Sunday, April 29, 2012

Beauty Is Skin Deep

     I used the Samyang lens to take pictures on my previous blog.  As almost all of the reviews said were true, the Samyang 85mm f/1.4 is indeed sharp!  Sharp even to its widest aperture.  And as they said that such lens is made for portraiture, I still have to understand that part.  But the lens is really sharp!  So sharp, it gave me nightmares when I finally uploaded my pictures (of my face) on my computer.

     As seen on my previous blog, the pictures I've taken were really tight head shots.  Well, it wasn't like I intended to be that close to the camera.  My release cable could only take me that far.  But that's not the issue here.  It's how terribly sharp the lens is.  The pictures I uploaded are post-processed, as I can not dare show what the original looks like.  Vanity?  Perhaps.  Normal?  I think so.  Shocking?  Definitely!

     I started wondering if I should fix this.  There's a reason why a sharp lens is preferred even when used on portraiture.  But would I really show people a face with so much holes in it?  Or white heads?  Black heads?  Wrinkles?  Maybe.  But not in this case.  I guess I was just shocked 'cause I don't see much flaw under my room's poor lighting and maybe add my poor eyesight.  I just don't see those skin flaws.

     I decided I'll fix it a bit.  Not too much, but just a little.  Now to search for photo-editing techniques.  Mind you, when shown to photographers, they can immediately tell if the photo has gone through too much processing.  The internet showed me some techniques but the most common is using "gaussian blur."  Something I'm familiar using, but don't really like the result of it on this particular set of photos.  I thought of other means and remembered smudging.  At least I got more control over which areas to retouch more.

     But knowing how the original looks like, with a bit much difference to the final result, I feel like it's too fake.  I just saw a set of pictures on facebook where I really just don't like how they retouched the people's skin.  It was too much, you'd think they're mannequins.  To me, that's just wrong.  I got worried; people might see my own photos the same.

     So what to do next?  Rely on the eyes of the experts.  I had to submit my photo to a photography forum for people to judge.  It's not just the skin retouch I'm worried about.  I'd like to know more about how the lighting worked for them.  How to make the catch light work better.  What and how to improve.

     Well, I tried to make my thread as catching as I could.  I followed the forum rules and added as much info that I think needed, without being too wordy again.  Although I got only one response, it was brief, yet it answered many of my questions.

     I might be disappointed by the number of response but that shouldn't stop me.  First of all, I'm still curious and eager to learn.  Secondly, I'm having a bit of fun.  And third, I want some pictures of my self every once in a while too.

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