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 Post subject: newbie type question
PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2009 2:09 am 
Sorry if this question is stupid, but it's getting time for me to poop or get off the pot as far as editing software goes.

I'm pretty new, only had my Nikon D90 ( first slr ) since Christmas. I've been trying hard, have the basics of exposure pretty well down, am learning composition etc...
But, as far as postprocessing all I do is use Nikon Capture Nx2 to edit my raw files for some color points, exposure comp and white balance if needed, then I actually use Picasa for cropping because I tend to like some of their auto crops.
But I think I would like to learn how to make people's faces look better in portraiture. I have a feeling that would help make my photography popular with the people I know. I mean what person ( woman especially ) wouldn't want someone to take her pic and make her look great in it right ?

But I've not ever really grasped the whole photoshop layers thing. So my questions are really along the lines of:

1) Is there a good software that specializes in touching up portraits ?
or am I just talkign about photoshop to do it along with the tons of other things it can do.
I think I don't want to spend a lot of $$, as I've been breaking the budget lately anyway, so for Adobe, that would probably mean just ps elements. Is that enough to do what I want ? Or is there another software in the same price range that may be easier ?

2) Assuming you guys advise me to buy photoshop elements, what is really the easiest / quickest way to learn enough to be productive at portraiture ? Free tutorials ? which ones ? or do I have to bite the bullet and buy books or take courses ? ( Lord knows I'm busy enough with composition books, etc... ).

Anyway, sorry for being so long winded, I wanted to try and convey enough that the wise ones will be able to advise me correctly.

Thank you,
floyd


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2009 3:15 am 
One new software application I know of is Portrait Professional. I have never used it but it is available for a free trial from their website PortraitProfesional.com
The standard version is advertised for £40 in the UK so it will not break the bank and it is probably cheaper in the States or elsewhere. We do get ripped off in this country for photographic gear and software. Also Elements has a few useful tools for portraiture such as the healing brush which is better than cloning as it smoothes out blemishes duplicating adjacent pixels. Cloning from another part of the face sometimes ends up with a worse result than the original, being patchy and obvious. It does when I use it anyway!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2009 3:26 am 
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I'd spend a bit more time with the camera and make it work for you.
I think more women would be offended if I said -
"I took your pic and then I made you look better with the computer."

:wink:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2009 3:36 am 
thank for the good advice Dave. I'll check that out.

lol kpr. are you telling me I can learn to make blemishes, wrinkles, agespots, eyebags etc.. go away by getting better with the camera ?
that would be my kind of camera, where can I get one ?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2009 4:03 am 
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I bet alot of us would like that model...lol

"blemishes, wrinkles, agespots, eyebags etc"

They exist, it's just the way it is.
I know what you're sayin, portraits aren't my forte.
I've got a couple free downloads each does one thing or another, love to find one I could cut the occasional twig or branch out with(other than a chainsaw) but alas,
I've never had a bird or deer complain about it yet. :D

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2009 4:13 am 
i agree with kpr leave all of that software alone for now and get yourself a nice fast 50mm lens a 50mm f 1.8 should only cost 150 bucks and you are good to go


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2009 9:30 am 
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Go download Adobe Lightroom. Your never regret it :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2009 12:45 pm 
DD_nVidia wrote:
Go download Adobe Lightroom. Your never regret it :)


I've heard good things about lightroom. It's good at organizing, workflow, and light processing I think. Does it work like the other ps software with layers ?

thanks.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 9:04 pm 
DD_nVidia wrote:
Go download Adobe Lightroom. Your never regret it :)


Lightroom is not a replacement for Photoshop. It's lacking many of Photoshop's editing tools. Adobe designed it to work seamlessly with Photoshop as an advanced raw image processing tool. Then convert and pass them to Photoshop for final editing.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 11:22 pm 
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Lightroom is an organizational tool with a bit of editing tacked on. It's not a substitute but it has it's own niche.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 11:29 pm 
DD_nVidia wrote:
Go download Adobe Lightroom. Your never regret it :)


I second that!
If you're beginning with post processing, LR will give you GREAT results with very little work. There are MANY MANY tutorials on Youtube that will help you getting started too!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 1:13 pm 
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Alex_Venom wrote:
DD_nVidia wrote:
Go download Adobe Lightroom. Your never regret it :)


I second that!
If you're beginning with post processing, LR will give you GREAT results with very little work. There are MANY MANY tutorials on Youtube that will help you getting started too!


+1 on Lightroom :)

About taking flattering model pictures:
Make sure the light is properly diffused, not just one hard light. Those cast shadows and make wrinkles more apparent.
Also try to zoom in to your model, shooting with a wide-angle focal range won't make your model look good ;)

Last but not least, try lowering the clarity just a bit when postprocessing, this will smooth out the image in a non-intrusive way. makes the skin look softer.

^Just some things I've picked up from the internet, and a tiny bit of experience :)

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