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Photo Retouching in Photoshop

before and after

For a designer perfect photos are key to a great design however not all photos look perfect once captured. By learning how to fix issues in these digital images not only you can turn a wrong captured image into an amazing one but also turning it into a piece of art.

In this tutorial we will be working on a portrait of a model which will be featured in a magazine. I have chosen the above picture because as you might already know not all models that you see in magazines are so perfect!  Keep in mind that not everyone needs to retouch there photos like they are going to be published in Cosmopolitan. If you are not planning to edit for something major just erase those noticeable blemishes that you are picky about :)

For this tutorial we will be using Photoshop. If you don’t have Photoshop you can download a FREE TRIAL HERE. It is also advised that before undertaking this tutorial one should have some basic knowledge of Photoshop however I will cover in detail of where things can be located and how to use them.

The Original photo that we will be using:

We are going to start with the Clone Stamp Tool.Photoshop Stamp Tool

What we are going to achieve here is to remove the imperfections on the face such as pimples ecc

TIP: This stamp tool can be found on the left hand side in Photoshop’s main toolbar and is used to pick up portions from the image and re use them somewhere else within that same image.

Use the Clone Stamp Tool by clicking on the respective icon as shown in the adjacent image then hover on any part of the skin that is clean but also similar in tone to the part that you want to fix. Once decided hold down the Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac) and click on the clean part, let go the Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac) and click on the part you want to fix.  It will take a little while to get used to so continue fixing all the small imperfections until you are happy with what you have covered. Note that In my case I have gone a bit further by removing her wrinkles as well.

After cleaning all the imperfections, duplicate  the layer you are on. On the new layer go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and blur it around 0.6 pixels:

TIP: You can duplicate the layer by going to the right bottom side of the screen into the layers panel and right click on the current layer and select Duplicate Layer… The Filter Menu is located in the top menu, 6th link from the left.

Photoshop Image Blur

Now by remaining on that same layer select the eraser brush and delete around the eyes an lips so no matter what changes we do on this layer the below layer will always remain nice and sharp.

TIP: The Eraser Tool can be found on the left hand side in Photoshop’s main toolbar 2 icons below the Clone Stamp Tool which we have mentioned before.

Photoshop Eraser

Next hover back to the layers panel and on the same layer (the one with the erased facial features) right click and choose Blending Options once the window is up reduce a bit the Opacity as shown below:

photoshop

We will now add an Adjustment Layer to the same layer we are on so click the Adjustment Layer icon which can be found exactly under the layers panel and choose Selective Color.

photoshop layer

Photoshop tutorials

The next step depends mostly on the image you will be working on so the below settings can vary from one image to the next.

Photoshop Color

Now for the final touches go to Image > Adjustment > Brightness/Contrast and play around with the settings until you are happy with the final results:

TIP: The Image Menu is located at the top, 2nd link from the left.

brightness and contrast

If you compare the before and after images below you will realize what a great difference a few retouches can make to an image.

Portrait Photoshop

BEFORE

Portrait Photoshop

AFTER

There are further advanced / alternative ways on how you can accomplish / Improve the above but what we have covered here is just enough to get you started. Enjoy…

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