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Traditionally, photo retouching was an exacting skill with little room for error. Whether working on negatives or positive, these were the actual source medium of the photographic imagery. As such, the retoucher often had to work on a tight rope without a safety net, which was part of his skill set. Retouching's digital form is much more flexible, as is all digital media. This advantage has created a world in which retouching is now available to the masses. It still requires skill and a good eye to do acceptable retouching.
The addition of Wacom's pressure-sensitive stylus enables precise subtlety, a requirement for retouching's invisible nature. I'm going to be working on an image here that I actually did do some work on a few years ago, and the problem with this image after it was shot, the photographer felt that the bracelet on the girl's left wrist was somewhat distracting. So he asked me if I could remove it, and that's what I'm going to show you now. I'm primarily going to be using the Clone Stamp Tool, and to work with this, let's first zoom up, so we'll get closer here so we can see exactly what we're doing.
And the other thing I'm going to do is want to rotate this. So again I'm using the touch wheel to do this, and I've got it on rotate now. So I can go ahead and get a better angle on this. A lot of times when you're working on an image, the default angle sometimes just isn't good for your wrist and you want to find a more comfortable angle. In this case, rotating this gives me a much more kind of up-and-down motion as opposed to back and forth, which is harder to do. So let's go ahead. I'll hold down my Option key here to get my source, and then I'm just going to paint in here.
And you can see, I have very light touch, or as I press harder, I get a more opaque touch to it. So, I'm controlling the opacity of this as I work. Let's go ahead and change our source point, and we'll do the same thing here. So we're just basically using the adjacent imagery here to fill in what was the area where the bracelet was. Okay, now we need to work on the hand, or wrist in this case, and let's just line that up and then we just do this.
So again, it's just picking up adjacent imagery, and because it's all kind of on the same conical shape here, we are able pretty easily just describe more flesh tones where they would be natural. I'm going to run into a couple spots here, I can see right there, I want to thin this down just a bit, and I'm also going to reduce my brush size just by a little bit here. So let's go to Brush Size and let's reduce that, there we go.
Now at this point I can start to just use the regular Airbrush Tool, and again, because I'm dealing with opacity through pressure, I can very easily do something like capture this color, and I'll probably enlarged my Brush Size a bit. So we'll go back to -- so we'll go back to Brush Size and enlarge the brush a bit, and let's grab this color here, and then I'll just feather it into the imagery.
She's also got a couple blemishes here. So once again, I'll grab some adjacent color here and we'll just kind of cover it up. And then I might grab, right here, some of this highlight that's acting as a rim light on her wrist. And this ends up looking just a little light, so let's grab a slightly darker shade, work with a little bit larger brush.
And at this point, we can go back and let's reduce our scale of this, let's move it over here. And there we are with our finished retouched image. Bad retouching is easy, good retouching is difficult. Just take a look at any number of Photoshop disaster websites for what not to do. Using a Wacom stylus, you can make a good job much easier to accomplish.
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