The Open Source Portrait (Complete Workflow)

I recently had an opportunity to shoot a portrait with a friend of mine, and I had one image that I rather liked quite a bit in the set.

I thought it might be an interesting task to document the workflow of creating a portrait from the absolute beginning, to the absolute end.  To include all of the steps and processes that go into creating the final result.

Oh, and to make available all of the information and materials along the way so that anyone could follow along and recreate the same results.

I'm calling it...

The Open Source Portrait

The first part of this walk-through focuses on actually getting the shot.

I go over:

  • The (limited) space I had to shoot it (the corner of a small room was all I had availble).
  • Using DIY lighting modifiers to light the image the way I was seeing it in my head.
  • Using the room and lighting to adjust how my shots will turn out.
  • Interacting with the model, and getting the poses I want.
  • All of the settings and distances to create the images.

The first part of this tutorial that covers everything up to (and including) capturing the images can be found here:

The Open Source Portrait (Equipment & Environment)

The second part of the walk-through focuses on everything else that is done with the image after it's been captured:

  • RAW processing (Exposure, White Balance, Noise Reduction)
  • Retouching in GIMP
  • Background element removal
  • Fixing Hairs
  • Skin Retouching with Wavelet Decompose
  • Color Curves

The second part also includes the RAW file, full-res JPG, and GIMP .XCF files so that anyone can follow along with exactly the same image, and even see exactly what was done at each step in the .XCF files.

The last part of the walk-through that covers all of the postprocessing can be found here:

The Open Source Portrait (Postprocessing)

Here are the results after all of the processing:

The final result after the planning, execution, RAW processing, and postprocessing in GIMP

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions held by dpreview.com or any affiliated companies.

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