filter liquefy. And what I'm going to do is I'm just gonna scoot in her arm a bit here. So I'm selected on the top left-hand tool, the forward warp tool, I'm not going in this in-depth because I will be talking about it later. Or in my other class. And this is also an instance, not that she has it, if her ear were sticking out I would bring her ear in. If I wanted to lengthen her neck I would do that here. It all depends, in my opinion, on whether it's a portrait or a beauty image, like what's the purpose? If it's a portrait I keep things much more subtle and much more natural to what they actually were. If it is a beauty image, I do whatever I want and I change as much as I want. Okay, so I would kinda pull the lines in a little bit there. I also wanted to show you her eyes, so you can see the highlight that it gives around the eyes, created by that Omega Reflector. Also noticing in this picture that I still think it's probably a tiny bit flat. I have a favorite trick for adding a little bit of cool contrast to my photo. So what we're gonna do is we're gonna go down to our half-moon cookie in the bottom right here. And I am going to go to black and white. I'm gonna click on a black and white adjustment layer. And basically adjustment layer, it's like a gel over top almost. It's like everything beneath this will be black and white. Okay, well I don't actually want my photo black and white, but my trick for adding a bit of pop, a little bit of punch to your photo is you create a black and white adjustment layer. And then what we're going to do is we're going to change the blend mode. And blend modes, I have CreativeLive classes, one specifically dedicated to blend modes, in fact. But blend modes change how a layer interacts with the layers beneath it. It's like, it's formula for okay, how do you want this one to talk and interact with the ones below? And each one does something different. Darken will darken by a certain formula, and there's lighten, there's a specific section that is for contrast. So the section for contrast is the one that's overlay, soft light and hard light. Just know that this is the contrast section. So blend modes, in case you missed that and you're not familiar with them, where you see the black and white here where it says normal, this is where I can change my blend modes. And the contrast ones are in this section. If I change a black and white adjustment layer to overlay or soft light, it adds really beautiful contrast to a photo. Now I don't do it at 100%. I back it off, the opacity a bit, but it looks great. So see how this could be like, I mean this is really strong, but it just pops it and it makes it really creamy. I'll kind of back off of it a bit. But it adds a nice bit of contrast, and soft light's a little bit more subtle. Whoops. Something like that. What is also interesting as well in a photo, this one isn't a good representation of this, but you can also mess with these sliders in the black and white to change the lightness and darkness of colors. So for example, if she had bright red lips I can kinda change the contrast just of the red lips. Or if there's a purple or magenta dress, based on dragging these sliders. But this, everything's about regular skin tone. So right there I think is good, let me do a little bit more contrast. Okay, so those are kind of the changes that I would do.

Class Description

Learn how to create powerful, unique fashion imagery by shadowing Lindsay through her shooting and editing process. In part 1 of this class, she will explain the start-to-finish details (concept, lighting, posing, and more) of three fashion shoots. In part 2, she will share her post-production process by walking you through her favorite tools and techniques in Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom.  

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 2015


Avril McPherson

Yet another fantastic course from Lindsay. She is by far my favourite photographer as well as a brilliant teacher. We are so lucky she is willing to share her brilliance )

Phyo wai Moe

Lindsay is awesome as always . I should have bought this course long ago . Its well worth of money and i recommend to people who like to start fashion shoot with cheaper option . Thank you Lindsay . As for Creative Live group , please fix the " Purple Skirt Picture " as crush or corrupted . Thanks .


I love Lindsay's tutorials. She speaks "our" language. She has very simple, but highly effective approach to studio set ups as well as post-processing. She is very (very) creative photographer. Highly recommend.