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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 the next few movies, we'll be working with this photograph, and we're going to look at some fascinating techniques that you can use in order to create vivid and vibrant color in your photographs. We'll focus in on the makeup, but we'll also explore how we can increase the overall color palette of this picture. And you know, a lot of times, when you look at a photograph like this, you think, wow! The colors are so vibrant and alive. Well we want to take that even further. And in this first movie, we're going to use a technique which will involve creating a duplicate version of our image, converting the color space of that duplicate or copy file to lab, and then applying adjustment using Curves, which will bring out the color.
Eventually, we'll then bring all of that color back to the original file. So there will be a few steps here, but these steps will really be worth it. All right, well the initial step is to duplicate this file, so go to Image, and then choose Duplicate. This allows us to create a copy of this document. We'll click OK in order to create that copy. Now here you can see we have these two tabs; we'll work on the copy image. Next step is to go to the Lab Color space. You can do that by going to Image > Mode, and then here, we can select Lab Color.
Now that we're in the Lab Color space, we don't see anything different, yet what we know is that the Lab Color space has a wider gamut. And therefore, it allows us to create or bring out colors that wouldn't exist in that RGB space. So the way we're going to do this is we're going to use a Curves adjustment. You can do so by clicking on the Curves icon, and here you can see in this Properties panel for Curves we have different channels; Lightness, and then a, and b, and these all stand for Lab lightness, a, and b.
So we'll start with the a channel, and what you want to do is click and drag your white point to the left, and then click and drag your black point to the right. By doing that, by making sure that the white point, or the midpoint here is in the middle, the color will be the same; just more vibrant and alive. Here's before, and now here's after. It almost looks like the background is like a neon pink; it's really incredibly bright. The further you bring these points over or in, the more saturated, or the more color variety that you'll have.
Next, we'll go to the b channel; we'll go ahead and click and drag these points in, in the same way as we did before. All right, well if we click on the eye icon, you can see that before and after. We now have these bright vivid colors. Well how, then, can we bring these back to our original document? Well first what we need to do is to flatten the image. We can do that by going to the Layer pulldown menu, and at the bottom, you can see this option for Flatten Image. So now that we've flattened it, those adjustments are part of this document.
Next we need to convert this back to our original color space. So here we'll go to the Edit pulldown menu, and we'll choose Convert to Profile. The color space that we're going to choose is this one which is this Adobe RGB (1998). We'll click OK in order to do that. We won't see a significant change here, because now all of these colors are part of this photograph, and essentially we went to that Lab Color space to just tap into, or to access, or apply this wider color gamut, so we can have these bright vivid colors.
Next step is to click and drag this tab out of that little dock area. When we put these side by side, you can really see how the Color Palette is completely different, and remember, we're focusing in on the makeup. Take a look at the lips, and the eyes, and also the cheek. Well, to bring this image to our original document, hold down the Shift key, then with the Move tool, just click, drag, and drop. That will bring this in registered in the same exact spot, so we now have our before, and then our after.
Here I am going to go ahead and just name this layer color. Next, let's create a layer mask, and then mask in the color where we want it. So here we'll click on our mask icon, while holding down the Option key on a Mac, Alt key on Windows, which will create a mask filled with black. Then we'll press the B key to select our Brush tool. We'll paint with a relatively low Opacity, nothing super high; I will try 40%, and I will start to paint over the image. In doing that, you can see that we can start to bring in these colors to this part of our picture.
I will paint in around the eyes; I am just going to paint in multiple times to try to bring this out, and by having a lower Opacity, we can then bring those in step by step, by painting back and forth. And what I want to do with this image is, not only affect the makeup -- so if we see our before and after, we can see the makeup is looking a lot better -- but if we double-click in our mask to open up the Masks panel, we can also decrease the Density of the mask. What that will do is it will change the mask from black to gray, so that the lips and the eyes are receiving 100% of this; the full color saturation.
And then the background, it's receiving about 50% or so of that color. Here you can see that as we click this on and off, and we're not only bringing out the colors of the makeup, but we're also bringing out the colors of some other areas of our photograph. So you can use this technique to work on makeup, or you can also use it to work on other areas of your image as well. Well now that we have this nice bright vibrant color, let's go ahead and evaluate our overall progress. Here it is before, and then now after.
Let's go ahead and leave this image open, because we're going to continue to work on this one in the next movie.
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