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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.
When I captured this recent portrait, I hadn't noticed that there was this reflected light coming into the top of the head here, and this was then casting this blue color onto the hair. Now, her hair definitely isn't blue; it's just nice amber, warm color. So in this movie, let's take a look at how he can use a few different adjustment layers in order to remove the color, and then how we can replace it, and brighten it up as well. Well for starters, let's navigate to the Adjustments panel, and here we'll click on the Hue/Saturation adjustment icon.
And then, in the same way that we whiten teeth, here we are going to click on this Targeted Adjustment tool, and then sample this color. This will then take us to that channel; in this case, the Blues channel, and here I can click and drag this to remove that color shift. We can also brighten this up a little. Yet, what's going to happen is it's really just going to become pretty black, or pretty dark brown. That really doesn't match the rest of the color of her hair. I also notice there's a little bit more color here on the edge that I need to get rid of, but we'll take care of that in a moment. Well now that we've corrected the blue color cast, what we need to do, then, is bring back some color.
A great technique for adding color to your photographs is to use what's called a Solid Color adjustment layer, and then to change the blending mode of that layer to Color. Let me show you what I mean. So here, if we click on our adjustment layer icon, we can then choose Solid Color. Solid Color will open up our color picker, and here we could choose a color, say, like a nice orange, and then click OK. Currently, this color is blocking the image. Yet, if you change the blending mode to Color, all of a sudden, we'll see through it to the underlying shadows and details that we have in our image.
If this particular color doesn't work, just double-click the color chip, and then you can choose a different color, and in this way, you have a lot of flexibility when it comes to just finding just the right color for your photograph. Next click OK, and then target the mask. We need to Invert the mask, so that we can then hide that color effect, so then we can just paint it in to this area here. Well, now we'll select our Brush tool, we'll paint with white, and in this case, we'll decrease that Opacity. We want to bring that down, so we can kind of slowly bring in this color here.
This way, it looks like my Opacity is even too high for this effect here, so I am going to go ahead and lower that, then paint this in. Right now the color that I'm bringing in is close, it's not perfect, but as I showed you just a moment ago, there's a lot of flexibility with this type of an adjustment, so we can go back and we can change that, as we'll do in just a minute. Here we want to make some pretty broad brush strokes, and then soften those by increasing the Feather amount here in the Properties panel for our mask. And in increasing this, I am just looking for at that moment where my brush strokes kind of disappear.
Okay, well if we click on the eye icon, we can see that now we are bringing in this nice color. To change the color, double-click that chip, and then you can click around a little bit until you find just the right Hue. Another thing that's helpful to do with this color is to decrease your Opacity. Sometimes just decreasing it just a touch can help it to kind of blend into the natural color of the hair, or of whatever part of the photograph you are working on. Okay, well we've made a nice correction, except I want to do a little bit more.
The top of the head now feels a little bit kind of flat; we have these nice kind of highlights over here. So let's add a little bit more brightness with a Curves adjustment. We'll click on the adjustment layer icon for Curves, and then just click to brighten up. Once again, Invert the mask; press Command+I on a Mac, or Control+I on Windows. Once again, choose the Brush tool, paint with white, we'll increase the Opacity a little bit, and also decrease our brush size by pressing the Left Bracket key. Here, I am just going to try to follow kind of the lines of the hair; I am going to do this to bring in some brightening, to try to add something that looks kind of similar to the rest of the hair.
So here we are just going to go ahead and kind of paint these little brush strokes. Eventually we'll soften these up by using that Feather amount, but I just want to have that nice kind of flow to that. Then we'll go into our Masks panel, increase the Feather, until we see those brush strokes disappear, and what this layer is really doing for us is it's bringing kind of that brightness up top there. And I'll just mask away a little area over here. We can also use this to kind of bring out some of the other highlights in the picture. So I'll go ahead and paint in a few of these other highlights.
And really, all that I'm trying to do here is kind of create this cohesive look. If we look at that, we can kind of see how it's starting to really work well with the overall color palette of the image, and also the brightness value, so we are not so focused on the top of the head. Now, after having made these last adjustments, I then need to go to my other adjustment layers, and make any needed changes. I think the color was a little bit too strong there, but now it looks a little bit better. And if we click on these eye icons, you can see here is our before, and then now our after.
And you're able to correct the color of the hair, whether you have reflected light, like I had here, or maybe someone's hair just needs a little bit of work, because their roots are growing out, you can use these various steps. And just to reiterate the steps, we looked at how we could remove a problematic color with Hue/Saturation, and then how we could use a color adjustment layer on a blending mode of Color, and again, the key is that blending mode. Then last, but not least, we explored how we could make another adjustment by using Curves in order to change the overall brightness value, either brightening or darkening that area of the hair.
And by using these different steps, well, it can just really help you out when it comes to trying to correct or enhance the color of someone's hair.
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