Family and Group Portraiture

Working on skin texture


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Family and Group Portraiture

with Natalie Fobes

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Video: Working on skin texture

Earlier in this course I photographed Sam. He and I talked about his concerns with his skin and also his weight. When I photographed him I adjusted the lights and his poses to take care of his weight, and then I also had him apply makeup to smooth out the color of his skin. Now I'm going to show you the next step in that process. I do as much work as possible in Lightroom and then I will export to Photoshop to finish up. I go into Develop, because Develop has many more adjustments that I can use, in particular is the Spot Healing tool.
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Watch the Online Video Course Family and Group Portraiture
1h 28m Intermediate Mar 16, 2012

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In this course, Pulitzer finalist Natalie Fobes shows how to capture engaging portrait shots of couples, families, and other groups using a variety of posing and composition techniques.

The course discusses how to plan for a portrait photo shoot and how to make stylistic decisions regarding props, clothing, and makeup. Next, the course reviews the essentials of posing women and men, starting with a single subject, moving on to a couple, and then working up to large groups. The course also demonstrates how to pose and compose a group portrait in ways that highlight the relationships between group members, whether they're family members or business colleagues. Lastly, to illustrate the time constraints photographers often face, Natalie works against the clock to shoot a group of people she's never met.

The course also covers various postprocessing techniques geared specifically for portraiture, such as working with wrinkles and skin textures.

Subject:
Photography
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
Natalie Fobes

Working on skin texture

Earlier in this course I photographed Sam. He and I talked about his concerns with his skin and also his weight. When I photographed him I adjusted the lights and his poses to take care of his weight, and then I also had him apply makeup to smooth out the color of his skin. Now I'm going to show you the next step in that process. I do as much work as possible in Lightroom and then I will export to Photoshop to finish up. I go into Develop, because Develop has many more adjustments that I can use, in particular is the Spot Healing tool.

I will put it on Heal and adjust Sam so I can see what I'm doing. I'm going to tackle some of the dark areas here. I start at the bottom, because I want to create an area of clean skin. I'm going to reduce my brush size down by doing a left bracket, and I'm going to just go in and hit some of those dark spots. Now Lightroom automatically samples for you, but often I don't like where it chooses.

So I just make sure that it's choosing the right area for me. As you can see, when I'm clicking on these little areas, it may or may not be taking clean skin, and I want to make sure that I take clean skin. It does take a little bit of time to do this, but once we get these taken care of then we can go on to the next step.

I am going to enlarge just a little bit. Now see how I have clean skin down here that with all of those little circles? Those are places that I've worked on. I can take this and bring it down here and I will get the clean skin that I worked on before. So it goes a little bit faster. The nice thing about using the Healing Brush instead of Clone is that it will take what you sample and combine that with the area that you want to fix. So it's a nice kind of smooth transition.

When you work on any kind of line like this, you want to make sure that the shadow is similar to what you're sampling. I bring that up, okay. Here I'm starting at the top to get my clean skin. Now see what happened there when Lightroom automatically came down and sampled here, then I had that wrinkle in there.

So by swinging this around into the clean skin you lose that. Again I don't like where it captures. So I'm bringing it around, bringing it around, and again try to keep the same tone when you're sampling. Now I'm just looking around for some other little spots that I can fix.

I enlarge my brush a little bit. This little spot down here we'll get to. The reason I'm using a smaller brush is because I don't want to have an entirely smoothed out section of skin that doesn't have the same texture or feel as the skin right next to it.

Here we go! So now that I've done this, we're going to go into the Adjustment Brush. There is really cool preset that is included in Lightroom called Soften Skin. I'll click on that, and then watch as you lose a little bit of the wrinkles. This softening how the skin is being smoothed out. I am making my brush smaller, left bracket. So I want to go in and just really smooth here. The nice thing about using this technique is that you can smooth where you want it to be smooth, and you can keep the detail and sharpness in the eyes.

So let's take a look at what we've done so far. This is where we started and this is where we are now. I see a couple more areas that I want to work on, and then I think it's just about ready to be exported to Photoshop for the final adjustments. Do a little bit of work in lightening the darkness right here under his eyes, just as I showed you in the last tutorial.

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