Last night I had a tutorial on how to enhance portraits with Photoshop - now I don't intend to enter into a discussion about the ethics of image manipulation as I hope we all realise that the images we see in magazines and advertising probably bear little or no relationship to reality and never have done. What this is more about is time management! After spending several hours to get a better portrait image in the classroom I felt it would be better use of my time to enhance my skills with creative lighting, a better understanding sympathetic camera angels and so on...Anyway more to the point I often seen advertised a bit of software called Portrait Professional which promised to do everything that I'd spent hours doing in Photoshop in minutes, so I downloaded the trial version to try it out. The simple answer to "does it deliver on that promise" is a big fat YES.
Now I'd be first to admit that there is enhancement and enhancement and as with all these packages you can go completely OTT and you end up with a portrait of what looks like a mannequin! Restraint is the name of the game here and aim for results that still show the essential character of the sitter but it just looks like they've had access to a top notch make-up artist prior to the sitting. Anyway the real point for me is Photoshop is a wonderful and complex bit of software that I've not even really scratched the surface of, but to be honest, life's to short to spend hours behind a computer screen (as can be seen from how often this blog gets updated;¬) toying with an image.
For portraits, I'll stick with Portrait Professional - it's the right tool for the job plain and simple.
Born in 1956 (so getting on a bit now) I'm married and have two wonderful children we all live in Devon in the South West of England - on the Cornish border.