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24 May 2011 @ 08:14 pm
4/1/2010 -- 11/1/2010  

GUH THOSE LIPS!!!! They're not even remotely real but UGH, you guys!!
Other things I'm liking about this picture: similarly structured cheekbones to this picture, the abstract silhouette his face and hair is making... negatives would be that I've liquified the back of his hair and now it looks really stringy and weird.

oh lord those lips... where is has his upper one even gone!! In my defense I shot this before the other one and this failure is what led to the beauty of the other but come on, this is just hurting my eyes...
And I have a big problem with his nose - I've liquified it to be more of a shape I want but because I haven't adjusted the way the light falls on it, it just looks really really fake.
I don't think this shot is a total failure - I really like the crop! I like that we can't see much of the background but there's still a bit of colour so there's a very abstract thing going on. I'm big on how shiny his cheekbones are, that's always a good look.

oooh just look at that blue! I can feel it running through me! And that expression - so sultry and eternal. I also love his lips in this one (shot in the second batch, so are we noticing a theme?)
Things I don't like: because of the lighting there's that horrible distracting shadow just under his eye. Also it's a little excessively yellow, I like the yellow but it's just a little too much. And I may have gone a bit overboard with reducing his cheeks.

Yeah no, not feeling this in the slightest. I was aiming for another abstract thing with the background but it's just come out looking very flat, there should be a bit more contrast. Again I've been a bit sloppy with my retouching, his cheekbone looks nice from afar but when you actually look at it you can tell it's just a dark brush stroke - as with his jaw.
I actually don't hate his hair - this isn't a style I usually go for but there's some fun texture going on there. And I like that he's facing away from the camera but his arm in that pose really isn't working
carmidollcarmidoll on May 24th, 2011 12:10 pm (UTC)
I have to admit I don't particularly like this set. I know it's naive but I think imperfections are beautiful and the idea that you airbrushed and changed physical features takes away some of the poetry for me. I understand editing, and I understand you have to learn retouching, but to me these look empty. I don't know, maybe it's because I don't particularly like male models? The second one is the only one that caught my interest, probably because of his expression, but generally, I think the previous set was miles above this one. Sorry, I hope you don't mind my critiques, I am not an expert obviously, so I hope you don't take it personally.
Joshblueymcphluey on May 24th, 2011 12:54 pm (UTC)
yeah no, I'm totally down for critiques (that's how we learn, right?) and I have to admit I'm completely with you. This was a very early set for me, I was definitely just playing around (heh these were just shot in my bedroom after all XD) seeing what works, what doesn't... and I agree that -aside from the bits I pointed out that I liked- this doesn't.

Do you think the fact that I told you specifically what I'd retouched is what turned you off? Because I hate to ruin the illusion but I probably did even more on the previous set.
carmidollcarmidoll on May 24th, 2011 01:01 pm (UTC)
Yes, I think the fact that you told exactly what you did turned me off. Photography is "magic" to me, I'd rather not know how magic is made. I just watched the documentary on Sally Mann and when she reveals some photos are staged it definitely changes your perception. It's not that it's bad, but it's something else. I am curious to see how you would deal with film, at this point ;)
So maybe knowing "they have been retouched" is different from knowing "this and this and this have been changed". It's not that editing is bad of course, it's just that sometimes it's better not to know what exactly has been made. At least, this is my opinion.
Joshblueymcphluey on May 24th, 2011 01:39 pm (UTC)
haha well I'll just tell you now I'm going to continue ruining the magic here time and time again, so you might want to just avoid my notes :P I'm using posting here as a forum to reevaluate my work and technicalities like that are exactly what this is all about

also what do you mean by 'seeing how I'd deal with film'?
carmidollcarmidoll on May 24th, 2011 01:44 pm (UTC)
Don't worry, I think it's a good practice for me as well. And I don't love your photos less because of retouching btw. I was kidding about film, meaning non-digital photography, therefore no retouching. Of couse you can edit print photos but it's not the same thing. Anyway, sometimes you should publish the unretouched vs. retouched version, I am curious to see how much you changed and how.
Joshblueymcphluey on May 24th, 2011 01:49 pm (UTC)
haha actually, we did a bit of film during the course and I found it to be about the same difficult. Sure people weren't these perfect creatures but they were always moving so you couldn't really pick at their flaws and they just looked kind of naturally good?

haha I don't think you'll see much of that, I hate the idea that people could see the original versions because I don't think of that as mine. Sure I direct the shots and compose everything but it's through the retouching where I get to put my personal stamp on the picture and make it really mine. I'm becoming more and more of a "photographer" but in my heart I will always be a retoucher first
carmidollcarmidoll on May 24th, 2011 02:02 pm (UTC)
What you say about feeling a retoucher first is fascinating, I have never thought it could be seen in that way. Actually, I was talking about film in the sense of traditional photography, not film in the sense of movie. Sorry, sometimes my English isn't the best ;) So, I wonder, who are your favourite photographers?
Joshblueymcphluey on May 24th, 2011 02:33 pm (UTC)
well the thing is that I originally got into "graphics" through fan-art :P Look back through this journal if you want to see what I've made (and there are some really excellent icons and wallpapers if I do say so myself - along with quite a lot of bad but whatever it's the best work that really matters :P) but basically it consisted of taking a promotional photo or screencaps from tv shows and then colouring them, blending them, adding textures or stock images and turning it into an entirely new thing and that's what I'm trying to do with my photography, except by taking the original photo I have a LOT more control. But there's a true art to both ends of the process and I think retouching gets neglected because it's done so poorly a lot of the time in professional settings
Also admittedly I haven't used a lot of blending or texture use in my photos so far but that's because I'm trying to master this new medium before I really start pushing the limits.

haha I thought that's what you might have meant but we just talked about film the other day - I find as a rule everything and everyone looks naturally good in film so in that case retouching wouldn't be needed :P

I did a rundown of my favourite photographers (and my favourite photos by them) as part of my noughties picspam but my thoughts have probably changed since then so here's an updated list:

Andreas Sjödin
Annie Liebovitz
Baldovino Barani
Bruce Weber
Carter Smith
Craig McDean
David LaChapelle
Ellen Von Unwerth
Emilio Tini
Josh Olins
Mert & Marcus
Paolo Roversi
Steven Klein
Steven Meisel
Tim Walker
Will Davidson

so yeah, mostly the kind of people you'd expect to see but they're known for a reason.

also randomly there are a few food photographers I really admire:
Petrina Tinslay and Zachary Zavislak
carmidollcarmidoll on May 24th, 2011 02:42 pm (UTC)
Now it makes much more sense, I have to admit I didn't go back in your journal but I shall do so, I am curious to see what kind of things you have created. I did a lot of graphics myself for fanart reasons, but I have to admit I was quite bad. Your picspams are really great, it's like a beauty overdose! Btw, looking forward to your next posts.
Joshblueymcphluey on May 24th, 2011 03:07 pm (UTC)
haha if you don't feel like going back and reviewing everything I've ever done I was thinking of making a 'best of' post with my icons and wallpapers and such soon :P

Thankyou! Well I find that discussing ones work is the best way to evolve so I'll definitely continue doing this and thankyou for commenting! I'm not going to lie, I'm slightly disappointed that these posts haven't had many comments because I love feedback but a lot of my graphic-maker lj friends have left lj :(
carmidollcarmidoll on May 24th, 2011 03:10 pm (UTC)
Yes, please do a best of! That will save lazy/busy me a lot of time ;) Too bad about people leaving lj >< I have to admit I have always thought of lj as a community-based website, no idea so many people used it for blogging. Maybe because it's not popular in my area. And now everybody is on tumblr (me included xd). I'll keep giving feedback, I really love having the chance to see an evolving artist at work **
Joshblueymcphluey on May 24th, 2011 03:22 pm (UTC)
Haha the irony of this comment is that if you want to see my biggest evolution as an artist then you really should go back and look through my fanart days because that's when I really found my vision
carmidollcarmidoll on May 24th, 2011 03:25 pm (UTC)
beware, I'll do it!
Joshblueymcphluey on May 24th, 2011 12:58 pm (UTC)
also I think it's worth noting re: retouching, at this stage I was working only with my friends but I didn't want to be disadvantaged by that so I went into it not trying to get shots of my friends but shots that could rival professional model shots and that meant changing them so that they looked like professional models. Again, it wasn't 100% a success but I just thought I'd explain my motives a little more because I'm definitely down for imperfections too but this wasn't really supposed to be the time or place
carmidollcarmidoll on May 24th, 2011 01:02 pm (UTC)
Ok, this makes more sense now. Anyway, you sure have some stunning friends, retouching or not.
Joshuacuttycrappy_ on May 31st, 2011 02:53 pm (UTC)
omg mega fierce!