My First Attempt at Softening

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by BAXTING, Jan 16, 2013.

  1. BAXTING

    BAXTING Mu-43 Top Veteran

    806
    Aug 5, 2012
    Los Angeles SFV, CA
    Bradley
    I've posted one or two of these images before, but I really wanted to soften them up before calling it a day. Between work and the flu :rolleyes: I finally got around to giving it a go. I have some spare 8 X 10 frames so I planned on cropping these and printing to fit those frames. I suppose this sort of thing may come down to personal preference really, but I'm curious how others may feel. Just looking for some criticism/comments. I used Silkypix to adjust color/temperature and then opened in PS CS5 for softening/sharpening.

    View attachment 251821
    caroline-print-04 by BAXTING, on Flickr

    View attachment 251822
    caroline-print-03 by BAXTING, on Flickr

    View attachment 251823
    caroline-print-02 by BAXTING, on Flickr

    View attachment 251824
    caroline-print-01 by BAXTING, on Flickr
     
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  2. savvy

    savvy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    714
    Sep 28, 2012
    SE Essex, UK
    Les
    A bit of softening on faces in portrait shots always helps, especially with ladies who don't want to see even the slightest skin imperfections in mega-sharpness (not that caroline has any, I hasten to add).

    For me, it works very well in No.1, because it is further away, but the close-ups/crops seem to have been softened just a tad too far, the skin looks almost out of focus. Maybe draw the softening back a bit on these?

    Just my very subjective impression of what I see - HTH.
     
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  3. Livnius

    Livnius Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jul 7, 2011
    Melbourne. Australia
    Joe
    Hi Baxting...really enjoyed your contributions so far mate, great to have you here.

    WRT your work on the above, about the only thing I can add is that I think the softening is a little too apparent around the eye where i think I'm seeing a clear line that was the edge of the brush. The fact that the model is wearing distinctive glitter type eye shadow stuff (stuff is about the limit of my makeup terminology) makes it tricky to get the right transition between smoothed out skin and not smoothed out skin. Hardly noticeable in the first shot...but certainly in the close ups.

    Perhaps alter to flow/density/feather variables on the brush (decrease opacity essentially) as you get closer to the eye/glitter stuff ;)
     
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  4. savvy

    savvy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    714
    Sep 28, 2012
    SE Essex, UK
    Les
    BTW, I forgot to say, what a delightful shot this is, it doesn't look too contrived.

    Any of the close-ups, when you get the PP just right, will make great 8x10's.

    This might make a good PP Challenge :biggrin:
     
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  5. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    Bangkok
    rob collins
    I agree with others that the softening is a touch overdone on shots 2,3 and 4.

    Assuming you are softening on a separate layer in PS5 why not simply reduce the 'opacity' of the softening layer.
     
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  6. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter Subscribing Member

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    I'll pile on here at the end. #1 is very nice, and the other three are really good but I'd like to see what different levels of softening seems like. That being said, I really like #1 simply because it's a better overall image. Great subject separation and it just pops.
     
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  7. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Bob
    +1 - the eye shadow does make feathering the softness much trickier. Beautiful photos, though. :thumbup:
     
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  8. juangrande

    juangrande Mu-43 Top Veteran

    805
    Dec 2, 2012
    COLORADO
    What is the process (sizing) to make 4:3 fill an 8 X 10?
     
  9. BAXTING

    BAXTING Mu-43 Top Veteran

    806
    Aug 5, 2012
    Los Angeles SFV, CA
    Bradley
    I have pre-saved templates that I use to crop the photos with. I use the template to fit the image to the window and then use the crop tool (with locked aspect ratio) to make any other adjustments/scaling if necessary.

    I'm sure there are many different ways to get the same result, but that's what I do in PS.
     
  10. BAXTING

    BAXTING Mu-43 Top Veteran

    806
    Aug 5, 2012
    Los Angeles SFV, CA
    Bradley
    Thank you everyone for comments! I spontaneously took these with my G5 + Lumix 45-150 and I felt they were just too sharp! I felt like I may have over softened them, but now I'm thinking it's more of a combination of over softening + not taking my time. I definitely could have/should have spent some more time adjust the layer's opacity and softening the edge of the brushes I used as mentioned above.

    Thanks again for the feedback everyone :thumbup:
     
  11. tdekany

    tdekany Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 8, 2011
    Oregon
    I like them, but I don't have one artistic bone in my body. Plus I usually just look at the whole picture, very rarely study any of them.

    Very good job! :2thumbs:
     
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