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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Photographing The Human Face - Minimizing Wrinkles!

By Dan Eitreim

Your job as a photographer (whether you're an amateur or professional) is simple. You have to make your subjects look as good as they've EVER looked without your tricks and techniques being obvious. That's a task easier said than done.

A number of repairs and improvements can be done in Photoshop, but unless you are a true master at retouching, it's hard to do too much without ruining the portrait. The more problems that you fix "in the camera" the better off you will be and the easier it will be to get seamless retouches.

One big area that can dramatically improve your photos, with very little effort is knowing how to handle acne and wrinkles.

You won't have to do many portrait studies to realize your models all have a few traits in common. Your older subjects want to look younger, even if they don't say they do, and younger subjects want to minimize their acne.

Adults. The deeper and darker our wrinkles, the older we look. It happens to all of us eventually. If we can lighten or even eliminate our wrinkles, we look younger. Fortunately, this is a problem that is easy to fix.

Let's first examine - What is a wrinkle? it's a small crevice, defined visually by the shadow at the bottom. The older we get, the deeper the wrinkle, the darker the shadow. It's a 1-2-3 progression. The darker the shadow, the older we appear to be. So, how do we take years off our models?

Easy, lighten the shadow!

If you have light that is glancing across the face from above or to the side of the subject, the deepest part of the wrinkle crevices are not getting any light and appear darker. This makes our model look older. Depending on the directionality and intensity of the light, this can add a lot of "visual" years to our subject.

Try to avoid glancing side light and have the light focused directly into the face. The direct light will be able to work it's way into the wrinkles, filling them with light. This will make your model appear much younger. AND save you some time and effort in Photoshop.

Acne? Use the same cure. Acne scars, pimples and other facial blemishes are at least partially defined by the shadows they cast on the face. Again, light skimming the face from the side will cast longer and harder shadows thus making the acne scars more pronounced and pimples appear larger. Shine your light directly into the face and they will be minimized or disappear altogether.

Use a reflector of some sort or even your on camera flash in addition to the sun to fill in the shadows. Your smooth faced teens and wrinkle free adults will thank you.

You now know as much as most professionals! Now it's time to make some money with YOUR camera! to see how easy this is, follow one of the links to my site...

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