Oct 1, 2012

Featured | Regina Pagles

I'm gonna keep this short, 'cause there's nothing more boring than me talking about me.

Prior to 2010, I only shot landscapes. I sucked. I'd spend hours messing up my snapshots with layer upon layer of bad Photoshop. Attempts at polishing turds became the norm.

2010 rolls around. I win a contest sponsored by Westcott. A delivery truck shows up with a bunch of lighting equipment. We have a small unoccupied rental apartment, next door. I pretend like I know what I'm doing, and I set up a studio. This is where I am today, only I've stopped pretending, and embraced the fact that I don't know what I'm doing. Oh and no more landscapes!

Every photo shoot is hit or miss. Sometimes I get lucky, sometimes not... but it's all an experience. The same when it comes to retouching. Some images are winners. Most end up in the trash can. A favorite saying... that I often forget, 'Every shot does not have to be a masterpiece'.

Early on, I worried about what others thought. Will THEY like it? I didn't even know who THEY were, but their opinions were very, very important. Thankfully, I stopped caring and that's when I started improving.

Photography and retouching is just a hobby. I do not accept paid assignments. It's nice to pursue something just for the love of it and not for the money. I've ruined many hobbies in the past, turning them into jobs. In my mind, once a person hands over money, they own your creative vision. It becomes all about the clients' wants and needs. I want it to be all about me! I'm good with no deadlines, no do-overs, no unsatisfied clients and NO STRESS!

About the retouching. Many think HDR is involved, but I do not incorporate HDR in my portraits. The dynamic range is brought out many ways, but the 'Tonal Contrast' filter in the Color Efex bundle by Nik Software does a great job. I also love the filters in Perfect Photo Effects by onOne Software. I use those a lot.

I get a few inquiries on how I retouch skin. First, I remove the imperfections with the healing brush in Photoshop. Then I will dodge the darker areas and pores and burn the lighter areas. This takes quite a bit of time and requires a lot of patience. On average, a portrait takes me about 10 hours to complete, but a lot of that time is devoted to trying out new techniques and experimenting. Lately, I have been experimenting with Imagenomics ‘Portraiture’ plugin for skin. With the right settings, I am able to get decent results, while still retaining the pore structure. But my go to skin retouching technique comes from retoucher Natalia Taffarel.

My 'style' is still in the process of being defined. I have a long way to go. Most of my techniques are derived from my idols, who include:

Calvin Hollywood - German digital artist and photographer.
I first discovered Calvin when he appeared a a guest poster on Scott Kelby's Blog.
His English DVD training 'Calvinize' is amazing and I credit a lot of my techniques to him. He includes the skin retouching technique learned from Natalia Taffarel in this ‘Calvinize’ training. You can also find his classes offered on Kelby Training as well as his YouTube Channel. Most of his videos on YouTube are in German, but there are some in English as well, and they are worth seeking out!


Guest Blog Post on Scott Kelby’s ‘Photoshop Insider’

Calvin Hollywood Photoshop Tutorial Part 1 (YouTube)

Calvin Hollywood Photoshop Tutorial Part 2 (YouTube)

Calvin Hollywood Photoshop Tutorial Part 3 (YouTube)

Calvin Hollywood Photoshop Tutorial Part 4 (YouTube)

Joel Grimes - I love Joel Grimes. I devour every word that comes from his mouth. He is such an inspiration and is so generous with his knowledge. [Framed] Network teamed up with Joel and aired weekly videos on the lighting set ups Joel uses to attain his images. There is so much information packed into those 20 minute videos. Joel also has classes offered on Kelby Training and amazing videos on YouTube.

‘Lit Up’ on the [Framed Network]

Joel Grimes - BEHIND THE SCENES - Dorion

Joel Grimes - BEHIND THE SCENES - Hope Solo

Joel Grimes - BEHIND THE SCENES - Lauren

Joel Grimes - BEHIND THE SCENES - Aimee

Peter Hurley - You have to experience Peter in action to truly appreciate him and what he has to offer. He will drill home the importance of interacting with the person in front of your camera and he is a true master, so you learn from the best. I love this guy and you will, too!

‘Art Behind The Headshot’ Trailer

Guest Blog Post on Scott Kelby’s ‘Photoshop Insider’

Natalia Taffarel - High end digital retoucher from Argentina. A real pro. I have her DVD, it’s 11.5 hours of advanced beauty retouching techniques. A little over my head, but worth it for the stuff that’s not. This is where I learned how to retouch skin. Her technique is awesome, especially at retaining pore structure.

‘Beauty and Hair Retouching High End Techniques’ DVD
Sue Bryce - What can I say about Sue Bryce. Watch her on CreativeLIVE and see for yourself. A master at posing, she transforms average Janes into supermodels before your eyes, with just a simple pose. If only I could remember to apply a fraction of the advice I’ve learned from her...

‘Glamour Photography’ course on CreativeLIVE
‘Inside The Glamour Studio’ course on CreativeLIVE

Amy Dresser - An amazing digital retoucher, famous for her retouching on images by Jill Greenberg. I learned quite a bit from watching her ‘Pointy Man’ tutorial on RetouchPRO. Worth the $15.00 if you have 2.5 hrs. to spend in front of the computer. You only have 3 days to watch it before it expires. Covers her ‘Carve’ technique that is a big part of her style.

Amy Dresser Rentals page on RetouchPro

Amy Dresser’s retouching on Jill Greenbergs’ images

And lastly, I cannot forget to mention Scott Kelby, whom I have learned so much from over the years. He has generously offered so much of his knowledge, in the form of books, tutorials, workshops, seminars, etc. Also the main force behind Photoshop World and if you’ve never been, I can’t recommend it highly enough. It was at Photoshop World that I won that contest, sponsored by Westcott, that got me started in Portraiture.

Kelby Training

NAPP - Free shipping at B&H and Adorama, if you join - SO worth it!

Photoshop World

Scott’s Blog, ‘Photoshop Insider’

Let me finish with a quote from Joel Grimes:
"Hard work will out perform talent any day of the week"

With hard work, patience and perseverance, it is possible to realize your personal or professional goals, even if you are slow, lack memory, have no imagination and possess very little natural artistic vision. I am proof. Most importantly, impress yourself... an audience will follow.

Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/reginapagles/
Portfolio Website http://reginapaglesphotography.com
500px http://500px.com/reginapagles
Blog http://reginapagles.com/
NAPP http://members.photoshopuser.com/shineylewis/portfolio/
Google+ https://plus.google.com/109556244641607065276/posts
Pinterest http://pinterest.com/shineylewis/


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