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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.
Now that we have cleaned up a few of the small blemishes, what we want to do is begin to work on the overall color and tone. So I'll zoom in a little bit and then I'm going to create a new layer. I will create a new layer this time by clicking on the New Layer icon, and I'll double-click that layer name, and I'm going to name this dodge. I want to do a little bit of dodging. This time I'm going to use the Clone Stamp tool, blend mode of Lighten there and so I'll go ahead and select that blend mode, Lighten. I want a real low opacity. I'll bring that up just a touch there, maybe somewhere in the teens, say about 15% should work. Sample All Layers is turned-on, great.
We will go ahead and zoom in a little bit further, so what we are going to do is hold down the Option key on a Mac, Alt key on a PC, and sample an area underneath the eye. We are just going to start to brighten this area up a bit, we will go ahead and work on the other eye, what we are going to do is work on the darker tone just a bit. Let me show you a few different ways that you can begin to brighten up some of these areas. This first initial one is just going to be subtle, and again just making my way through here, trying to just brighten up some of these darker areas. Go ahead and work on that. Let's take a look at our before and after, here is before and then after, real subtle, a little improvement is there. I'll increase my opacity a touch more, and work on this just a bit more here, just so we have something that's a little bit more visible, so you can see how this is working. Again, here is our before and then after, really nice.
Well, let's take a look at another way that we can improve the tone. This time we will create a new layer by way of shortcut, Shift+Command+N on a Mac, Shift+Ctrl+N on a PC, blend mode of Soft Light, fill that with that Soft Light, neutral color, click OK, and because we filled that with that layer, we will name this dodge 2. We can than grab one of our tools our Dodge or Burn tools. I'll select Dodge; I'm going to work on the midtones. Exposure is somewhere in the teens as well, pretty low though, you can typically want to have to pretty low exposure when you are doing this, and then I'll go ahead and just start to paint around these areas.
In this case, I'm using a Wacom tablet, and I'm using a Wacom tablet simply because I have this pressure- sensitivity that really helps me bring in this brightness in the specific areas, and so I'm going to go ahead and make my way through this photograph. One of the things I'm hoping to do here is to simply illustrate that we can clean up the tonality of our photographs in a couple of different ways. I'll make my brush a little bit bigger there, brighten that up, and even to tone out the forehead just a touch. All right so far so good. We should be looking at our images in this stage and saying, okay, I'm not noticing that much exactly. I'm going take this exposure up, press 2 on the keyboard, it goes to 20%, and I'm just going to try to get in here a little bit. I'll brighten up this area underneath.
When you go up to a little bit of a higher exposure, you just want to be careful, you don't overdo anything. Along the eyes, I'll make my brush a little bit smaller here. All right, just looking to bring in a little bit of light and then let's take this back to a blend mode of Normal. So we can see what we have, here is our Normal blend mode, here is our Soft Light, and then there is our before and after. If we zoom out a little bit, we will be able to see this better. Here is the overall before and then after, I'm just working a little bit on the overall tone there in order to enhance this photograph, and one of the things that you may want to do at this juncture is just evaluate your before and after.
Sometimes, it's just nice to lower the opacity just a bit, bring back a little bit of what was there, and I think in this case that looks really nice. Before and then after. All right, we are ready to move on to the next stage.
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