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Old May 5, 2010, 9:13 PM   #1
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Default "Soft Focus" filter, via Photoshop

Shot these as JPEG files, using my E30. The first image was shot using the 50-200 SWD Zuiko, #2 with the 12-60 SWD and the third with the kit 14-42 lens, all using the FL50R for fill. The flash was mounted on the Demb flash bracket and connected to the E30 via a Canon off-camera cord II. Shooting outdoors, the head was pointed forward with the built-in diffusor panel pulled out. That was it as far as diffusion goes.

Opened up and processed each file twice in Adobe Camera RAW and Photoshop CS4, in one image giving a substantial amount of negative Clarity for a soft focus effect. Then opened both in Photoshop, copied and pasted the soft image on top, added a layer mask and painted through to the areas I didn't want to be rendered soft and then flattened the image when I had it the way I wanted and saved as a new JPEG.






Last edited by Greg Chappell; May 6, 2010 at 12:06 AM.
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Old May 5, 2010, 9:30 PM   #2
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i think these are very nice portraits. the slight softening from your pp gives them a flattering smoothness, yet your masking has allowed the details in the eyes and hair.

really nice work, both shooting and processing.
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Old May 5, 2010, 9:53 PM   #3
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Hi Greg,

Don't know how the images looked prior to your post processing. But, I certainly like the results.

I've tried using the clarity slider to soften up close ups as well and was very pleasantly surprised as to how little negative clarity is required to improve skin imperfections, wrinkles, etc.

Your subject, however does not appear to have any imperfections at all.

Very well done!
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Old May 5, 2010, 10:16 PM   #4
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I've tried using the clarity slider to soften up close ups as well and was very pleasantly surprised as to how little negative clarity is required to improve skin imperfections, wrinkles, etc.

Your subject, however does not appear to have any imperfections at all.

Very well done!
The beauty/perfection of youth!

Thanks, Zig. A co-worker asked me about doing some portraits of one of her daughters, who's a senior in high school this year. She has an older sister in college who was also there to have some pictures taken with her..









This was a lot of fun. We met over two different days in two locations. I wouldn't mind doing this every so often.

I've never liked images of totally smoothed faces so I intentionally avoided that in processing these. One thing I would need to get if I did this very much would be an editing tablet. The mouse is not a good way to do what I did here to lots of images on an ongoing basis.

Last edited by Greg Chappell; May 5, 2010 at 11:50 PM.
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Old May 6, 2010, 7:12 AM   #5
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Greg, these are great portrait works. Couple of questions though, I know your method of shooting only jpegs, but if you go through all that process of working in ACR, why not shoot raw to start with? Is it because of the color & contrast that "in camera processed jpegs" gives you. Hope you don't mind my asking.
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Old May 6, 2010, 8:36 AM   #6
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Greg, these are great portrait works. Couple of questions though, I know your method of shooting only jpegs, but if you go through all that process of working in ACR, why not shoot raw to start with? Is it because of the color & contrast that "in camera processed jpegs" gives you. Hope you don't mind my asking.
Charles
The first day we met I actually did shoot RAW+JPEG, processed a few RAW files to compare and saw little, if any gain in quality of the images so I just stuck with the Large Superfine JPEG's and didn't even bother with RAW the second day.

I have my ACR parameters set in a way where my RAW files pretty much open up in ACR looking exactly like they did when I viewed them on my cameras' LCD using these settings..

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=35119004

The "details" I have a hard time even duplicating, much less doing a better job of, is in the sharpening and noise reduction/filtering. I simply like the +1 sharpening setting of the in-camera JPEG processor of the E30, and the Low noise filter setting produces results I like. I tend to go over the top on both sharpening and noise reduction, to the point I'm tired of messing with it and just let the camera do its' thing.

The main differences in working a JPEG from a RAW file in ACR is, the clarity slider works in much smaller increments with a RAW file because all the information is still there. Where I was dialing down to -35 or -40 clarity on the out of focus layer with the JPEG file I was having to go close to twice as far with the RAW file to get to a comperable look.

With a RAW file, all of the white balance presets are still there in ACR where with JPEG's you only have the "as shot", auto, or the manual color adjustment sliders to work on the color balance, and I've gotten used to using those sliders when I want to tweek a color setting or make a scene warmer or cooler. The slider lines are color coded so it's easy to get a good idea what a color is going to do if you go a certain direction.
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Old May 6, 2010, 12:17 PM   #7
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Hi Greg

I really like this port's .. very nicely done and good eye contact! .. its amazing what you can do with that clarity tool in ACR/LR and its so easy to use as well.

Cheers

Harj

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Old May 6, 2010, 3:21 PM   #8
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The beauty/perfection of youth!

This was a lot of fun. We met over two different days in two locations. I wouldn't mind doing this every so often.
Neither would I, with subjects like that.

And your photos are excellent!

Ted
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Old May 6, 2010, 4:16 PM   #9
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Excellent portraits. The soft effect was superbly done. I wish I had your PS skills!!!
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