Preparing Images for Retouching
Well we got two days here and we're going to spend today on retouching and will spend tomorrow on collage and so today's focus though on retouching we're going to learn how to do all sorts of different kinds of retouching from the simplest stuff to the most complex and just really into it kind of stuff in doing so you should keep in mind though that I shoot a particular type of image that is going to be different than what you guys do so if you shoot let's say wedding I don't but the techniques we use arm or universal for most things that we d'oh and so I might be working on an image of a lot of vintage stuff that's a lot of what I shoot but the exact same techniques will apply to all sorts of others and if there's anything in particular that I don't cover because it's unique to your particular specialty be sure toe ask you know either on you know in all the methods that rest just mentioned said that I might feel to give you something unique to what you do but I thought I'd start by ju...
st showing you an example of a relatively complex retouching and this is the kind of retouching that we're not going to start with but we're going to progress too so by the end of the day hopefully you will have the knowledge of how to tackle this type of thing I shot this image about think about two weeks ago it's a finished gas station, which is a I have a serious right now that I'm working on I have researched I think I have one hundred sixty vanished gas stations around the country that have the pumps, the sign in the building that look original and it is my quest to go around and photograph all one hundred sixty of them and then what I dio is after shooting them, I retouch out any modern embellishments that have been in there or any trash or other things to try to create a timeless looking image so you can't tell was it taken today or taken fifty years ago or something like that and that's just my quest because I like finish america and I just think they look cool. So anyway, this is when I shot I think about two weeks ago and I'm just going to turn on some layers one at a time and you'll see some of the retouching that was involved in doing this. This is the unretouched version. There has been a little bit of retouching here just to take out some logos that we can't use on creative life s o we're starting with this is a base I'll turn on one layer at a time and just take a look at what changes in the image and think about how might you tackle that particular challenge in photo shop and know that by the end of today, hopefully you'll have a much clearer idea of at least how I tackle it. So let's, take a look. Uh, so here I just adjust the greens. Do you see the tree being filled in over there on the right side? Point out what I call weeds, which are all the distractions in the photograph? Um, fix a window over on the right side, there were some plants covering up window might be a little hard to see, and I'm just going even out the sidewalk to see how the sidewalk varied because they had patched it so many times edge of that tree, it didn't like it hitting the the sign that was there, but I couldn't move to the right to shoot it because the whole composition wouldn't be all that that good there's a trash can on the right side of the photograph removed that there are some buildings in the distance get rid of those to simplify it. Um, coming here, there's a merrill on the wall in that merrill I found to be the most striking thing in the photograph because it's pulling my attention away from the station, and so I retouched out the mural, but the texture that is on that wall is the original texture from that wall. Meaning that I didn't just grab a wall out of some other photo. This is me actually retouching that out using the original contents of the wall so you can see that, uh, then after retouching that out, if you get in close, though, there's some stuff like this little item, and if you re test out the wall, you got to put a shadow back in for that. Of course, eso it looks like it would have something cast. One thing I haven't finished is an eye. I wanted to shoot myself after I took this picture, and that is I did not use a polarizer on my lens, and so there is a reflection of that mural in the windows of the building, and I could have cut it down dramatically had I used to polarize or in my lens could rotate it, and it would cut down that reflection, and I didn't and that's the one part of the retouch I haven't finished so right now, there's just kind of a placeholder layer in there for that, then I just kept going in here, and I just started getting rid of distractions and other things and there's not much else there, but if you look at the before versus the after there's, quite a bit of work being done in there and, uh as I say some other times have said in general working in photo shop I keep working on an image until I either run out of patience time or problems and it's a matter of you don't always get all the problems fixed because sometimes you don't know the patients to do it you gotta work on three hundred images today sometimes you don't have the time you know you just have a limited deadline but if you happen to spend the time to, uh have the patients to get it all done have the time to get it all done and actually work it until there's no other issues in it that's what I do with my fine artwork which is what one of this image will be so once I'm done retouching this the only thing I have left in this particular case is the reflection on the window then I'm going to start styling it where I optimized the colors and everything else to make it a final image but that gives you a sense for what kind of retouching I quite frequently do and so we'll talk about things like removing telephone lines, telephone lines that don't just go across the simple blue sky but once that will go right through a tree with really complex put branches and leaves and somehow you have to get rid of just one line going through there will still have in the tree look realistic, that kind of stuff, so we got a lot to go through. I got to start somewhere, so I'm going to start a relatively basic level, and we're just going to build from that and be able to eventually tackle things more like this image let's get into it. The first thing is, there are some things that I do before I ever think about retouching just to make sure that, well, how shows that these these issues of I don't deal with them before doing the retouching? They become much more difficult to fix afterwards. And so these are a few issues that I think about ahead of time. I have a wrong file here that I'm going to double click on it's going to bring me into camera if I happen and not work with raw files, maybe a client provided an image and it's a tiff or j peg, I would instead go to the file menu and just choose opening camera, because when you double, click on on a wrong image it's going to automatically send me into camera wrong, but if you don't have a wrong image, you have to choose this particular menu command to force an image in the camera the main limitation of this command if you have a j peg or mainly a tiff, is your tip file can't have layers so if you already have layers have already you should be doing this at the beginning before you do that. So a couple things that I think about when I'm in came a raw before I ever think about retouching is there are some issues that you're lens can introduce into the image that can you might not notice until later on but it's best to fix now one of those issues is if I zoom up really close on things you might notice some color fringing around the edges of things and in this case I see rather strong kind of magenta colored halo on the right side and on the left side of this object and and see it slighter greenish one and that is known as chromatic aberrations and it happens due to the lens on your camera different lenses will produce different amounts of this you're mainly going to see it on high contrast edges and as you get towards the edge of the frame you might see a little more than you do in the middle of the frame and it might be hard to notice unless you zoom up two hundred percent view but that's going to be much more difficult to get rid of if we get retouching into this image before we try to tackle it in camera though it's relatively easy to get rid of and what it is is in camera of a bunch of different tabs they're across here in one of those times is this one here that's your lens corrections in under lens corrections there's just a check box in here called enable lens profile corrections and if I turn that on its going to do a couple things the first thing it's going to do is if I zoom out on this image this image was shot with a fish islands which is why these temples are bent. These were really small temples in an area called began in burma. This is a very interesting area where there are, if I remember correctly twenty five hundred temples in a sixteen square mile area it's crazy, they'll be tiny temples, huge temples and everything in between and this just happened to be one area. But when I turn on enable lens profile corrections one of things that's going to do is correct for any distortion that my lens caused. And if you ever look at rectangular objects in a frame and you shoot it with a wide angle lens you might find if you have any vertical lines near the edge of the frame they'll bend a little bit the boat outwards towards the out out side of the frame or if you have a telephoto lens, it'll can do the same thing, but it might go in words even in turning this on is going to try to correct for that but what it's really doing is getting rid of the fish I look the fish eye effect and actually wanted to keep it. So if you turn on that check box and you happen, not want that correction down here at the bottom are some sliders and just says correction amount one of the choices is distortion, and right now, it's not one hundred percent if I don't want it to correct for that, I just take this slider and turn it all the way down, and that means don't correct for the distortion my lens is putting in. So if it's a fish eye image, you might want to turn that down. If it's a normal image, you're probably going to leave it out on hard percent. If I go into the tab called color there's, another check box called remove chromatic aberration that's the one that's really going to hit that edge that's up here remember, we saw the magenta and the green. If I turn on this checkbox photo shops going to analyze the image and it's going to attempt to get rid of the chromatic aberration. Now on occasion, just turning on this check box won't be enough you're going to find that on occasion will be a slight purple still left on the edge of the image. And that's the only reason I'm using this particular image is I knew it would still have a little hint of purple I don't if you can see it but I can see it right up in here and I can see it right there a little bit down this edge well, there is a separate control that's specific to purple if you happen to still have some and that is this little slider called purple amount and if you bring that up it will try to just tackle the purples. But if I end up doing a lot of retouching to this image in before I noticed this kind of a problem, then the area where I've done very touching oftentimes won't have those little chromatic aberrations on it because I've got him from other sources or the middle part of the picture using it off on the edge where there's differing amounts and it becomes more difficult to get that stuff out later so I tried to correct for my chromatic aberrations I also turn on that little lens profile correction so any straight lines or bent a little bit that they get fixed a cz well and there are a couple other things let me hit done and open a different picture to show you a few others with default settings and camera your images being sharpened and that means any areas that you might want to retouch are being exaggerated by that sharpening and if you're going to end up retouching faces with default settings, photo shop is sharpening all of the face, and if it's sharpening all the face, that means any little wrinkles increases in acne and anything else is being exaggerated. And I just want to show you how to make sure that the sharpening is only being applied where it's really useful. So if you go to the tabs in camera across the top, one of them will look like two triangles and that's the detailed tab. In there, you'll find the settings for sharpening, and you'll find the default setting is twenty five, so it automatically sharpens your image. It's trying to compensate for something your camera does that causes the image to be slightly soft on most cameras. There's, a filter that is in front of the sensor on the camera, that's trying to prevent things like morey patterns and in clothing in it softens your image a little bit. This is trying to compensate for that by making it sharp again in what we want to do is make sure we adjust masking masking is going to limit where photoshopped sharpens the image, and in order, really see how it works you need to get to a hidden feature to access the hidden feature you hold on the option key if you're on a mac. That's alton windows! I haven't held down right now, then I'm going to click on the masking slider, and when I do, I'm going to see an alternative view of the image in in this view, any area that is white will be sharpened, so I haven't moved the slider yet, so you'll see what default settings it sharpens everything. Then, if I bring the slider up, you're going to start seeing areas turned black in the area that turns black will not be sharpened, so in this particular case, areas of her hair will be sharpened areas of her eyes, but most of her skin and most the background would not be sharpened. So what I would usually do with this slaughter is I'd hold on that option key haltom windows, which I'm doing right now, grab the masking slider and slowly bring it up, and if this is ah, a portrait of some sort, I would bring this up until the white on lee shows up on the areas that really would be useful to exaggerate, and that means not usually the wrinkles increases in stuff in their skin, so I'm going to bring this up and try to get their skin to mainly turn black while keeping their eyes nose and lips near white, so probably similar in that general area. And by doing so, we're not going to exaggerate the slight changes in their skin we're going to have less that we need to retouch because not going to be quite as obvious in the skin. So remember to get to that I had to click on this detail tab first other thing I would do is if the image is noisy, if it was shot at either a high I also setting or if it was a long exposure both of those things would cause it to have more noise eyes I would do noise reduction before doing my retouching because then once you start doing retouching, if there's a bunch of noise in the image, if you copy from a dark area of the picture it's gonna have a lot more noise it's in the shadows for the noise hangs out if you use any of that information from the dark areas and you try to apply it to the bright areas, you're going to be introducing noise that doesn't look like it belongs there. So it be best to do noise reduction before retouching and that's mainly bringing up this luminant slider until the noise in the dark portion of your image is eliminated or at least reduced that's mainly going to be an issue if you end up point out a lot of shadow detail in your picture, so those are the things that I think about when I'm thinking about retouching and I don't want to get started yet, I just want to prep the image. So it's ready for retouch. And just remember, if you have a j pecker tiff, you'll have to go to the file menu in bridge and choose opening camera raw. Also, anything you see me doing camera. If you happen on light light room is thea. Quibble into camera, just in a separate product that also has a cataloguing software for keeping track of your photos. So anything you ever see me doing camera wrong. If you happen to own light room and use it, you could substitute that instead, and I usually would.