Post processing techniques/workflow for portrait

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by Khiunngiap, Apr 7, 2011.

  1. Khiunngiap

    Khiunngiap Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 9, 2011
    Fellow friends ,

    I would like to ask is there any good sites recommendation on post processing for portrait on aperture ?? More on techniques/workflow rather than references of the software ?? or any books for recommendation ?? Thanks
  2. sherlock

    sherlock Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 31, 2011
    What is your existing workflow, if you have one? Is there a look you are going for?

    Without going into too much detail, it's worth doing the following:

    - Fix your exposure & WB first. Get this right from the start.
    - Clone stamp any trouble areas (obvious blemishes).
    - Dodge and burn. These are the two adjustment brushes you need to learn, and learn well. Dodging & burning can help you add 'pop' in the right places on any image, and this is especially important for portrait work.
    - Color work. Now that you've done the groundwork, you can play with your curves, hues, saturation & do any split toning you want. Vignettes and grain also apply here.
    - Double check exposures - any color work you've done might have blown out certain channels. Make sure you've kept detail where you need it.
    - Crop. Keep in mind all elements of the frame. Usually helps to make sure there's not 'part' of an object along a border (half a tree, half a person, a hand, etc).
    - Sharpen. Don't go overboard here, since if you're exporting to smaller sizes, there will naturally be some additional sharpening as a result of the smaller file. Don't look at everything at 100% crop, and keep an eye on diagonals & edges to make sure they're not over-sharpened.

    There's no set way to do it, but exposure first is always a good start.
    • Like Like x 3
  3. Alanroseman

    Alanroseman Super Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 21, 2010
    New England
    There are several web based training solutions, one of the is here:Aperture 3 Tutorials | Essential Training

    We also have several members very well versed in Aperture, it seems as though one of them has responded to you already..:smile:
  4. Khiunngiap

    Khiunngiap Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 9, 2011
    thanks for a quick guide to Sherlock
    Normally this is my sequence , all based on my explored of playing around Aperture

    1) eyes sharpening with brush
    2) Push luminance all the way to in color red channel towards higher value - right side ( this will cast away the skin tone shadow only instead of whole picture )
    3) Skin smoothing on face
    4) clone and repair if necessary
    5) Exposure ( there are so many tools to adjust this , i dont have any specific ways but just play around)
    6) White balance
    7) colour correction

    i just feel that the way i am doing is more than gut feelings than techniques ..
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Alanroseman

    Alanroseman Super Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 21, 2010
    New England
    Hi Sherlock,

    This is looking like a great place for a few before and after shots from you.

    It might be nice to provide a visual for your workflow technique... I know I'd be interested in seeing a few.

    Thanks, Alan
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Khiunngiap

    Khiunngiap Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 9, 2011
    I always have this problem , due to the light direction. Half of the peerage face with highlight , another half with dark shadow , I always try to adjust with brush but always ended up the skin tone is not in uniform .

    Any tips on it ?? Thanks
  7. sherlock

    sherlock Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 31, 2011
    Ideally, you need to fix it from the beginning: when you take the shot. Think about light sources & position your subjects properly. Avoid shooting in the middle of the day too, because all you'll get is harsh shadows. First thing in the morning, or just before sunset (when the light is its softest) is the way to go.

    Failing that, underexpose by a stop or so & shoot RAW. It's better to retain your highlight detail (you can't get it back if you blow it) & pull your shadows up later. Micro four-thirds sensors don't have the latitude of a D7000 or a 5D2 however, so this is more of a last resort (read: shoot it right the first time). Most stuff shot this way will be better as black & white, purely because pushing shadows introduces noise.
    • Like Like x 2
  8. Khiunngiap

    Khiunngiap Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 9, 2011
    Ya , I agree that shoot it right at the first place :)

    But I don't shoot for a living , I only shoot friend's surrounding me .
    I will try to shoot as freely as I can during the outing .
    Sometimes , there will be some flaws over the picture , I just wanna fix it.
    I guess I need more practices to shoot the right picture so that I can reduce my flaws.
  9. Hyubie

    Hyubie Unique like everyone else

    Oct 15, 2010
    I have this bookmarked - a guideline to make the eyes POP via Photoshop. However, it hasn't been of much use to me as there's not much difference between the color of our iris and our pupils. Maybe when I get to photograph someone else not part of our family (or better yet, someone not part of our race :biggrin:).
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