These past few days, I’ve been taking another look at the images I captured a few years ago . . .
Even though I still love the photos I picked back then, I also gravitate towards some images I didn’t choose that year. This particular shot, however, is still one of my favorite shots of all time. That said, I’m no longer in love with the way I post-processed the photo.
So, this weekend, I decided to indulge myself and re-edit the photo.
In case you are wondering, here is the 100% unaltered straight-off-the-camera RAW image.
Not bad, I guess . . . but I’m not crazy with the photo’s grayish tint
After that, I exported the image to Photoshop, and did the second part of the retouching process
Here is the detail of the color-graded yet unretouched photo
These days, my goal is to clean photos up without altering the original image
As you see, I removed all of the stray hair, fixed the eyeliner, and removed some tiny but distracting details . . . that way, you can focus on the face and the jeweled mask
Since this is not meant to be a beauty shot . . . I didn’t perfect every single detail because those tiny imperfections are going to give the final photo some character
But if the photo was meant to be a beauty shot, I would definitely spend more time perfecting the teeny tiny details . . . but without obliterating the details and textures of the image
The process is not unlike painting (or restoring cracked paintings), but it’s done digitally in Photoshop, using a Wacom tablet and pen. Personally, I prefer Wacom Intuos Pro to the higher end and more expensive Cintiq. (Read this previous blog post to find out why)
The process is definitely unlike using a beauty app.
Beauty apps obliterate skin textures but – usually – do not really remove stray hair and specific details you’d like to remove. And anyone’s finger is no match for fine-tipped a Wacom Pen.
It’s a perfectly fine method to edit a selfie, but definitely isn’t great for retouching an editorial portrait.
Poreless-style manual editing on Photoshop gives you a different result . . . mainly because it doesn’t smooth everything out . . . just the area you’d like to alter.
The very last step in my retouching process involves viewing the image on my iPhone’s screen. There usually are some little details I miss when I look at the photo in its full size: Those tiny distracting elements you only notice when you look at the image in full.
After viewing the photo on my phone’s screen, I decided to fix the eyeliner a bit more and removed the lower lashes to streamline the overall shape of the eye makeup.
So, here is my “2017 edit” of this photo. Expect to see more photos from this shoot. Terese Pagh (the model) helped me create so many great image I’d like to share with you.