TraeLee Costello and Micah Kahil Queja Retouch Work

Model’s TraeLee Costello and Micah Kahil Queja Recently posed for us in this Native American inspired theme. The concept shoot was organized by San Diego Make up Artist Chaya Mua and Pavithra Ramasubramanian. On Scene for Stylist was Katherine Maggie Skibbe Kragel and The image was Captured by Jonathan Medel.

Click Here For Flash Gallery For Full Size Viewing Or just click the image
When asked to retouch some images, The original scene, (as seen below), had some unpleasing elements of distraction in the background and I decided to replace it. After review this couple shot on the horse was the best choice for extraction.
While on a Recent Landscape Photo Shoot of America’s National Parks, I captured this Panorama above. 4 Vertical Frames of 3 exposures each for a total of 12 images were used to produce a 4 hour HDR retouch workload on this Hi-Res scene looking south into the Grand Canyon. Our stop at that location was cut short when a member of our crew fell and sustained injures that required medical attention. however, I was able to get about 200 Raw Files on my card before we left.
Here’s the Original
I could see right away that this was going to be a time-consuming retouch but it had many great qualities that made it an appealing image. The first area I take care of in any image is to dial in my exposure and how I want the contrasts to look, so after many layers and luminosity masks, I had arrived at the point where I could begin an extensive Dodge & Burn on 50% Softlight Layers.
Leg before:
Leg After: 
Leg – 50% Grey Softlight D&B Layer:
The Entire Dodge and Burn process alone went well over 3 hours, as the more that I got involved the more corrections I’d see. Even the horse received a compete D&B.
 – The extraction was a definite challenge. Most of the extraction edge was slightly blown out from the sunset’s exposure, and compile that with white feather’s texture, and horse hair, I knew I had to take my time and be careful brushing my mask edge to blend. Every finish that I work on, I always anticipate the Printed image being viewed at an extreme size and really pushing the limits of the file size. So below you can see at 200% magnification, all of the texture and flyaway hairs are intact and the mask is a perfect undetectable edge.
The last challenge would be the final color and lighting adjustments to bring 2 entirely different images together that would appear as 1 originally as shot scene.
Below is the finished product which if you CLICK HERE or on the image you can view a Flash Gallery of some variations at full screen.
 The end result is a high resolution High Dynamic Range best printed at 24 inches high and 48 inches wide. although, would look well at larger sizes also. If you are a publisher and have an interest for usage of this image, please feel free to email me.
Congrats to everyone involved in this creation. Please check out all of their individual works and websites. (to be updated, I will provide links to all of their sites.)
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