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Photoshop is the world’s most powerful image editor, and it’s arguably the most complex, as well. Fortunately, nobody knows the program like award-winning book and video author Deke McClelland. Join Deke as he explores such indispensable Photoshop features as resolution, cropping, color correction, retouching, and layers. Gain expertise with real-world projects that make sense. Exercise files accompany the course.
Download Deke's free dekeKeys and color settings from the Exercise Files tab.
In this exercise, we're going to begin retouching inside of Photoshop. So I thought I'd supply you with the photograph that offers all the flaws in the world. It's an image of me that I shot in a mirror, quite obviously, using an E-30, which is a really great SLR from Olympus. The name of the image is Man in mirror.jpg. I just come in from the snow, actually. It was quite cold out on my balcony where I live in Boulder, Colorado. I'd come in and the snow is starting to melt off, hence all the drips. But my hands are quite cold, as indicated by the redness.
Meanwhile, I seem to have developed this strange case of forehead jaundice. That's really a function of these incandescent lights that I went ahead and cropped out of the photo that are right above my forehead. But I do look a little odd. Also, if you take a close look, I am not entirely shaven. I've got about a day's worth of beard going. I'll show you a little bit of a smoothing technique. It's not really a shaving technique. There are so many out there, so many folks suggesting ways that you can make people clean-shaven.
What you can really do, using a lot of those techniques is ruin an image. because the best way to make somebody look clean-shaven is to give him a razor, and show him how to use it. But you can average away some of the stuff. I'll show you how along the way. But the first thing that we have to do, and this you'll want to do with any mirror shot you run into, is flip the image, because, not only will all your text be backwards, as it is here, and a lot of other little things will be backwards that you may not be sort of recognizing initially, but other people will, over time.
The other reason to flip an image, whether it's a self-portrait like this one, or weather it's somebody else you're shooting, is to gauge the quality of the photograph, the quality of the image, whether the person looks good or not. This is an old art technique, it's just to draw something and then flip it, and take a look at it, and make sure it looks right when it's flipped. Sometimes you'll see all sorts of things that you have to change. But one of things about shooting yourself in the mirror in particular is that you spend so much time seeing yourself in the mirror, that when you flip the shot and you see what you really look like, it's fairly terrifying.
So anyway, I'm going to go up here to the Image menu. You choose Image Rotation. That's the first thing that doesn't make any sense about it, because we're not rotating the image. Then you choose this command, Flip Canvas Horizontal. That actually flips the entire image. You will now have the correct version of yourself. Notice, in my case, Olympus is now spelled in the right direction, even though it's on its side. You can see bits of Merrell in the background, the brand name of my jacket. Also, I look freakish in a different way, in the way I really look presumably in real life.
So, there's that. Now at this point, if you felt like there are structural things that you needed to change, like one eye was way bigger than the other, one was drooping, or your nostrils were different sizes, or your face is crooked or something along those lines, something big and structural. You would go up to the Filter menu and you would choose the Liquefy command, or press Ctrl+Shift+X, Command+Shift+X on the Mac. Then you can actually brush in distortions. I'm not going to show that to you here, because it's a really big powerful feature.
We'll see it in a later chapter. But I just want you to know that's one of the first things that you might want to do when you're retouching a photo. The brush work is what we're going to focus on beginning with Dodge and Burn in the next exercise.
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