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In this course, photographer, author, and teacher Chris Orwig details the tools every photographer needs to retouch portraits to make them look their best while remaining authentic. The course includes an overview of the retouching process and how to develop a plan for a retouching project.
After exploring techniques to improve the overall photo, Chris shares his techniques for reducing wrinkles, enhancing eyes and other facial features, improving hair, and retouching makeup. The course concludes with a look at retouching skin and reshaping portions of a portrait using transformations, the Warp tool, and the Liquify filter.
In this movie, we'll be working with this portrait that I captured recently of someone that you might know. His name is Michael Ninness. Michael is a great friend and mentor, and he's an amazing Lynda.com author, among other things. Well, with this picture, we're going to take a look at how we can improve the area of the eyes in this photograph. We'll look at a technique that we can use which is specific to working with people who have eyeglasses. All right, well let's zoom in on this picture. As we zoom in, one of the things that you'll notice is that he has these really cool eyeglasses, yet the area behind the glasses is a bit dark.
That's because the way these glasses function is that when they're exposed to brighter sources of light, they tint, so that they work a little bit like sunglasses. Well that's really great and functional from a standpoint of wearing glasses, but from the perspective of photography, it's not very flattering. So how, then, can we change the brightness value, or the tonality, or color here in this part of our image? Well, we can do that by working with selections, and adjustment layers, and then by modifying a few things, by using a mask.
All right, well here let's click on our icon for Quick Select. The Quick Select tool, it allows us to quickly select something, so we'll paint over this area of the eye, hold down the Shift key, then paint over this area of the other eye. My selection is okay, but not perfect. To modify it, press Option on a Mac, Alt on Windows, and then paint over the areas that you want to remove from your selection, while holding down that modifier key; that's Option on a Mac, or Alt on Windows. All right, well that's a pretty decent rough selection.
Again, it's not perfect, but it will be a nice starting point. Next we can go ahead and click on an adjustment layer icon, say, like Curves. Well, because we made that selection, what we can then do is just target this area of the image. What we need to do is to brighten this up a little bit, and also modify the color, or tone. So let's go into our different channels; I'll go to the Red channel. I'll just click and drag this up just a little bit. Next we'll go to the Blue-Yellow channel, and I am going to click and drag that up as well. And by doing this, I am just looking to try to come up with a color combination which makes that skin tone look really nice.
All right, well here I think we're doing pretty good. Here is before, and then here is after. Well after having made that adjustment, we'll want to make a few more. Notice there is this reflection here on the glasses. A lot of times you try to get rid of that when you're capturing images by having them angle their head. And those reflections, they are okay. Yet what I want to do is just diminish them a little bit. And what I mean by saying they're okay is that they're not over the middle of the eye, so as long as they are off to the side in photographs, that's typically okay. We understand that; we understand how reflective materials work.
Yet if it were over his eye, it probably wouldn't be a keeper photograph. Yet, nonetheless, I still want to darken that area a bit. So here what we'll do is we'll create a new adjustment layer; again, Curves, and this time, I'll just click and drag down a little bit, and then I am going to go ahead and invert the mask. To invert the mask, press Command+I on a Mac, or Control+I on Windows, or go to the Mask panel here, and just click on the Invert button. Next we'll grab our Brush tool. We are going to paint with white to bring in this effect, and we'll decrease the Opacity here; bring it down to right around 50% or so.
And then I am going to make my brush smaller by pressing the Left Bracket key. Then I'll go ahead and just start to paint over this area. And in painting over this area, we're not going to see anything huge or significant. That's because our adjustment is pretty small. In order to see this more clearly, let's go to the Curves layer, and then here, I'm going to kind of overdo this, so I am going to darken this, or brighten this area. You can kind of see how I am starting to target that. In doing that, that can help me fine my edges. I'll need to soften what I've done here in a moment, but it can help me see if my mask is going in a good direction. Well now that I have that, I'll bring my white point down as well, and just look at how I can darken this a little bit more. And then go into the different channels; we'll go to the Red channel; add a little bit of red there.
Go to that Blue-Yellow channel, click and drag down, and add perhaps a little bit of yellow. And what I am noticing with this one is that it's looking all right, except it kind of got a little bit too dark down here. It's okay up near the top; you can see kind of see how we are working on this, but I need to soften it down here. To do that, flip this, so that we are painting with black. Decrease our Opacity way down, 10% or so, make the brush nice and big by pressing the Right Bracket key, then press Shift+Left Bracket That makes sure that you remove the hardness. If you press Shift+Right Bracket, it will increase the Hardness up here, and then if we press Shift+Left Bracket, it will decrease that.
We want to decrease the Hardness, then we are just going to kind of slowly tap into this area, to kind of soften that effect there from that little corner. And here, you can kind of see how that is now blending in a little bit better. Last, but not least, we want to soften the edges of those brush strokes by going to the Masks panel, and increasing that Feather amount. In doing that, that will just kind of hide our tracks a little bit as well. Next, we'll also do that in the other mask. It's almost always a good idea to do that. It just kind of blends in how you're working with light.
All right. Well now that we've made those adjustments using a selection, working with masks, and these adjustment layers, we've corrected this issue; we've improved the eyes. Here is our before, and then click on these eye icons again, and now you can see, here is our after. And simply by trying to reduce the variation which was near the eyes, it helps us to be more drawn into this portrait. And if we zoom out a little bit, and kind of see this in its entirety, this first correction with this image is already helping to make this one much stronger.
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