Authentic portraits

In 2015 I collaborated with Munich based photographer Daniela Pfeil who specialized in portraying actors. The goal was to achieve a very natural look without loosing any characteristics while cleaning up the image and optimizing contrast and lightening. For cleanup I used frequency separation techniques. Since all images have been shot in natural light I also did a lot of shaping with painting in highlights and shadows. Skin tone matching was necessary to some extend but was kept quite minimal since we were going for natural looks.

Although I like the results, today I would be more meticulous in cleaning up skin and hair. I also would try to further even out transitions in color and lightening. Unfortunately I do not have access to the original images anymore. Also the resolution of the images is not optimal. Anyways you can click on any image to enlarge.


Before and After

The following two examples are made to demonstrate more precise techniques in cleanup (spot healing and dodge and burn) and coloring. Although these are also actors portraits, I went a bit further almost into commercial looks while still keeping all natural features in place (no remodeling, heavy contouring or liquifying). Move the slider to reveal before and after states.

basic clean up, frequency separation and skin airbrushing, dodge and burn, color fix, skin tone matching and warming up, emphasizing eyes, all over sharpening, reshaping hair for better balance, soft color toning

basic clean up, spot healing, dodge and burn, color fix, skin tone matching, emphasizing eyes, all over sharpening, adding richness and details, blue & golden color toning

I also did a fine art retouching for art catalogues, like in this example a drawing by Frank Hauptvogel where the repos had been produced under bad lightening. The background had to be cleaned up and desaturated while keeping the texture of the paper and not altering any lines in thickness or detail. Also as retoucher you have to carefully decide which traces of the artists work to keep so that the results stays true to the original image.