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skin treatment - the vote

By Angi_Wallace    
The boring old question of skin treatment - I want to know your opinion please.
Some sites are very pro - skin smoothing treament - such as model mayhem, which I can understand a little as the models can be selling a product bla bla, but I personally prefer natural skin. Although I do like to play around in photoshop for that " magazine perfect skin appearance, its not my preference.
I frequently have both models and makeup artists requesting edits with smooth "porcelin" skin

So whats your preference and most importantly - why Wink

Tags: Digitally manipulated Portraits and people Flash and lighting

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johnnyboy114 9 231 106 United Kingdom
22 Jul 2011 3:39PM
Yeah, I know your dilemma.....I also hate really photoshopped smoothed skin, but then there is a call for it, which is sadly the way of the world. I tend to like it a bit in between the photoshopped smooth and the completely "warts and all" skin....not overly smooth, but the main blotches and "defects" (that sounds so horrible) removed, or at least the effect subdued.....for me, it has to retain its detail and texture, yet not have the really unsightly scars, moles, spots, blackheads and so can be done and I have seen many photographers pull it of just wouldn't know and put it down to the model having nigh on perfect skin. But its an art in both lighting and PS technique, the latter that is something that really eludes me at the moment.

Of the two pictures, I personally would lean more towards the picture on the right, with less retouching, but that is very much a personal taste. The pic on the left, especially in this context may well work better for the client and the brief, so....tough question. I also think the picture on the left, because of its nature, has less "depth" in it, the one on the right looking more "real" don't think there is a right or wrong answer with this couple of images....I think its very much down to the context of the image and what it will be used for, if anything. Good luck, I wouldn't want to make that choice! Wink

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BERTRAM 10 United Kingdom
22 Jul 2011 3:40PM
Fantastic work.
Ade_Osman 15 4.5k 36 England
22 Jul 2011 5:02PM
V2 looks more natural, but V1 would be the image that ended up in Vogue or such like, more the pity.....

22 Jul 2011 5:26PM
Hi Angi ... Yep depends on what the model or you want... V1 suites this shot well

I think somewhere in between for portraits for the wall, but for magazines glossies etc then the smoother look, however I really dont like that smooth effect on blokes... have you checked out Portrait Professional software website it's hilarious, their before and after images are ridiculous especially completely getting rid of someones freckles and changing their face shape

arhb Plus
10 3.4k 68 United Kingdom
22 Jul 2011 9:44PM
Before I started doing any portrait/model photography, I was approached by a friend who knew I could use photoshop, asking me to retouch some images for her. I found a technique on youtube that used layers of gaussian blur and median noise to obliterate any skin texture, which could then have the layer opacity adjusted to show more or less 'smoothing' .
As a newly found technique I found this a lot of fun, and then discovered Port.Prof, which again found to be a great tool, especially given how well priced it is. Again, it can be used as a layer over the original, and either adjusted via opacity, or hidden and painted in where required, and used very subtly, it can produce some okay results.
It was over on modelmayhem that I started finding some very interesting forum discussions on retouching, that look to maintain skin texture, even for the glossiest of magazines.

A good retouch video
I discovered Natalia Taffarel on MM, and she has some great videos on youtube, showing in great depth how to retouch at a very high level.

That said, it is very labour intensive, but it has made me appreciate that done properly, retains a natural skin look and can make a good image look fantastic.
What I have found is that when a model from MM finds out you can retouch/ make their skin look better, however it's done, it's more than likely they will want some work done ... if possible Smile

So, to the question, I think it(skin treatment/retouching) looks great when it's done properly. I prefer to do as little as possible on my work, so I like to work with models that have good skin, but also that aren't concerned about having that kind of work done on images of them. It leaves me to play with the images more creatively.
Pegon 12 78 1 England
22 Jul 2011 9:45PM
Hi Angi, I think you've done a good job here, I like a bit of smoothing, too much though and then it looks horrible.
Daisymaye Plus
9 23 16 Canada
22 Jul 2011 11:47PM
I like both depending on what you're after. It's knowing when to quit because it can look pretty weird when you go too far. These are both great..........Sandy

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