Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My Portraiture Workflow

I would like to share my recent workflow that I use to process select portraits. I'm sure, there's a lot of workflow out there but I thought of sharing mine today as I have been more out with portraits lately than product shoots.

The more I learn about portraiture, my workflow have changed as well.

Old WorkflowNew Workflow
Gaussian Blur
...Noise Reduction
Color Balance (Test Mode)

Some details on the steps. On what I try to achieve upon performing the steps above.
  • Levels - I use this to assign a black point (and sometimes a white point). Before, I use this also to improve the contrast of the image until I started to use Curves.
  • Curves - Now, I try to improve the contrast of the image by using this instead of Levels.
  • Heal/Clone - I usually use Heal to take out the most obvious blemishes and Clone for cloning out distracting items in the image. I also use Clone to improve the image.
  • Gaussian Blur - This is to give the smooth skin effect. Here's a little tutorial on how this is achieved though I don't use Photoshop but GIMP, the process is practically the same.
  • Noise Reduction - Since I was able to obtain a neat plug-in for GIMP called Wavelet Denoise, I find it very impressive.
  • Color Balance - As the name suggests, this aims to balance the colors in the image. But as of now, I most likely destroy the image than improve the overall output. So right now, I'll leave it as in test mode or if I may say, learning stage.
So, there  you go, my portraits processing workflow. If you have your workflow, come on and share it as well.

By the way, here is a side-by-side before and after look of the sample image above.

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