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Need some advice on this photo...

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Aza Allen
Need some advice on this photo...
on Feb 7, 2009 at 1:50:08 am

I have been working on this photo, I can't seem to get it right, can someone please give advice on what you would do. This is my headshot, so it can't be to surreal looking, but I want to give it more "drama" and depth, and any advice on the color would be helpful.

BTW - why does the jpeg compression make it look splotchy - I didn't even compress it that much (I set compression level to 11 in photoshop)

Thanks for anything you can give!

Aza





Make sure to check out my Heroes Fan Film at http://ruesterprod.blip.tv


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Dave Johnson
Re: Need some advice on this photo...
on Feb 8, 2009 at 10:15:57 pm

As to "why does the jpeg compression make it look splotchy" ... because it sacrifices image quality for file size, which is what all compression does by definition. You might consider JPGs and other highly compressed formats just a means to share images via limited mediums such as web forums, but use uncompressed (or at least better compression such as TIF) for other purposes.

About the image itself, my opinion is that your skin tone is off and the background color also seems to draw from your skin tone. Specifically, your skin tone seems to have too much green ... either from the lighting, cast from your green shirt or both.

First off, note that I'm not suggesting that you do the things I'll mention below in the particular order I mention them since my belief is the best order varies from photo to photo. Also, note that most of what I'm suggesting is specifically for your skin since your shirt seems okay. So, you might want to isolate your face when making these adjustments and its not a bad idea to make multiple duplicate layers, use adjustment layers whenever possible and save multiple versions until you're done so that you don't get stuck with an adjustment you don't like. With that all said, some things you might consider ...

For the most part, don't rely on the "autos" when enhancing your photos (auto color, auto levels, etc.). Take advantage of one of Photoshop's main benefits ... the fact that it offers a zillion ways to do everything.

For example, when color correcting your photos, (especially when accuracy is key as with photos of people), simply adjusting the Hue just won't do. However, bumping up the Saturation a little could help the skin tone issue. In general, try the more controllable methods of controlling colors like Selective Colors, Variations, etc. A moderately applied warm Photo Filter might help some too.

Use Levels, click options and try the different algorithms to get the blacks, whites and overall contrast right.

Shadow/Highlight can also come in handy for the drama you're looking for but note that, as with most of the adjustments I refer to, moderation is key.

I hope my suggestions are helpful.



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Aza Allen
Re: Need some advice on this photo...
on Feb 9, 2009 at 1:53:59 am

Okay, that might be where my problem lies. When I'm looking at my corrected photo in photoshop it's warm, when I export the jpeg and view it through windows picture viewer (or on this site) it's greener. What would cause that?

Make sure to check out my Heroes Fan Film at http://ruesterprod.blip.tv


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Dave Johnson
Re: Need some advice on this photo...
on Feb 9, 2009 at 3:23:30 pm

What you're describing now is a separate issue from the attributes of the photo itself and implies an issue with color management settings, viewing settings, monitor settings, other related settings (i.e., graphics card) or some combination of any or all of those.

Sorry, but those are things I set up on my machines immediately and never touch again ... and its been a while since I needed to do that. So, you'll be better off with troubleshooting advice from someone who has dealt with those issues more recently and/or frequently.


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