I am pretty depressed when I am looking at the above picture. At the beginning, I only wanted to make a quick picture of a new hair release from Milana. This Jayna style is cute yet sexy at the same time. So, to show my Plurk time line, I have taken a quick shot, gone to Photoshop, cropped, dodged and burned in tenty seconds top, hit auto tone, auto contrast, resized it down to a 1024×1280 and posted it on Flickr and Plurk.
Five minutes later, I had comments saying it is gorgeous, blabla. Yeah, thanks,… I like it too. So why am I depressed? It took me two minutes to make that picture! Lately, I have been wasting a lot of time trying to improve my pictures by postprocessing them. You just have no idea how much I can clean a picture before doing anything. Then, I am playing with dodge and burn, curves (I am actualy abusing of curves) and in the end, I am never happy with the result. For sure, I am adding some dimension to the picture and it is shiny but I am loosing so much more details. The skins are awful, way too bright, too pale. I try and I try and I try to no avail.
Today, at work, I have done something I usualy avoid as I do not like to mix lives :I have watched my blog. Now, ok, the screen at my work is probably of pretty bad quality but are all my pictures looking that red for a lot of people? It is ugly. Not what I see when I am at home, but still. I do not want anyone to see that.
There are a lot of bad things in this picture. Tiny jagged edges I should have smudged, contour I should have liquified, black lines I should have blent. But who cares? Noone seems to see that.
If you want to take that kind of picture, here are my super secrets:
1. Windlight: I have used the same basic windlight setting I always do. You can download it here. Modify it for the face to be in the shadows instead of in the light.
2. Take huge size PNG snapshots you save on your computer. Original was 4000*6000 pixels. Yes, I can make you crash. I am using Firestorm viewer. I actualy think it takes crappy shots with splotches of green and pink light everywhere but at least I don’t crash.
3. Crop the pic to frame it better.
4. Quick dodge and burn on a overlayed 50% grey layer
5. Hit auto tone, auto contrast
But yeah… the hair style is cool!