Wednesday, May 8, 2013

GUEST BLOG: Processing “Ray Ban” by Don Hoekwater

Ray Ban by Don Hoekwater - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Ray Ban by Don Hoekwater
Purchase this photo at http://hoekphotogallery.com/

Story behind the original

Priscilla is a dear friend of mine who graciously accepted an invitation to be my guinea pig as I set off to learn more about studio lighting. At the time I zipped right by this image as I really didn’t have an idea of what to do with it.

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Almost a year later I was prowling around some of my original shoots and came across this again, this time it caught my attention. I’d been wanting to do more fashion work and had been gathering feedback from other fashion photographers. One very relevant comment asked what I was trying to sell in my images. So, when I saw this one again and how the Ray Ban on the glasses popped right out, the game was afoot. Then challenge then to make this image into something that one may find in a Ray Ban ad.

Processing Steps

The first thing I did was crop it to a point I thought emphasized the message and put the focus on the the Ray Ban text

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Once I had that set it was time to remove those flaying strands of hair.

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Once those were out of the way I took the image for a pass through onOne’s Perfect Portrait. Priscilla had done her makeup perfectly so there wasn’t much to touch up in that area.

The next thing was to define her jawline a bit and reduce the fingers a bit. This was done with the liquify tool in Photoshop CS6. You’ll notice I also made a bit of a change to her expression. I didn’t want a big cheesy grin but something slightly more upbeat (photograph error on not getting this in the original shoot).

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Next thing was to bring out her eyes a bit (see below). In my mind I wanted the eyes and glasses to enhance the Ray Ban logo. I chose blue because I like the color. ;) But I do think it makes a nice contrast to a of the red in the image.

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I noticed her hand was a bit blown out, so I added a layer and changed the blend mode to Multiply. Since I only wanted to tone down the hands I added a layer mask and painted in the the reduced highlights in the fingers.

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At this point I added a little bit of a sharpen using the Nik Collection’s Sharpener Pro 3. Not much, but I did want the glasses to be more crisp.

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f you look closely at the previous image you’ll see that the reflection in the glasses is her dress, hand, and the floor. I didn’t think that would be something an ad rep would want to see so I decided to grab an image of a sports car and make it look somewhat as if she were about to get into it.

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I used Quick Selection Tool to get a general selection, then refined it with the Lasso Tool. Once I had the selection as I wanted it I simply used the Paste Into feature to place the car image within the frames of the glasses.

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A few tweaks and reduction in size and I had it as I liked. Now that looks much more like something you’d see in a fashion ad!

Since the focus was supposed to be on the Ray Ban text I didn’t want the car to overwhelm that, so I added a layer and set the blend mode to Multiply with a layer mask only on that part. It actually ended up making the white Ray Bay text stand out even more, so I was happy with it.

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The overall image was just a tad bright, and the part of the triangle formed by her right jaw and hand, with the hair, seemed a bit distracting, so I once again added a layer and put a Multiply blend mode on it, then backed the opacity to 78% (see above). I didn’t want to darken her eyes anymore so I put a layer mask and painted out the eyes.

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Finally, I did a little more work on her nose and this is what came of the entire project. I want to do something like this again, this time shooting for this effect rather than having to crop it. Even so I’m happy with the outcome and hope you enjoyed going through this with me.

Like Don on Facebook, or purchase this photo at http://hoekphotogallery.com/. You can also see more of Don’s work at http://www.hoekphoto.com.

Conclusion (by Ron)

I thought Don did a great job on this photo and it was fun to see how he edited it. When I first saw this photo I thought he had used Simplify because it just felt a bit cartoon like, so I was even more impressed that it was mostly done – in Photoshop with a little help from Perfect Portrait and the Nik Collection by Google

Where to order

Purchase this photo at http://hoekphotogallery.com/.

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