Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Software Review: Portrait Professional

My nephew (pictured right) Ian is our subject for today's blog post. For years I have been retouching and editing portraits and up until 2007 I was always scared when shooting a High School Senior's session. As I worked I thought about all the time it would take to edit out acne and other blemishes from his/her skin. Unlike many kids Ian's age, he has great skin, but I'm going to use him anyways to show off how Portrait Professional works.
So here's works:
  1. Select key points on the face of your subject: Eyes, lips, nose, etc. 
  2. Make adjustments with the sliders hair, eyes, skin, face contouring.
  3. Sit back and enjoy the hours of free time you've just gained by not having to edit each image in Photoshop.

Here's the before (top) and after (bottom) close up.
You'll notice that all his freckles are gone, skin is even, eyes are whiter and more vibrant green, and softer shadows on the right side of his face. This took only a few minutes as where all of these changes might take 10 or more minutes, which can really add up when you have hundreds of photos!
For those of you keeping score at home, this is called a Rembrandt lighting pattern. See the small triangle of light on the shadowed portion of the face? Similar lighting is often seen in Rembrandt's work. He had a skylight in his studio that produced a similar effect on his subjects.
To light this shot I used a single SB800 on a light stand 45 degrees from camera left. The exposure is 1/160@ f 5.6. The day was very overcast but the addition of the speedlight made it look as if the light is all natural.

Tomorrow: Photographing in front of your Christmas tree: Three different effects you can use!

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