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Bringing out facial features with light

From: Photo Restoration with Photoshop

Video: Bringing out facial features with light

Older photos can look flat over time because the light areas, such as the highlights on the face, can be among the first to fade away. You can bring some dimension back into facial features, though, with some subtle highlight and shadow effects. Light naturally hits the face in areas like the forehead, the nose, the chin, areas that protrude a little more than others; and the shadows hit in the areas that recede. So we are going to bring those back, and we're going to began by adding a new transparent layer above our background layer.

Bringing out facial features with light

Older photos can look flat over time because the light areas, such as the highlights on the face, can be among the first to fade away. You can bring some dimension back into facial features, though, with some subtle highlight and shadow effects. Light naturally hits the face in areas like the forehead, the nose, the chin, areas that protrude a little more than others; and the shadows hit in the areas that recede. So we are going to bring those back, and we're going to began by adding a new transparent layer above our background layer.

Then we're going to go over and select our Brush tool and come back to the Layer Blend modes and use Soft Light. Our foreground color is black, so we will begin doing some shadows. You can adjust your brush size using your open and close bracket keys. Just come and paint in the areas that are naturally shadowed. You can adjust your brush size as you're going. It's going to hit the same areas that are on the image. We are just going to bring out, again, some of the darks and lights.

We are not going to dwell so much on the dark areas; the lighter ones are a little more important. But you do want to get just a little bit of the darks, so we will get that done first. And you can always go back later and add if it looks like you need to. Go up to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blue. We are going to soften this up. We want this to be up rather high, let's say a midpoint around 15 pixels. 14.8 is what we have.

Click OK. Now just lower your Opacity to a point where it looks nice and natural. Let's try 30. Maybe go as low as 25. Let's see what that looks like. So all you're doing is checking before and after, see what's good. And we'll leave it there at 25, and now we're going to add a new blank layer. Change your Layer Blend mode to Soft Light again and make white your foreground color, and again adjust your brush and keep painting in the areas, this time the highlights, the bridge of the nose, cheekbones, where the chin comes out, a little bit on you forehead here.

You can see where the light hit when the portrait was taken, and I am sure the light was much more dramatic at that point before it faded. And light is the first thing that fades in an image. You can probably notice in a lot of old outdoor pictures the sky is completely white. It's because it's the lightest point of the picture and it's just faded over time. I am going to hit these lights in the hair and just bring them out just, giving this more of a '40s portrait look, a Hurrell look, a famous portrait artist in the '40s, very dramatic lighting.

Okay, now we will go up to Filter. We could use our last setting, but let's go back to Gaussian Blur and play with this and see if we even want it a little more than we had it. And I think about 15 is good for this also, around thereabouts, 14.8--what we had last time anyway. Now let's lower the Opacity.

Sometimes you can't really tell, if you are just looking like this, until you look at your before and go "whoa, a little much." Let's go to 50%. It's getting more of a glow instead of a rude, startling effect. Down to 40. Okay, I think I'm going to try at 30, and that's good for the overall glow.

Now one more transparent layer and again, Soft Light. Keep it on the white as your foreground color, and now just if you want something you want to emphasize even more, go over it one more time. And go up to Filter. Let's use the last setting we used. Bring the Opacity down around 50% this time.

Now let's zoom out and look at our before and our after, and you can see how that just really brought out the highlight points and it gives us a little more drama. Bringing dimension back to a photograph is easy with just a few adjustments of lights and darks. Just remember to keep it subtle and follow the natural play of light as it appears in the original, and you will be bringing life back into the image in no time.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photo Restoration with Photoshop
Photo Restoration with Photoshop

70 video lessons · 15469 viewers

Janine Smith
Author

 
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  1. 1m 33s
    1. Welcome
      48s
    2. What you should know before watching this course
      13s
    3. Using the exercise files
      32s
  2. 16m 47s
    1. Customizing your workspace
      2m 17s
    2. Using layers
      1m 58s
    3. Assessing the damage
      1m 52s
    4. Rebuilding color channels in a grayscale image
      3m 47s
    5. Using a Black & White adjustment layer
      1m 57s
    6. Using the Clone Stamp, Healing Brush, and Patch tools
      4m 56s
  3. 27m 30s
    1. Fixing a faded black-and-white photo
      2m 20s
    2. Removing small splits, specks, and spots
      3m 44s
    3. Repairing red-eye
      4m 58s
    4. Reducing paper texture
      4m 34s
    5. Reducing dot patterns in printed photos
      3m 51s
    6. Fixing lens distortion
      4m 19s
    7. Straightening a crooked image
      3m 44s
  4. 24m 16s
    1. Fixing large rips, tears, and other damage
      3m 9s
    2. Removing long scratches
      3m 24s
    3. Fixing creases
      5m 8s
    4. Stitching large photos using Photomerge
      3m 17s
    5. Reassembling torn photos
      4m 56s
    6. Replacing missing pieces
      4m 22s
  5. 27m 55s
    1. Removing stains
      3m 48s
    2. Removing ink marks
      2m 34s
    3. Repairing adhesive tape damage on a black-and-white photo
      2m 14s
    4. Repairing adhesive tape damage on a color photo
      6m 1s
    5. Fixing mold damage
      5m 20s
    6. Reducing starburst light glare
      5m 11s
    7. Reducing eyeglass light glare
      2m 47s
  6. 21m 32s
    1. Understanding the basics of levels
      2m 50s
    2. Understanding the basics of curves
      3m 29s
    3. Finding the black, white, and gray points in an image
      3m 28s
    4. Adjusting color levels by channel
      1m 58s
    5. Making selective contrast adjustments
      4m 48s
    6. Adjusting image shadows and highlights
      4m 59s
  7. 18m 13s
    1. Adjusting color with the Photo Filter adjustment
      2m 23s
    2. Correcting color casts using inverse color correction
      3m 2s
    3. Correcting color problems using the Color Balance adjustment
      3m 19s
    4. Correcting color casts using the Variations command
      3m 55s
    5. Correcting color by combining levels and curves
      1m 44s
    6. Improving color by adjusting the hue and saturation
      3m 50s
  8. 33m 14s
    1. Removing distracting elements
      5m 35s
    2. Repairing and recreating backgrounds
      7m 43s
    3. Extracting areas using masks
      5m 5s
    4. Matching colors in elements you add
      4m 11s
    5. Matching textures
      4m 45s
    6. Replacing facial features and missing body parts
      5m 55s
  9. 29m 59s
    1. Converting to black and white
      4m 48s
    2. Enhancing faded color
      3m 30s
    3. Smoothing a subject's skin
      4m 2s
    4. Enhancing black-and-white photos with duotone
      2m 34s
    5. Enhancing the eyes
      4m 10s
    6. Bringing out facial features with light
      5m 22s
    7. Sharpening
      5m 33s
  10. 32m 32s
    1. Assessing the damage
      1m 26s
    2. Repairing the crack
      1m 52s
    3. Replacing the missing body parts
      3m 5s
    4. Removing the specks, spots, and scratches
      3m 7s
    5. Fixing the missing corner
      1m 14s
    6. Lightening the stains
      5m 22s
    7. Restoring the faded tone in the face
      3m 8s
    8. Balancing the tone in the image
      1m 58s
    9. Evening the color with a Black & White adjustment layer
      49s
    10. Cleaning up the image
      2m 24s
    11. Adding definition to the face
      2m 20s
    12. Softening the image
      58s
    13. Sharpening the image
      2m 4s
    14. Bringing back some of the original tone
      1m 34s
    15. Comparing the image before and after
      1m 11s
  11. 24s
    1. Final thoughts
      24s

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