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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.
So far, I have shared with you some valuable techniques in regards to retouching. Yes, some of you may be wondering Chris, how do I put all of these techniques together? How do I create a retouching workflow? How do I retouch a photograph from start to finish? Well, that's exactly what we are going to do in this chapter. And in this first movie, we are going to work on correcting the Color and Tone here. Now for starters, we look at the image and we say okay, we have this nice portrait, yet the Color and Tone doesn't look very good, we need to fix that. Well, let's go and grab our Eyedropper tool, and we will select that Eyedropper tool, and then what we are going to do is hold down the Shift key, and I'm going to click on a few areas of the image.
Before I do that, I do want to make sure my Sample Size is something other than Point Sample. Now, this is a relatively lower resolution file, it's not to low res, but 5 by 5 and it could work well, or 11 by 11 for that matter. So I'll go ahead and choose 11 by 11, just because this is a little bit of a bigger image. Next, I'll hold down the Shift key and I'll click on the background. Now I don't necessarily know what that background Color should be, but I'm guessing it's not blue. And I'm also going to add a couple of points up here in the forehead, and then I'm going to add two points up here in the forehead, one in a little bit of a wider or brighter area of the skin, and then another in a little bit of a darker area.
Because this is defused light, we don't really have a highlight, typically what you do is you look for the highlight and then add a point just off of that. Now we don't have a true highlight here, so I just have a few points. Now, my first point, I'm going to leave as RGB, the second one, we are going to CMYK, and the third one, we are going to CMYK. Then we are going to start to look for any kind of a pattern that we can notice. Now, one thing that I notice is that my Yellow value is really low here, it's also, but it's okay, it's a little bit okay over here but my Cyan is way too high. Well, let's correct that, we will go ahead and click on the Curves icon here in the Adjustments panel.
Next, we are going to go to one of our Curves that's a little bit problematic. Let's go to that Red channel and we'll grab the Target Adjustment tool. Then I'll hover over one of these points just to show me that that's the part of the Histogram, or that's the part of the Red channel that I'll be working on. I will go ahead, and I'm going to click, and what I want to do is decrease the percentage points there, because remember, for our Cyan amount, we want 1/3 to 1/5 of the Magenta and the Yellow. Now once I do that, I see that the image is going in a good direction but I have a few other little problem areas, my Yellow is much too low. So I'm going to go to that Blue-Yellow channel, and then I'll go ahead, and what I'm going to do here is add some Yellow. What I need to have happen is I need to have more Yellow than Magenta, and I'm really just focusing in my numbers.
Now, I have these two numbers just as a way to begin to compare and contrast different points. I can hold down the Shift and click and reposition them, I see how their numbers change, and keep in mind that this point is in this brighter area, it's a little bit closer to the highlight, so we are going to see a little bit different values there. But again, having these two points just helps me say am I going in a good direction? It also helps me to make sure have I not accidentally clicked on something that I didn't want to click on. Let's take a look at how we are doing. Well, three times eight is 24. Okay, well that's a little off. It's pretty close though. Three times eleven is 33.
Well, that's a little off. So we can see that those are still little bit off. We will go back to that Red-Cyan, and here what we are going to do is go ahead and click, and I'm going to bring this down just a bit. Now when I do that, now that's right in the range there, three times seven is 21, three times ten is 30. So, it's right in there, maybe even a little bit more in order to bring that in. Well, perfect, well, so far so good. These two numbers are equal; typically, you want your Yellow value a little bit higher but I'm in this really bright white area. So I'm going to trust these numbers, and again I'm just looking at both to try to compare them.
Now, in regards to my background, this is really close to neutral. If these numbers are all equal, it's telling me that this is a neutral. Now I don't know if that background is neutral but I had a guess that it probably was. So now when we look at our before and then after, we can see that yeah, you know what, the skin is looking much better, the overall color and tone of this photograph is looking much better, and the skin Tone Color correction by the numbers is looking a ton better. All right, well now that we have color corrected this image, we have color corrected the skin by the number, we are ready to move to our next step in our retouching workflow, and we will do that in the next movie.
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