Thanks for the input!
I definitely think I go a bit too sloppily overboard with dodging, burning and frequency separation sometimes, and the thought of "wtf she looks like some sort of uncanny valley porcelain doll now" has passed through my mind a decent amount of times, lol.
I've legitimately never thought to simply clone out wrinkles in PS, will keep that in mind next time thanks! You were spot on with using clarity to try to remove those wrinkles, lol.
I've indeed been using Lightroom for most of my masking but I have been thinking about switching over to Photoshop for that and only using Lightroom for culling, color grading and fixing up exposure/highlights/shadows only using the sliders.
I'm thinking of trying to rely a loooot less on post production and go for a more natural approach next year, some of these shots out of camera are completely unuseable lel.
Definitely hit me up whenever we are at the same con! My experience with working with gulls has always been a chill positive time so I'll absolutely welcome more from this board.