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Jolly Joanna

By conrad  
Here's one of my efforts from the studio shoot during the Rowardennan Meet - a portrait of Joanna, the light and life of our Saturday evening out at the hotel.

I thought Joanna was a good sport, letting so many of us photograph her. Fun to be with, too - almost always cheerful. And don't you think she has not just a cheerful, but almost slightly mischievous look on her face? Or maybe I'm reading that into the picture, since I remember Saturday night...

Anyway, the studio setup was great, and made it sooooo easy to shoot this. All I did to the shot after processing it in RSE, was to paint out the chesterfield settee in PhotoShop and remove a few minor skin blemishes.

I'm not normally someone who takes portrait pics, so let me know what you think - comments and mods welcome!

Thanks for looking,


P.S. And thanks to Chris for lending me a flash gun and suggesting the right settings!

Tags: Portrait Flash Studio Rowardennan Loch lomond Hc Meet General Rowardennan06 Joanna 2006 Highly commended Portraits and people Flash and lighting

Voters: Glostopcat, proberts, paulcr and 46 more

Highly Commended Photos are given by the team to photos that were good but not quite an editors' choice award. Readers' Choice Awards are given to photos that get over 30 votes

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Coleslaw 12 13.4k 28 Wales
8 Nov 2006 9:38AM
that is rather good.
maybe a bit of gaussian blur for the skin?

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sut68 14 2.0k 76 England
8 Nov 2006 9:45AM
Great shot Conrad, really captures the spirit of Joanna and her bubbly personality!!

John_Horner 12 12 2 England
8 Nov 2006 9:56AM
A lovely bouncy bubbly smile to brighten up the day, Great portrait.
rossi 14 142 11 England
8 Nov 2006 10:05AM
Lovely smiley portrait, very well executed.

Menzabac 12 37 United Kingdom
8 Nov 2006 10:06AM
Im not really one for portraits but this really caught my eye, great image
daviewat 14 4.1k Scotland
8 Nov 2006 10:22AM
A good image cannot be hard of this wonderful lady to capture, but the look of fun in her face is superb.

kaybee 14 5.8k 25 Scotland
8 Nov 2006 10:41AM
Almost impossable to take a bad shot of Joanne (but I have managed.........Doh!)................but this is not one of them

petra16 12 169 Scotland
8 Nov 2006 10:47AM
I think you have caught her mishievous side which is just her ( I think)...

User_Removed 15 39 6 Scotland
8 Nov 2006 11:02AM
Very good shot Conrad, makes me smile

User_Removed 12 398 6 United Kingdom
8 Nov 2006 11:05AM
Like it - says alot about the model
BillS 12 27 United Kingdom
8 Nov 2006 11:18AM
A magic moment ! I'm grateful for the large version. Bill
SueTurner 13 81 3 England
8 Nov 2006 11:48AM
like the use of open space to the right, you have a caught a lovely natural smile - nice work
mattmatic 14 598
8 Nov 2006 11:53AM
Great expression!
Just think the skin might be a touch too red/magenta... might do a mod later Wink
deegee 13 181 United Kingdom
8 Nov 2006 11:59AM
Lovely work Conrad!
kit-monster 14 3.7k 2 Singapore
8 Nov 2006 12:00PM
Very natural - lovely shot Conrad. Great to meet you at the weekend.

Phoebecat 12 1 Italy
8 Nov 2006 12:13PM
Good lighting and lovely expression - well caught

conrad 13 10.9k 116
8 Nov 2006 12:41PM
Wow, quite a lot of interest, how unexpected!

Thanks, everyone!

Cole - Good idea, I'll try to think how I can do that.

Matt - A mod would be most welcome. Especially if you give me a step-by-step instruction on how to achieve the same effect! (If that's not asking too much...) I'd be very interested to see what you can do with it.

Thanks, guys!

mattmatic 14 598
8 Nov 2006 1:01PM
Conrad - mod is done Wink Let me know what you think before I send you instructions! :o)
MarkT 13 119 2 England
8 Nov 2006 1:21PM
I'm not a portrait person (yet) but this looks great to me.

JouŠo 14 56 Finland
8 Nov 2006 1:28PM
jolly ; )

RoddBC 12 40 United States
8 Nov 2006 1:31PM
This is a great capture of Joanna Conrad! I don't think I have seen a bad shot of her yet!

NevP 12 853 13 Canada
8 Nov 2006 2:03PM
This is great, lovely expression.
conrad 13 10.9k 116
8 Nov 2006 2:20PM
Matt, thanks, that works really well! So yes, I would like to know exactly what you did. (Still a bit daunted by PhotoShop work, sometimes - I get lost in the many options and tools...) You didn't really think, btw, that I wouldn't like your mod? Wink It looks very good, thanks!

Rodd - We do like to choose our pics carefully, but I suppose it is indeed hard to get a bad shot of a pretty lady with a bubbly personality!

Jolli - I thought you might like the title! ;-D

Thanks, everyone, much appreciated!

mattmatic 14 598
8 Nov 2006 2:55PM
Thanks Conrad - glad you liked the mod Wink

First off, the credit goes to Katrin Eismann and her excellent book "Photoshop Restoration and Retouching"... page 118-120 of the second edition.

Correcting skin colour using CMYK:
* Select the image and copy to the clipboard
* Create a new image, change the mode to CMYK
* Paste in the image

Now you've got a CMYK version...
* Use the dropper to sample skin colour
* There should be next to zero black (K) content
* Look at the Cyan (C), and magenta (M) should be about double, with yellow (Y) being a little more. e.g. 20C 40M 50Y
* Add a curves adjustment layer
* Select the Magenta, grab the middle and drag it down - sample the skin until you get it where you want
* Select the Yellow curve and drag up a touch
* Select the Black curve and drag down - don't worry if the whole image goes lighter
* Once you're happy, flatten and copy
* Now switch back to the original RGB image and paste the new corrected version on top.

Now, I found that, because I reduced the black to correct the skin tones, the rest went too light.
So, add a Hide-All layer mask and paint back white around the skin with a 50% brush.

I still found it a touch too much, so I added a Hue/Sat layer, selected the "Reds" and brought down the saturation to -3, lightness +4.


* Add a new blank layer
* Change layer blend mode to "Darken"
* Pick the clone tool, opacity 10% to 50%
* Make sure "Sample All Layers" is checked
* Sample nearby skin and clone over the highlights
* When done, maybe reduce layer opacity a touch.

Just used the dodge and burn technique on my Eye Tutorial on this site...

* Whitened eye whites (as mentioned on the tutorial)

* New layer
* Blend mode = Soft-Light
* Paint white at 10% opacity, large soft brush
* I also tweaked the "Blend-If" on the layer blend properties so that shadows were not affected (ie so it lifted mid tones primarily)

That's pretty much it really. You can do the skin tone correction in RGB with curves, but the CMYK method is a breeze once you've tried it.
If you haven't seen Katrin's book(s) - definitely, definitely read them Wink Her web site is: and there are some excellent freebie tutorials buried in her site too!!

(BTW, writing this out took far longer than the mod! LOL!)
Hope that helps!
Paul_Barr 13 544 Scotland
8 Nov 2006 4:30PM
Fine capture Conrad. I'm sure that Dave & Joanna would be pleased with it.

franken Plus
15 4.6k 4 United Kingdom
8 Nov 2006 4:44PM
A truly stunning portrait.

DouglasLatham 12 454 England
8 Nov 2006 5:49PM
Great shot there Conrad .

conrad 13 10.9k 116
8 Nov 2006 7:19PM
Thanks, guys!

And you especially, Matt - top marks for the most informative comments ever in my portfolio!

And Jules: Excellent mod, too - thank you very much!

colin 13 697 5 Scotland
8 Nov 2006 7:56PM
Beautifully done, Conrad. You've caught the essence of her personality in this.
andzup 12
8 Nov 2006 10:12PM
Mattmatic.......what Did we all do before PS .......( We took brilliant photographs )
conrad 13 10.9k 116
9 Nov 2006 9:51AM
Thanks, Colin!

Andy - Before PS we used the physical darkroom to manipulate images. The main difference is that we do it quicker now, and without chemicals, and not in the dark... Wink

conrad 13 10.9k 116
11 Nov 2006 6:36PM
Thanks for the HC, Pete! Most unexpected (since it was my first more or less serious attempt at taking a real portrait picture).

Coleslaw 12 13.4k 28 Wales
12 Nov 2006 7:01PM
wow, first attempt and got a HC!
what next?
conrad 13 10.9k 116
12 Nov 2006 8:27PM
Nothing next, as long as I don't get those eyes right! LOL!

graceland 13 2.5k 2 United Kingdom
9 Jan 2007 4:07PM

nice one one of your best
paulcr 13 1.5k 9 Ireland
9 Jan 2007 4:18PM
This is excellent Conrad, lovely expression, good comp and the combination of blacks are handled really well. Paul
conrad 13 10.9k 116
9 Jan 2007 5:02PM
Thanks, both!


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