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A portrait can be a cherished possession for a lifetime, and now making perfect portraits is just one Photoshop course away. Professional photographer and instructor Chris Orwig uses his vast knowledge of Photoshop to focus on the specific tools every photographer needs to adjust images and keep them looking genuine. Photoshop CS4 Portrait Retouching Essential Training explores this program's deep resources and inspires photographers to do their creative best with everything from blemishes to backdrops. Exercise files accompany the course.
All right. Well, let's start off by improving this photograph by dodging. What we want to do is brighten up some of the shadows and maybe even reduce or remove a few wrinkles. In order to do that, let's create a new layer. If you are on a Mac, that's Shift+Command+N; on a PC, that's Shift+ Ctrl+N. What we are going to do is name this layer Dodge because that's all we are going to do here. We will take our blend mode to good old Soft Light and click OK. Well, now that we have this new layer, let's zoom in a little bit more on the face and then press the B key to select our Brush tool. We are going to paint with white; we can see we have white down there. Opacity, let's change the Opacity a little bit and the brush size.
So I'll lower the Brush Size by pressing the left-bracket key, then I'll press the 4 key to choose 40% Opacity. Now, you will never really know what Opacity is correct. So I'll go ahead and try to paint with that. Now, when I do that, one of the things I notice is that it's a little bit too white. Let me undo that, go to 100% Opacity, so you can see the problem. As I paint in this area and let's say brighten these shadows, well, yeah, I'm brightening the shadows but that's much too white. Well, how can I correct that? What I'm going to do here is with the Brush tool selected, I'll hold down the Option key on a Mac, Alt key on a PC and I'm going to sample a skin tone.
You can see that I sampled a skin tone there, I'm going to then brighten that skin tone up a bit, and now when I paint that same 100% Opacity, we can see that what I'm doing is I'm bringing in a color. Well, I don't want to paint at 100%, rather let's try 40. I'll press 4 on the keyboard. Again, you never really know what percentage point is going to work best. In this case, I'm using a Wacom tablet, which is really nice because I have pressure sensitivity. So I can even do a little bit less than that 40%. Either way, what you can do is dial in the appropriate amount of percent and begin to experiment with different colors here in order to brighten up these shadows. Now, in this case, I don't really like the color that I'm creating, but I'm going to go ahead and run with this, and I'm going to stick with this, and look at how we can then fix that color up a little bit in order to correct it even further. Okay, we will go ahead and make my Brush Size a little bit bigger here, and again just brighten up these areas.
I am going to work on the shadows down here as well, and I'm going to try to make my shadows have a few little mistakes in them. I'm going to make them a little bit too harsh and show you how we can correct these and make them even better. So I'm just changing my brush size here, and I'm going through, and I'm making a few little mistakes because I'm just going kind of quickly here. I am going to try to reduce some of the wrinkles by painting right over those wrinkles there, then paint over those as well, and a little bit over there. When you paint over the wrinkles, you obviously want to try to get into the shadow area of the wrinkle, just to brighten that up a bit. Let's take a look at our before and after with this layer. Here is our before, and then here is our after.
Okay. Well, we are going in a good direction except it's just too noticeable. Now, to make it even more noticeable, I'm going to press Command+J on a Mac, Ctrl+J on a PC. I'm doubling the intensity of this. You can see all my brush strokes. They are just too strong. Let's delete that layer. I just created it to try to show you the problem. Let's fix the problem by going to Filter > Blur, and then choosing Gaussian Blur. What Gaussian Blur can do for us is it can just blur out the edges of our brush strokes and really smooth those out. We will click OK, and now look at our before and after. Yes, we are going in a good direction.
The next thing we need to do is work on the overall color. The color just doesn't quite match. So in order to that, we can use Hue/Saturation. We'll press Command+U on a Mac, Ctrl+U on a PC. Go ahead and saturate it significantly. You can see how I can shift the color here. Now again, that doesn't look very good, but I'm trying to de-construct how this process works. So let's go ahead and take our saturation back down and then with the Hue, what we can do is just begin to shift the Hue a little bit and also de-saturate it. So we are going to remove some of the color here, and then try to find just the sweet spot, so that Hue that I pick works really well, click OK. Now, look at our before and then our after. Much better burning and dodging here, and I can then lower the Opacity.
So you may be thinking, okay, well, why bother with this? Why go through all this technique in order to do this type of burning and dodging? Well, you can come up with some pretty good results, and it's really flexible. If I zoom out, again, here is my before and after. So one of the things that you will start to see as you get more and more into retouching is that burning and dodging is going to really help you out. As a matter of fact, I know certain people who remove blemishes and smooth skin simply by burning and dodging. I mean that is all that they do. They use this technique as well as using the Burn and Dodge tools together in order to create really compelling photographs.
Well, we have barely just scratched the surface. Yet, my hope is that this movie has begun to show you how you can use this technique in order to improve your photographs. Well, so far we have looked at dodging, what about burning? Let's take a look at a quick example of how we could add some burning to this particular photograph and we will do that by darkening the edges and we will do that in the next movie.
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