Beauty retouching

I apologise for the lack of updates, I’ve been a bit busy and generally to lazy to write here.
Now I’m bedridden because of a nasty flu and my voice has disappeared, so I finally have some time to write.

I’m still working in the studios, but I’m trying to get some extra work as a freelance assistant and retoucher.

One of my early attempts at using Photoshop (shame on me)

Retouching was a major part of my early work and I got interested in photography through Photoshop, while normally is the other way around ๐Ÿ™‚

When I was 18, a friend introduced me to Photoshop and I fell in love and I became totally obsessed, learning to use it by trials and errors (I didn’t know about online tutorials and the manuals looked very boring)

I was into cheesy digital art (like the example of the left) and I became increasingly frustrated with the quality of stock photos that I could find on the internet, so I started taking my own.

I kept retouching to some extent all of my photography work, especially because I didn’t have a clue at the beginning and the pictures were generally awful to look at, but I’ve gradually moved away from digital photography and over-retouching and I became interested in film photography and “raw” pictures.

Lately I’ve got back into retouching and looking at my early work I’ve realised how much I’ve progressed in these years.

At the moment I’m studying different techniques for beauty retouching, especially how to get a flawless skin without losing the texture and spending too much time on it.

horrible blurred effect in one of my first pictures

When I was starting out I used to blur (shock horror) the skin to create a soft effect that nowadays looks totally inappropriate (picture on the left)

Finally I discovered about the magic properties of the healing brush and I started smoothing everyone skin to the max, making them look like plastic Barbie dolls (example below).

There are still tons of people who believe that this is a good way of retouching skin, but if you look at high end magazines you will notice that the models have perfect skins WITH some sort of recognisable human texture, they look flawless but not plasticy.

I’ve been researching a lot to find out how to achieve this result and I think that I’m getting there.

Below is my latest retouching work, where the model already had a good skin, but there where still some imperfections to correct.

It was just after a shooting and the hair was messy, the make up a bit smudged and the model generally tired.

In this 100% crop below you can see how I worked on the skin, still retaining some texture (click on the picture to see it full size)

Finally I’ve played a bit with colours and saturation to create a black and white version and a vintage one.

To achieve this effect I recommend to have a look at these resources:

Model Mayhem’s forum thread about the applications of separation of spatial frequency data for micro contrast and skin retouching

Dodge and burn tutorial: part 1 & part 2

Quick and easy (but less accurate) skin smoothing tutorial

Helios VIII at the Biscuit Factory

A first edit of my final major project has been selected to be exhibited at the Biscuit Factory in Newcastle for Helios VIII, a showcase of the very best talent in new and emerging photographic artists from the North of England.

I’m going only for to the preview on Thursday 14th October 6pm โ€“ 8pm, but the exhibition will be up until the 14th of November so there’s plenty of time to visit it if you happen to be in the North East ๐Ÿ™‚

The Biscuit Factory, 16 Stoddart Street, Newcastle

(open Sunday and Monday 11-5pm; Tuesday โ€“ Saturday 10 โ€“ 6pm)

Personae

โ€œPersonae” offers a rare visual insight into the world of street performers.

A persona, in the word’s everyday usage, is a social role or character played by an actor.

Jung called man’s mask the persona – the name for the mask worn by the actor in the ancient Greek theatre – and visualised it as the manner or system which we have created for ourselves to help us adjust to the world. The danger to which Jung points lies in the total identification with one’s persona, which may finally come to be what the actual person is not, but what he and other people believe him to be.

This series is an attempt to focus on the shift between person and persona in the lives of three people who perform as living statues in Italy and it’s part of a bigger ongoing documentary project about street performers.