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Photoshop for Photographers: Portrait Retouching
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Using multiple techniques to improve shadows and highlights


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Photoshop for Photographers: Portrait Retouching

with Chris Orwig

Video: Using multiple techniques to improve shadows and highlights

Now that we have covered a lot of different techniques for dealing with brightness and shadows, with this photograph, I want to take a look at how we can use multiple techniques in order to make some valuable corrections for this portrait. This is a picture that we saw in one of the previous chapters; in one of the previous chapters, we looked at how we could clean up the background. Well, here we're going to zoom in a little bit and start to focus in on the brightness values that we're seeing in the face. And what we'll do first is we'll go to the Select pulldown menu and choose Color Range. I want to darken the bright tones on the face and so what you can do here is you can click on one of those brighter tones. Next, you can control the range, which is how far right this is going to extend from the area that you sample. You can also control the fuzziness, which will add more or less to this selection. One way to build up a selection is to use the icon with the plus next to it. In doing that, you can see that we can add more to this and we can decrease our Range and increase the Fuzziness until we have a pretty decent selection of all of this brightness area in this part of the picture. Next, we'll click OK. Basically, what we've done here is we've selected all of these highlights which are too bright.
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  1. 1m 58s
    1. Welcome
      1m 4s
    2. Using the exercise files
      54s
  2. 6m 49s
    1. Initial retouching considerations
      3m 51s
    2. Using a Wacom tablet
      1m 8s
    3. Exploring resources and finding inspiration
      1m 50s
  3. 37m 21s
    1. Where to begin?
      1m 19s
    2. Reviewing the basic cleanup tools
      3m 59s
    3. Removing small distractions
      2m 41s
    4. Using selections and cloning to remove distractions
      4m 26s
    5. Simplifying the background with the Clone tool
      5m 12s
    6. Removing a garment strap
      5m 17s
    7. Removing a distracting logo
      3m 43s
    8. Removing lint from a T-shirt
      3m 40s
    9. Cleaning up a backdrop with Content-Aware Fill
      2m 58s
    10. Cleaning up a backdrop with the Patch tool
      4m 6s
  4. 22m 31s
    1. Extending a real-world scene, part 1
      4m 6s
    2. Extending a real-world scene, part 2
      4m 20s
    3. Removing distractions for a creative effect
      4m 31s
    4. Using selections and Free Transform to rebuild image elements
      3m 44s
    5. Moving a person with Content-Aware Move
      5m 50s
  5. 28m 48s
    1. Removing small details from the face
      4m 50s
    2. Retouching skin
      4m 35s
    3. Reducing hotspots, part 1
      4m 32s
    4. Reducing hotspots, part 2
      4m 36s
    5. Reducing brightness with selections and curves
      3m 26s
    6. Using Hue/Saturation to minimize variations in skin color
      3m 45s
    7. Removing tan lines
      1m 53s
    8. Leaving imperfections in portraits
      1m 11s
  6. 37m 15s
    1. Correcting tone with curves and masking
      5m 39s
    2. Fixing exposure and color with curves
      4m 14s
    3. Correcting tone with blending modes and masking
      5m 22s
    4. Using Shadows/Highlights to improve exposure
      5m 28s
    5. Using Soft Light layer blending to burn and dodge
      4m 37s
    6. Exploring the burning-and-dodging workflow
      6m 35s
    7. Using multiple techniques to improve shadows and highlights
      5m 20s
  7. 22m 42s
    1. Reducing wrinkles with the Healing Brush
      7m 21s
    2. Working on wrinkles and details
      6m 51s
    3. Fine-tuning and making final adjustments on wrinkles
      3m 44s
    4. Quick wrinkle reduction with the Patch tool
      4m 46s
  8. 43m 27s
    1. Enhancing eyes with adjustment layers and blending
      4m 7s
    2. Adding sparkle to the eyes
      4m 38s
    3. Increasing color with Colorize and blending modes
      5m 37s
    4. Rebuilding the edge of the eye
      6m 34s
    5. Whitening eyes, part 1
      3m 54s
    6. Whitening eyes, part 2
      5m 42s
    7. Removing eye veins and sharpening eyes behind glasses
      7m 8s
    8. Correcting color and tone behind glasses
      5m 47s
  9. 11m 26s
    1. Trimming eyebrows
      5m 25s
    2. Darkening eyebrows
      2m 48s
    3. Adding mascara to darken eyelashes
      3m 13s
  10. 16m 47s
    1. Enhancing lip color and tone with curves and masking
      4m 23s
    2. Using Color Balance and blending modes to improve the look of lips
      7m 41s
    3. Improving the look of lips with the Burn and Dodge tools
      4m 43s
  11. 13m 49s
    1. Teeth whitening made easy
      2m 33s
    2. Exploring advanced teeth whitening
      5m 0s
    3. Automating teeth whitening with actions
      5m 9s
    4. A note on retouching facial features
      1m 7s
  12. 35m 22s
    1. Covering and correcting hair discoloration
      5m 48s
    2. Fixing the color of hair roots
      3m 3s
    3. Making creative color adjustments to hair
      2m 44s
    4. Patching a gap in hair
      4m 27s
    5. Removing flyaway hairs
      6m 18s
    6. Fixing flyaway hairs with a complicated background
      5m 57s
    7. Adding accents and creative color to a fashion photograph
      7m 5s
  13. 27m 22s
    1. Brightening shadow areas on the face
      4m 22s
    2. Adding color to the cheeks and eyelids
      4m 30s
    3. Modifying eye makeup color
      3m 52s
    4. Increasing color saturation and variety
      4m 17s
    5. Enhancing color with the Lab Color space
      5m 44s
    6. Using Selective Color to create vibrant color
      3m 29s
    7. Additional makeup resources
      1m 8s
  14. 23m 15s
    1. High-pass skin softening
      6m 48s
    2. Creating a mask for the skin
      4m 23s
    3. Softening and adding even texture to the skin
      5m 36s
    4. Adding a soft glow to the skin and details
      6m 28s
  15. 34m 36s
    1. Adding dimension using curves and masking
      3m 50s
    2. Reshaping a jawline with Liquify
      4m 30s
    3. Reshaping a shirt with Liquify
      3m 13s
    4. Reshaping a shoulder with Liquify
      3m 22s
    5. Reshaping the body with Liquify
      2m 35s
    6. Using the Warp tool to reshape a jawline
      3m 33s
    7. Modifying the body with the Warp tool
      3m 35s
    8. Changing shape with selections and masking
      8m 32s
    9. Tips for thoughtful portrait retouching
      1m 26s
  16. 36s
    1. Goodbye
      36s

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Photoshop for Photographers: Portrait Retouching
6h 4m Intermediate May 25, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Using selections and cloning to remove small distractions
  • Removing lint
  • Improving skin
  • Removing tan lines
  • Correcting tone with Curves and masking
  • Burning and dodging
  • Reducing wrinkles
  • Enhancing eyes
  • Whitening teeth
  • Fixing flyaway hairs
  • Adding and changing makeup
  • Softening and adding a glow to skin
  • Reshaping the body subtly
Subjects:
Photography Portraits Retouching
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
Chris Orwig

Using multiple techniques to improve shadows and highlights

Now that we have covered a lot of different techniques for dealing with brightness and shadows, with this photograph, I want to take a look at how we can use multiple techniques in order to make some valuable corrections for this portrait. This is a picture that we saw in one of the previous chapters; in one of the previous chapters, we looked at how we could clean up the background. Well, here we're going to zoom in a little bit and start to focus in on the brightness values that we're seeing in the face. And what we'll do first is we'll go to the Select pulldown menu and choose Color Range. I want to darken the bright tones on the face and so what you can do here is you can click on one of those brighter tones. Next, you can control the range, which is how far right this is going to extend from the area that you sample. You can also control the fuzziness, which will add more or less to this selection. One way to build up a selection is to use the icon with the plus next to it. In doing that, you can see that we can add more to this and we can decrease our Range and increase the Fuzziness until we have a pretty decent selection of all of this brightness area in this part of the picture. Next, we'll click OK. Basically, what we've done here is we've selected all of these highlights which are too bright.

So let's click in our topmost layer. Then we'll go to the Curves Adjustment Layer icon and select that. With Curves selected, we can then either brighten or darken this part of the image. The problem of course is that as we make a darkening effect, what will happen is it's going to look really kind of odd or strange. That's because we haven't softened the edges of the mask. We need to go to the Mask icon and increase our feather, as we've seen in other situations, or with other files. Here's our before; now here's our after.

You know, when it comes to working on exposure, one of the things that you might want to do too is just decrease the overall contrast in that area. You can do that by bringing down your white point and bringing up your black point. And sometimes this can help out with certain pictures. So again here we just want to change the overall brightness there and we'll want to experiment a little bit with that feather amount so that we can have this in a way that it looks kind of natural. All right! Well, now that we've darkened that area of the picture, the next thing that I want to do is I want to work on a few other specific areas. In particular on the mustache here, he has these two darker patches of color.

That's kind of distracting so I want to remove those. And I want to do those by burning and dodging. To create a new burn-and-dodge layer, press Shift+Command+N on a Mac, Shift+Ctrl+N on Windows. We'll name this dodge and burn. Next, we'll change our blending mode to Soft Light and then click OK. Now that we have this new dodge and burn layer, we can press the B key to select our Brush tool, and then I'm going to press the D key to change my color picker colors to the default black and white. Next, to flip those two, we can press the X key. The X key switches between our foreground and our background colors. I want to paint with white, with a lower opacity, so I'll decrease my brush and also check my brush size there. We can change the brush size by pressing the left bracket key. And I'm just going to try to paint away this little area, and I'm going to do this by painting a few little brush strokes with this effect here, and what that will allow me to do is to try to make that a little bit more even. There is before; now here's after. All right! Well, that's nice. I also notice there's a bright area down here on the Adam's apple.

I want to darken that up. So I'll press the X key to flip between my foreground and background, and then just start to paint over that area. You know, as I paint over this area, I realize that I can darken this up, but I really want to darken it up perhaps even a little bit more than I'm doing with this adjustment. Here's before and then here's after. If ever you reach kind of the limits of burning and dodging, you can always create a Curves adjustment and this can help you to work on an area in a way that's even stronger. You can see how we're darkening the image kind of with more intensity here. So burning and dodging works really well, but it can't go as far as Curves can. With the Curves adjustment, we will then invert the mask and then here we can then paint in with white onto this area in order to darken this up even more. Also with Curves, as we've seen in other places, what we can do is we can affect the overall color in the different areas that we are masking in, like with this area here. All right! Well, here's that before and after with those adjustments.

Let's decrease the strength of those brushstrokes and also kind of evaluate how we're doing with that. Here I'll go back to my Curves adjustment and just bring down that white point a little bit as well. Well, now that we've made all these adjustments, we've made some great improvements on the overall color and tone of this portrait. If we click and drag across those Eye icons, here you can see our before. Click again. You can then see the after. And by taking a look at this project, we can see how we can start to integrate these different techniques in order to work on specific areas of our photograph. And this then illustrates this idea which we'll encounter again and again in portrait retouching and that is that there is never one magic technique; rather, it's a combination of different techniques which often lead to the best results.

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