Bad skin
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Old 07-19-2005   #1
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Default Bad skin

We've all had this experience: photographing models whose skin is less than perfect (as in, most of us).

How do you minimize the effect of bad skin with your lighting? Is it purely a software issue with you now? Soft filters?

Frankly, I see value in using the "less sharp" lenses and cameras in the studio to give me a head start here.


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Old 07-19-2005   #2
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Default Re: Bad skin

Can't you just dial back in-camera sharpness and/or avoid sharpening in post? Don't some folks like to put vaseline on their lens? My dentist has a microscope and my 5 o'clock shadow looks absolutely disgusting on that thing :-\
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Old 07-20-2005   #3
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Default Re: Bad skin

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alice Morrison
We've all had this experience: photographing models whose skin is less than perfect (as in, most of us).

How do you minimize the effect of bad skin with your lighting? Is it purely a software issue with you now? Soft filters?

Frankly, I see value in using the "less sharp" lenses and cameras in the studio to give me a head start here.

It all depends on how bad the skin on the person is. I usually use my soft box and feather the light so that the softer light is what hits their skin. I then go into photoshop, duplicate the layer, add gaussin blur and then dial the opacity until the skin looks pretty nice. Then I bring back the eyes and lips and merge the layers.

I find if I use a soft filter then I loose that sharpness in the eyes that makes them pop.
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Old 07-21-2005   #4
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Default Re: Bad skin

Placing a softbox very nearby helps if you don't want to go the PS road.
Most of the time however I do a bit of PS work and some creative sharpening to get the eyes, clothing and hair sharp and the face not.

The best way is to find a way that suits your style and learn to use it as second nature, make some actions for example.

Some people use neatimage on the skins, it seems to work good for some people.

Greetings,
Frank
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Old 07-21-2005   #5
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Default Re: Bad skin

The very best way to fix bad skin is to have an excellent make-up person. They are worth their weight in gold - if your client can afford it use one.

Cheers
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Old 07-21-2005   #6
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Default Re: Bad skin

Without a good makeup artist a shoot is a no go for me to be honest.
Sorry, never thought to mention that :-\
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Old 07-21-2005   #7
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Default Re: Bad skin

I hear you all about the makeup artist.

But how about softening tools (software) after the fact? Does anyone use any you'd care to recommend?
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Old 07-22-2005   #8
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Default Re: Bad skin

Most of the time the skinsoften filters make the picture look unnatural, many spots (?)
You can use the blurring technique best and use a clone tool with a high opacity to clear away bad area's.
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Old 07-23-2005   #9
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Default Re: Bad skin

While I agree that if the subjects skin is really bad only a great makeup artist and perhaps a little retouching will help, but there is a lighting technique that can help enormously with both bad skin, and aging. It's called beauty lighting or "butterfly" lighting. It involves a rather large chimera or soft box placed in front of and above the subjects face so the light fall flat on the subject rather than from the sides, and a strip light below the subject and about one stop less power than the top light.

Remember, the only reason we see lines, bumps, and three dimensional objects is because shadow accentuates them. If the light is even, and diffused, irregularities in the skin will not be as visible. If you overexpose the shot just enough you can clean up the skin quite well. You don't want to over-expose so much that you lose detail, but just enough that you lose any unwanted detail. Makeup can take you the rest of the way.

This is a technique that I and others have used for lighting actors, and television personalities that need a little help. I will dig up a picture to illustrate soon. Please forgive the long message.
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Old 07-23-2005   #10
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Default Re: Bad skin

The woman in this shot has fairly good skin to start with, but the lighting helped to smooth away wrinkles, and de-emphasize any problems. I will try to find more examples.


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