Down

Pictured above is Maggie, a picture I took yesterday when she was reading. The technique I used here is the traditional high-key effect. The effect is a uniform overexposed look while retaining key contrasting elements. However, from my experience with working on this one is that it is important for the original to be somewhat underexposed and the avoidance of using a flash. Bright highlights in the original can overblow in the processing, losing tone uniformity.

The post-process is actually less complex than on the other B&W portraits from earlier posts. 1) I used the Channel Mixing tool in Photoshop to get the B&W and skin toning. There are three colors in the RGB mode for pixels: Red, Green & Blue. The ratio between that trio creates the color. Skin usually has a domination of red, especially in lower lights or underexposed. Therefore, I biased the image to the Red Channel. This brightened it and smoothed the skin out. 2) The result of #1 was satisfactory, but I lost details around her mouth area and eyes. So next I added a contrasting Curve mask and blended it with the Channel Mixer mask until the contrast was more pronounced. 3) Lastly, there is the lightened vignette added around the image, a staple finish for high-key.

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