After being done with the RAW-Conversion, I’m transferring the image to Photoshop.
C1 converts it into a 16bit AdobeRGB PSD and I’m good to go.
In Photoshop, the first thing I do is create my healing layer and start cleaning up.
I usually begin with the background and stray hair as it annoys me the most and it makes the image already look a lot cleaner. Might be a personal preference.
When done with stray hair, I’m doing the hair in general – at least the things that catch my eye, like hair that doesn’t go with the flow, in this case glittery product that’s not supposed to be there, and single strands of hair that the stray hairs were attached to.
Remember: When you remove fly away hair, you also need to address where it’s coming from. The hair doesn’t just magically stop at the outline of the model’s head.
From there I’m going to clean up the skin.
When it comes to this part, I have a very impulse driven approach. I know, many people work their way from area to area – I don’t. I start somewhere and jump over the entire image to what catches my eye next. It is like a priority driven process that eliminates the next most prominent issue next. I didn’t plan on working that way, I just developed like that and it works very well for me.
Now is a good time to mention that I always retouch in a very natural and not artificial way. This is what the majority of my clients come to me for.
You can see quite a bit of facial hair on the model’s face which is a super normal thing to have and was made visible by the lighting – nothing bad about it. That’s why I only removed hair that was distracting the eye and disturbed the consistency of the image.
One big issue in this photo is an area camera right of the mouth that is out of focus. Doesn’t look good as it’s totally out of context – meaning, there is no other area in this image that replicates this. I gotta get rid of it. I basically just remove it with the Clone Stamp, sampling surrounding areas that make sense to have a good consistency of texture that doesn’t look out of place or fake.
I tried the same with the dark lines under her eyes – didn’t work. But it is always worth a try. Just make sure if you try butcheresque approaches like this, that you keep a critical eye on it and dismiss it if it doesn’t work. Because the majority of times it doesn’t.
To round everything up, I took care of the makeup, her lips and the white in her eyes.