Post-processing Challenge #262

Discussion in 'Contests and Challenges' started by T N Args, Jul 19, 2016.

  1. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    This is a photo of my daughter Riana, and I like it a lot, after PP, so please be nice to her. :) I took it when she was a bridesmaid last year. There is a lot to work on and interpret, including brightness, highlights, skin tones and blemishes, green shadow lighting on Riana from all the trees and grass, and crop if desired.


    Raw file on dropbox at this link.

    The Rules
    The Challenger will provide any photo that he/she deems worthy of challenging other members to "improve" by way Post Processing. It must be their own photo. "Improve" is a subjective term, and includes many creative ideas as well as traditional "fixing". The Challenger agrees that entrants may make any changes they deem fit to post in their entry.

    The winner of the previous challenge gets to post the next Challenge and serves as the judge for his/her PP challenge.

    For obvious purposes, the judge is disqualified from participating in his/her own PP challenge. Instead, he/she should post a photo to start out the challenge.

    If the winner fails to post a new challenge within five days, the responsibility passes to the runner-up.

    At the end of the 72-hours (we don't have to be strict about 72-hours, especially with time differences depending on where you are on the globe), the judge will name a winner, a first runner-up, and a second runner-up.


    The Challenger's image is posted for the sole purpose of the PP Challenge; it is not posted to invite Critique or Criticism.

    Entries shall be limited to 2 per member for each Challenge.

    Entrants to post a BBCode link to the Large size image of their PP edit(s), preferably 1024px x npx, or npx x 1024px, if the original image and/or the PP edit allow for these sizes. Also a click-through to the original sized hosted edit if appropriate (but not a requirement for entry). If you post your entry to a photo-hosting site such as Flickr, Photobucket, or a Gallery, etc., please credit the original photographer to make it clear it is not your photograph; something like "Photo taken by XXXXX over at" should suffice.

    Entrants are strongly encouraged to post the settings and techniques used for their entry, however this is not a requirement for entry.

    As we all know, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. We may not all agree with the chosen winners, but the judges decision is final without adverse comment from the Entrants; the judge is encouraged (but not required) to state what criteria he used to decide on a winner.

    To make sure we don't break any Mu-43 rules/regulations, by participating in the PP Challenge you are allowing the judge to re-post your image for the sole purpose of announcing the winners in the thread.

    Contest will close on Monday July 25th, at one minute past midnight GMT. This allows weekenders to have a go.
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2016
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  2. Brian Beezley

    Brian Beezley Mu-43 All-Pro

    Last edited: Jul 19, 2016
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  3. Brian Beezley

    Brian Beezley Mu-43 All-Pro

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  4. vorlon1

    vorlon1 Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    May 8, 2012
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  5. edmsnap

    edmsnap Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 20, 2011
    Edmonton, Alberta
    I don't see many portrait challenges so I couldn't resist. Like most portraits, there are advantages to colour:


    and B&W:

    • Like Like x 4
  6. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    I have already identified a problem with this thread, which is that I am the judge, and I am clearly being swayed by the subject! "Awww.... Ahh!" etc.

    By the way, some technical info:

    Camera: Olympus E-M5 II
    Lens: Olympus 75mm f/1.8
    Aperture: f/2
    Exposure: 1/200 sec, ISO 200, hand-held.​
  7. WhidbeyLVR

    WhidbeyLVR Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 14, 2014
    Whidbey Island
    It is rather intimidating to work on something to which you are so clearly and dearly attached, but if you have the nerves for it, I'll give it a go.

    • Like Like x 6
  8. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    Thanks Lyle, very nice. Don't feel intimidated. All the entries have been impressive (but like I said, there is an issue with the judge). A fascinating variety of interpretation so far. Keep them coming!
  9. AussiePhil

    AussiePhil Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 1, 2014
    Canberra, ACT, Aust
    Thanks for the Challenge Arg. The colours look correct on my calibrated screens but I keep it a little under-saturated to tone it down a little

    • Like Like x 1
  10. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014


    Beautiful shot to work with.

    EDIT: I used a few masked tone curves: one overall, one for the face, then eyes (contrast and light), teeth (whitening) and earing (just a little pop).
    I tried to light up the whole face while keeping the lit/unlit difference.
    I did shadow recovery and used "local contrast" on the dress to bring out the texture. Used a "soft blur" on the left arm to soften the freckles without removing them completely (I should have desaturated a little the red too).

    On the color one I added a soft yellow vignetting/halo around the whole figure. Removed the bad fringing from the hair and the dress. A little colder WB and tint correction to remove a little green cast. I could have pushed it more but I wanted a natural look.
    In the B&W pushed the blacks a lot, added a little grain, looking for a dark lady style.

    With Darktable (2.0.5) on Linux (Mint 17.3). I have also another "fairy" version on flickr.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2016
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  11. Christilou

    Christilou Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 25, 2010
    Camberley, Surrey

    Beautiful girl, I don't think it needed much enhancement :)
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  12. aKilter

    aKilter Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 13, 2013
    Arg, are you showing these to your daughter?
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  13. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    The thought has certainly crossed my mind, and also the thought of enlisting her as a judge.

    But I don't want that thought to limit the creative ideas coming in, so I will decide a bit later.
  14. dlpruk

    dlpruk Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 1, 2016
    Hinckley, Leicestershire, UK
    A lovely shot of a lovely lady but portraiture isn't in my comfort zone so I checked a couple of tutorials before I dared to try gilding the lily.
    Then I started by expanding the canvas in PSCC, removing some stray hairs and softening the background before moving over to LRCC to discard the bouquet that distracted me from those gorgeous eyes, which I levelled and enhanced slightly. A bit of spotting, slight softening of creases, skin smoothing and enhancement of her lips and teeth, some brushwork to control highlights and a tiny bit of slimming gave this, which I hope I haven't over-worked:

    View attachment 129785
    Original at Flickr
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2016
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  15. ionian

    ionian Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 20, 2016
    Kent, UK
    Beautiful picture Arg - my approach has been to work with what was there rather than trying to get creative. I didn't want to go black and white as I think the colours are great already (after a little wb adjustment), although I can't eliminate that magenta in her hair using my iPad. Still, it gives a nice mirror of the colour in the flowers. I may have overdone her teeth, but I'm happy that my other enhancements are relatively subtle. I'm now saving for the O75.


    Edit for process:
    Lightroom mobile for basic level adjustments to even out the histogram and get the exposure as wanted. Change of wb to lose the green tinge - added radial filter to the arm to further reduce the cast here. Slight Increase to vibrance. Change green channel hue and saturation to get the background to pop.

    Snapseed for healing, including stray hairs, and remove the skin lines on the neck. Remove specular highlights on nose and cheek.

    Facetune for skin smoothing on face and arm, including tonal adjustments to darker areas under eyes. Careful not to lose the texture of the skin, or lose the shape of the face. Add detail to eyes, eyebrow and lips. Whiten teeth and whites of eyes.

    Snapseed for dodging and burning on face to give shape to the light. Burn the eyes slightly so they don't look unnatural. Add shape to the chin with shadow. Desaturated the earring to lose the green cast.

    Picsplay to add two vignette layers - the first to subtly increase exposure in the top left corner to give a visible light source, the second to add a classic darken the corner vignette ensuring no darkening of the face.

    Snapseed for sharpening, masking out the background.

    Drink coffee and post to mu-43!
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2016
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  16. vorlon1

    vorlon1 Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    May 8, 2012
    I think it would be cool to see which she prefers.
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    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Legend

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA

    Steps Take in Creating the Image

    • Basic edits in LR (white/black point, increase contrast & clarity, sharpness)
    • Exported to LR where a Fuji film emulation was applied, along with the sun glow on the left side of the image.
    • Once back in LR, image cropped to 3:2 horizontal orientation, slight vignette applied, local brush adjustment to boost exposure in the eyes by 0.33 to make them pop, and a radial filter applied to the face to pull down the brightness of the background and draw the focus to the face/eyes.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2016
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  18. EdH

    EdH Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jul 14, 2014
    Devon, UK
    _9261903_ed1.jpg _9261903_ed2.jpg
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  19. bigboysdad

    bigboysdad Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 25, 2013
    Sydney/ London
    Editing this picture is surely all about the eyes isn't it?

    _9261903 copy (2).jpg

    Mostly done in CameraRaw. Because it's a well taken sharp image, I know straight away I can crop to the crucial area (the eyes) without the image deteriorating. Switched to Greyscale mode, as the colours on her face may detract from the eyes. Then I want to get a bit of character in the skin tones, so reduce exposure slightly by -0.25, which brings a bit more tone to the image generally. Sharpening by +71 and masking by +83 does that even more. No need for noise reduction of course. For the eyes, a green greyscale mix of +43 was applied and I cranked up the adjustment brush to apply whites to the eyes +75. Then applied post cropped vignetting to the image of -52 which brought the tone even more.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2016
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  20. esnift

    esnift Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 17, 2013
    Boston, MA
    Very nice image to work with. Lot's of room to crop using that 75mm :thumbup:


    Could have kept going to really polish the image, but I had to draw a proverbial line in the sand so that I can take my daughter to the Revere Beach Sand Sculpting Festival.

    Last edited: Jul 26, 2016
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