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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.
In this movie, we are going to work on the hair in this particular photograph, add a little bit of a hair patch as well as work on the overall color and tone. Let's go ahead and create a new layer. Shift+Command+N on a Mac, Shift+Ctrl+N on a PC. We'll name this layer, patch. We are going to take this to a blend mode of Soft Light. This is going to be kind of interesting. Here is what we are going to do. Blend mode of Soft Light. We'll then grab the Clone Stamp tool, shortcut key is the S key, or you can click on it. Next, we are going to take our blend mode for the Clone Stamp tool to Darken. Interesting. Clone Stamp on a blend mode of Darken on a layer that has a blend mode of Soft Light. Why are we doing that? Well, basically what this will do for us is it will give us the ability to bring in some nice dark tones into this area. We'll go ahead and lower the opacity a little bit, and then I'm going to press the Option key to sample an area, and I'm just looking to try to darken up some of these areas into the hair here.
A lot of times when you are darkening up hair like this, you don't want to darken it completely, because you don't want to lose all of the texture, although some of the texture will be nice to get rid off. So I'm going to go ahead and just hold down the Option key and sample different areas in order to darken up some of these tones here. All right, great! So far, so good, making some progress there. I'll go ahead and navigate up here as well. That one didn't look so good, I'm going to undo that, and just bring this down just a touch. All right, great! So far, so good. Let's then create a new layer. We'll call this layer patch 2. Let's go ahead and double-click the name of the layer, rather than the layer itself. There we go, patch 2, great. I'm going to use this Clone Stamp tool. This time I'm going to back to a blend mode of Normal.
I'll lower the Opacity here. In this case, we are just going to look to bring in some darker tones on top of that, little bit higher opacity. There is always a give and take on this, right? Now, we just want to keep so of the texture in there; we don't want it to be completely gone. Now, if we want it to, we could, of course, darken this up quite a bit, do some other healing on top of it and that may be a good idea to just clean things up, just a touch. So let's create one more layer, we'll click on a new layer. We'll call this layer patch 3, all right. We are doing a lot of patch work here, aren't we? We'll grab our Healing Brush, and then with the Healing Brush, we are going to look to just bring down some of the variation. We want some texture, we want to try to take the variation down, just a little bit. I'm just going to make my way through this, I a, just using the mouse here just to clean those areas up, just a bit. Look at our overall before and then after. So far, so good. I think that's going in a pretty good direction. Few little areas here that I'm going to try to bring down just a touch. All right, great! So far, so good.
Now that we have successfully patched that area, before and then after, let's work on the overall tone and color of the hair. I'll click on the Adjustment Layer icon, choose Curves and what I'm going to do is add a little bit of yellow here. So I'm going to add quite a bit of yellow. Go to that green-magenta channel, drag down, add some magenta as well. That color looks nice. Invert the mask. Command+I on a Mac, Ctrl+I on a PC. Grab your Brush tool, make your brush relatively small and right now, I have about 40% opacity there, take that up to 9, 90 or press 9 on the keyboard, it goes up to 90 and now I want to paint with white, not black. I was painting with black. That's why nothing was happening. Do you ever do that? Make those silly mistakes, where you're like okay, what's going on here, what's going on? Painting with the wrong color on my mask, happens to all of us, doesn't it? All right, well anyway, now we have some color there, we can modify this. Here you can see that I can add green, or I can add some red. I just want to add more magenta, and then also some more yellow here. I want to add some nice yellow there and I'm going to brighten that up as well. So I'm just going to go ahead and brighten that up, and then I'll go to that red-cyan channel, add a little bit of cyan to the mix. Just want to take a touch of the red out. Here is my before and after with that and I'm not too content with the color that I have created there. So I'm going to bring a little bit of the green out, here is the before and after. I'm liking that now.
All right, well let's take a look at our overall before and after. Here is before and here is after. We've worked on the hair, improved the hair, which has then in turn improved the whole image. The only thing that I'm noticing is that down here it's a little bit too strong. So I'm going to click on my mask, grab my brush, paint with black. I'll paint with black at about 60% opacity, and I'm just going to conceal the color shift from down below. I don't need that as much as I do at the top. There is my before and after. All right! Well that wraps up our work on this photograph.
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