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In Photoshop Lightroom 3 Advanced Techniques, photographer Chris Orwig shows how to master the subtleties of Lightroom 3 and maximize its efficiency. The course begins with an in-depth exploration of Lightroom catalogs to keep track of photos, collections, keywords, stacks, and more. Along the way, Chris shows how to integrate Bridge and Photoshop in the Lightroom workflow and shares advanced techniques, including image editing with the adjustment brush, automating actions, using plug-ins and extensions, exporting to email or an FTP server, and more. Exercise files are included with the course.
With this photograph, we are going to explore how we can clean up small details and also improve, or enhance, the skin. So first, let's zoom in on this image, so that we can see the details here. And one of the things that we notice is the eye is nice and sharp, except we have a few little skin variations we want to take out. Well to do that, press the Q key. That will enter your Spot Removal tool, which you can see here. You can also click on it in the Tool strip, and we have our brush size and opacity. We have cloning or healing. We are going to use healing because that blends things together nicely.
And typically what you want to do is you want to take your brush and hover it over a blemish you want to remove and then click and drag. And you see as I click and drag, I can choose from different areas. Like in this case, I am bringing in part of the eye into that or part of the shadow and the nose. We don't want that, so we want a nice clean area of skin. And then we will let go, and it will blend that in. You can always lower the opacity if you just want to just take the edge off of a blemish. That works as well. Another approach you can take is to have your brush about the size of the blemish and just click on it.
What this will do is it will auto- select an area for you in order to remove that particular blemish. Now in this case, you are noticing I am not showing the Tool overlay. Well, how do you do that? When you press the H key, and that toggles those little circles on and off. And I find in my own workflow those circles are just completely distracting, so I almost always turn them off. Nice, small brush. I just want to see if I am going in a good direction, and if I am not, I will turn it back on--like right there, that wasn't a good one. And then I will keep going and just make sure it's sampling a good patch of skin.
All right, well what about some of these other areas, let's say up on the forehead where we have this line? What you can do is simply click and drag and then just make your way through this, and you want to think of kind of overlapping these circles. Let me show you what I mean. Here I will press the H key. You can see that these are stacked up, the way that they are overlapped. Now if ever you have a circle that's overlapping, you can also increase its size. And you can see as I am hovering over the edge, I am increasing it. So I am healing on top of healing, which many times leads to even better results.
You can see again here an illustration of how we can do that. And again, I am just clicking and dragging to find nice patch of skin. And the trick with this, of course, is to have something good to sample from and then to go back around the other areas and sample some of the other small problems out and just keep going through this till you can remove that area that's distracting, or that's a bit of a blemish which needs to be reduced. Now here, I have the little circles turned on. Let's turn them off bye pressing the H key. Then press the Backslash key. Here's our before, and then here is our after--nice smoothing in that area of the face.
If we zoom out, it may be tricky to see, but we should be seeing an image that looks a lot better, just kind of reducing and simplifying some of those small little blemishes. Okay, well a couple others that I want to remove here. I am just going to go ahead and make my way through and see if we can take some of these out. A couple small ones down here, and what you'd really want to do is zoom in pretty close and take a little bit more time than I'm spending. But just work on some of the bigger areas that are problematic. Well, the next thing that we can do is combine what we've are you learned about skin smoothing.
So here I want to exit out of this tool, and I want to enter into my Adjustment brush. The easiest way to do that is to press the K key. Now once we are in the Adjustment brush, we can then select Soften Skin. That will have negative clarity, a touch of sharpening. We have seen this before. And here we will zoom in, so we can actually see how this is going to work. And we want to start with a low flow, just to experiment, be careful, and we are going to go across some of these areas. And we are just looking to try to reduce some of the texture, some of the variation that we are noticing in some of this area of skin.
Now it's critical that you do this after you have done your other work. You want to remove those small blemishes first, and then go over it with this negative clarity, because that will lead to better results. And I am just going to make my way up here as well. Now that I am seeing how this is working, I am going to increase my flow quite a bit. Again, I just like to test areas of skin. It's almost like--I don't know. If you are going to dye something, you test it on a small corner of the fabric, just to make sure it looks good. Then once you see that yeah, this is going to work for this image, you can go back with a little bit more, and you can really start to paint this in in new ways.
All right, well here just reducing this a bit, and what this will do is it will also make the eye seem a bit sharper, even though I haven't sharpen the eye. By softening things around the eye, it's going to then give the illusion that the eye is a little bit sharper in comparison to some of this other content that we are softening up here a bit. All right, well so far, so good. Let's zoom out here a little bit to evaluate. Press your Backslash key. And then we have this before and then now after. Now one of the problems with this that I am noticing is that it's having a little bit of problem with some colors.
So here I am also going to reduce some of the color saturation, just to take some of that out there--a few of those little areas. Then I am going to click on my color picker, and I am going to sample an area from the skin. So I click in the color picker and then I hover over the face. You can see the different areas. Let's see if we can choose a color like blue or something. Maybe that red. You can see how it's becoming really red. Now that red isn't something we want, but we might want a little bit of yellow-- not something quite so green or so saturated--just to try to blend them back into our skin tone color.
In other words, kind of remove a bit of the orange shift we had, then cover this up with a nice color here. And I am just going to drag around, see if there's something that might look kind of good with this image, just a small amount of color. You can see I am choosing something that's a little bit skin-tone like and then press the Backslash key. Here is before and then after. And it looks like this color is too strong, so I am going to lower the opacity there a bit more and just look at my before and after. See if we are going in a good direction. And I think we've done some nice work there. I will zoom out in and then press the Backslash key.
Here it is: before and then after. Next thing I need to do is to zoom in so that you can actually see it. And once again, here I will press the Backslash key. Before and then after. Nice work. Now whenever you get to the end of your file, after you've done that smoothing, you may discover other areas that need retouching--like up on the nose here for me, there are some areas. So I am going to press the Q key, and I am going to go back to these blemishes that I forgot to remove. They look kind of strange here, little orange dots or something, variation in the skin. So don't be afraid to go backwards. It's almost like you're going to an underlying layer underneath that smoothing, because it's really about combining all of these effects together, which are going to give us the best results.
All right, well in closing, I hope that throughout this movie you picked up a few tips that you can help you clean up some small blemishes and also make some skin enhancements.
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