Back Versions (5)
Modifications (6)
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Secret smile - how much to LR

By Drummerdelight
I 'm posting this photo as I re-modified the original with my 'new' taste and the good & bad experiences that I have learned in the past years of LR-use.

What puzzles me is most is what is best for a portrait, I mean 'skin' and overall feeling, vibe of the photo...
I realise that my style, with some light sharpening and adding some 'presence' in LR is less forgiving but I feel it gives added strength, perhaps more graphic (I worked in graphics for 27 years...)

Some people seem to use a form or a small amount of softening.... I tend to find this a little cheap or too commercial or plastic looking for my taste.

I 'd love to hear your POV or experience as we 're here to learn from each other - aren 't we?

V1 - I have posted the version I prefer the most with 25% added presence
V2 - original modification without changing the presence
V3 - minus 25%
V4 - plus 50%
V5 - plus 75% just out of curiosity - or to demonstrate tO much can be harmfull
V6 - THE original
V7 - the old posted photo to be seen here in a link

Tags: Portrait Modifications Advice Choice Black and white Black and amp white

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Comments


PranavMishra 8 52 18 India
15 Jan 2016 5:19PM
I like this photo.. the vibe is lovely and right in the center..
CarolG 14 199 20 Greece
15 Jan 2016 5:39PM
V.1 for me, Guy, love the image.
mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.4k 2295 United Kingdom
15 Jan 2016 7:13PM
V1 and V5 have the most three-dimensional feel for me, and the best sense of texture. I'm particularly looking at his stubble...

I'm opting for V5 though, because it gives a better sense of the sunlight on the girl's face. You've toned down that contrast in V1, which consequently looks a bit flat to me.

One small suggestion - get rid of the tiny fibre extending from the top of her hat. Once I spotted it I couldn't keep my eyes off it. Seriously distracting...

I like this a lot by the way. Both parties are making direct eye contact with you / us, but their motivation and thoughts seem to be very different. We can see who is in control of the relationship.
Moira
paulbroad 13 131 1290 United Kingdom
15 Jan 2016 7:50PM
A nice image in general. Struggling to see that muchdifference. I would prefer just a touch more contrast to improve blacks and a slight crop to increase head size in the frame.

I struggle with your settings. Why ISO 800 giving 1/3000sec? ISO 200 would be quite enough for better over all quality. I have an XE1 and the high ISO quality is extremely good, but 200 is better and may be why the contrast is a tuch down.

Paul
15 Jan 2016 8:15PM

Quote:A nice image in general. Struggling to see that muchdifference. I would prefer just a touch more contrast to improve blacks and a slight crop to increase head size in the frame.

I struggle with your settings. Why ISO 800 giving 1/3000sec? ISO 200 would be quite enough for better over all quality. I have an XE1 and the high ISO quality is extremely good, but 200 is better and may be why the contrast is a tuch down.

Paul

Yes Paul, very true but it was a very quick snapshot I longed to get, tought I missed but I met the couple by coincidence again and just had to snap! the orig. is a lot larger and in color (in the harsh sunlight). Cropping even more so is indeed an option, I tought I was brave cropping half her hat away, but yes, you 're right! cheers and thanks a lot, Guy
15 Jan 2016 8:21PM

Quote:V1 and V5 have the most three-dimensional feel for me, and the best sense of texture. I'm particularly looking at his stubble...

I'm opting for V5 though, because it gives a better sense of the sunlight on the girl's face. You've toned down that contrast in V1, which consequently looks a bit flat to me.

One small suggestion - get rid of the tiny fibre extending from the top of her hat. Once I spotted it I couldn't keep my eyes off it. Seriously distracting...

I like this a lot by the way. Both parties are making direct eye contact with you / us, but their motivation and thoughts seem to be very different. We can see who is in control of the relationship.
Moira

Funny about that detail, never noticed it before as I'm mesmorized by her smile I guess.. I do also like V5 most, it his it more 'oomph' or what you call it...Wink I kept in touch but I think they had to leave Libanon, their beloved country that 's at war and now hear nothing... I realy hope they are alive and kicking, they both had such bubbly characters! cheers, Guy
15 Jan 2016 8:27PM
I have now included the original photo, see V6 - thank you for your comments, toughts and ideas!
banehawi Plus
16 2.3k 4177 Canada
15 Jan 2016 9:09PM
It depends!

Presence is Adobes term for what they think presence is; its three adjustments, clarity, vibrance and saturation. Since you are working in mono, the only effective adjustment is clarity.

Clarity has nothing really to do with presence, but it has everything to do with mid-tone contrast. Hight mid-tone contrast may improve the sense of presence if presence means in your face, sharp, gritty. But too much of it is horrendous and makes lots of halos.

I think theres a difference when you shoot a woman compared to shooting a man; a man is complemented, and looks good with high "presence", its male, its macho, while in most cases, this is not at all flattering for a woman.

So depends on if youre after a portrait or a very graphic representation. Softening is best started in the original shot with a focal length suitable to portrait and the widest possible aperture, as you have used here; the amount of smoothing is then a matter of taste, and can be chosen by the subject to her taste.


W
Bantu 7 7 1 India
16 Jan 2016 5:01AM
Everything perfect my friend.

Vikram
16 Jan 2016 9:09AM

Quote:It depends!

Presence is Adobes term for what they think presence is; its three adjustments, clarity, vibrance and saturation. Since you are working in mono, the only effective adjustment is clarity.

Clarity has nothing really to do with presence, but it has everything to do with mid-tone contrast. Hight mid-tone contrast may improve the sense of presence if presence means in your face, sharp, gritty. But too much of it is horrendous and makes lots of halos.

I think theres a difference when you shoot a woman compared to shooting a man; a man is complemented, and looks good with high "presence", its male, its macho, while in most cases, this is not at all flattering for a woman.

So depends on if youre after a portrait or a very graphic representation. Softening is best started in the original shot with a focal length suitable to portrait and the widest possible aperture, as you have used here; the amount of smoothing is then a matter of taste, and can be chosen by the subject to her taste.


W

Indeed Willie, men versus woman is a different approach! also in real timeTongue - looking back on the high ISO, this setting is prob. what I might do in future in same situation, where one can bump into all kind of situations and lighting, better a high ISO sharp than low and movement blur or what you call it...duh, been up since 4 a clock...
dudler Plus
17 1.4k 1741 England
16 Jan 2016 10:45AM
There's a lot of technical stuff here, and as I don't use Lightroom there will be no specifics in what follows.

But... What Willie has written suggests that Lightroom does the same as (for instance) Nik Efex, to some extent - it gives you a cocktail of adjustments, and unless you get into exactly what they are, there can be unintended consequences.

The main thing I wanted to do here was lighten the girl's face a little - I both used the dodge tool, and a Levels adjustment to open up the midtones. A square crop seemed natural, though it loses that nice set of triangles on the left.

In shooting, it would have been great if you had been able to avoid all direct sun on the girl's face - not a big problem, but it can be...

It's a really expressive shot in terms of the relationship!
16 Jan 2016 11:26AM

Quote:There's a lot of technical stuff here, and as I don't use Lightroom there will be no specifics in what follows.

But... What Willie has written suggests that Lightroom does the same as (for instance) Nik Efex, to some extent - it gives you a cocktail of adjustments, and unless you get into exactly what they are, there can be unintended consequences.

The main thing I wanted to do here was lighten the girl's face a little - I both used the dodge tool, and a Levels adjustment to open up the midtones. A square crop seemed natural, though it loses that nice set of triangles on the left.

In shooting, it would have been great if you had been able to avoid all direct sun on the girl's face - not a big problem, but it can be...

It's a really expressive shot in terms of the relationship!

cropping square is indeed best suited John. Interesting to see what you did with the tones. And yes, special couple who I was exited to talk with as he was traveling the world as a proff. poker player (ex-journalist) and that he won her (ex art-teacher, now compagnion and artist when possible) love!
16 Jan 2016 11:28AM

Quote:It depends!

Presence is Adobes term for what they think presence is; its three adjustments, clarity, vibrance and saturation. Since you are working in mono, the only effective adjustment is clarity.

Clarity has nothing really to do with presence, but it has everything to do with mid-tone contrast. Hight mid-tone contrast may improve the sense of presence if presence means in your face, sharp, gritty. But too much of it is horrendous and makes lots of halos.

I think theres a difference when you shoot a woman compared to shooting a man; a man is complemented, and looks good with high "presence", its male, its macho, while in most cases, this is not at all flattering for a woman.

So depends on if youre after a portrait or a very graphic representation. Softening is best started in the original shot with a focal length suitable to portrait and the widest possible aperture, as you have used here; the amount of smoothing is then a matter of taste, and can be chosen by the subject to her taste.


W

Thank you for your modifications Willie, It 's amazing what one can do with a photo, "so many ways to..Wink
TanyaH Plus
17 1.3k 409 United Kingdom
18 Jan 2016 2:08PM
I remember this one Smile There's very much a powerful pull about the expressions on the faces of these two ... words aren't needed; it's all there in the eyes and the smile.

So many different way to process images; so many options that it's hard to settle on just one.

I've added a couple of mods for you - both done in Photoshop (not LR) and both processed twice; once for the man and once for the woman. Both have had the eyes adjusted slightly, some cropping and some sharpening. (I left some of the background on the left of the image, because I think it adds a context and a 'sense of place' to the image.)

For her, I used a black and white adjustment layer that was then tweaked to suit her softer, more feminine skin tone. For him, same thing but again adjusted for a more rugged look. Then I simply used a layer mask to blend out the other one (I think I used his version and painted her 'out', so that the one of her from below showed through - hope that makes sense!?).

Then I had a fiddle with color lookup adjustment layers, to add 'something' to the basic black and white conversion (I started with your colour original) - 'Mod' is done using the TealOrangePlusContrast, set to Soft Light blend mode at 50% opacity. 'Mod2' is using the 'filmstock_50' preset, set to Normal blend mode and full (100%) opacity.

No one way is right or wrong, just what looks good to you as the photographer/post processor and (if applicable) to your subjects.

Tanya
18 Jan 2016 8:24PM

Quote:I remember this one Smile There's very much a powerful pull about the expressions on the faces of these two ... words aren't needed; it's all there in the eyes and the smile.

So many different way to process images; so many options that it's hard to settle on just one.

I've added a couple of mods for you - both done in Photoshop (not LR) and both processed twice; once for the man and once for the woman. Both have had the eyes adjusted slightly, some cropping and some sharpening. (I left some of the background on the left of the image, because I think it adds a context and a 'sense of place' to the image.)

For her, I used a black and white adjustment layer that was then tweaked to suit her softer, more feminine skin tone. For him, same thing but again adjusted for a more rugged look. Then I simply used a layer mask to blend out the other one (I think I used his version and painted her 'out', so that the one of her from below showed through - hope that makes sense!?).

Then I had a fiddle with color lookup adjustment layers, to add 'something' to the basic black and white conversion (I started with your colour original) - 'Mod' is done using the TealOrangePlusContrast, set to Soft Light blend mode at 50% opacity. 'Mod2' is using the 'filmstock_50' preset, set to Normal blend mode and full (100%) opacity.

No one way is right or wrong, just what looks good to you as the photographer/post processor and (if applicable) to your subjects.

Tanya

Thank you for your personal view and your adjustments to both nice people with respect for their own personality and looks. I prefer (like all of them) the B&W version! A lot of work you have done here, waw, my respect Tanya! cheers, Guy
18 Jan 2016 8:28PM

Quote:There's a lot of technical stuff here, and as I don't use Lightroom there will be no specifics in what follows.

But... What Willie has written suggests that Lightroom does the same as (for instance) Nik Efex, to some extent - it gives you a cocktail of adjustments, and unless you get into exactly what they are, there can be unintended consequences.

The main thing I wanted to do here was lighten the girl's face a little - I both used the dodge tool, and a Levels adjustment to open up the midtones. A square crop seemed natural, though it loses that nice set of triangles on the left.

In shooting, it would have been great if you had been able to avoid all direct sun on the girl's face - not a big problem, but it can be...

It's a really expressive shot in terms of the relationship!

Thank you John for your personal modification-style and comments on my portrait. I 'm glad you listened to Moira her advice, that little thingy was getting on her nerves - peace at last. It has a soft and yet strong feel about it now, I like your 'large' crop and coloring! cheers, Guy

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