Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Adding blush to the face, part of Retouching Bridal Portraits with Photoshop.
In this movie, we'll take a look at how we can use a color balance adjustment layer, and how we can mask in color into a specific area of the photograph. Let's begin by zooming in on the face, and once we zoom in on the face, and then we turn on our road map or notes layer. We have a few reminders here. These two lines are reminding us to add some color or to work on the cheeks in this photograph. What I want to do is add a little bit of health or life or vitality to this portion of the photograph. To do that, we'll work with color balance.
You can find the color balance adjustment layer icon right here in the adjustment layers panel. Go ahead and click on that. And this gives us access to target different tones, shadows, midtones, or highlights, and then to modify the colors that we have in those areas. One of the reasons why color balance is a great tool is because it's really intuitive and easy to use. For example, if we want to increase the reds in the photograph, we can drag the red slider here. Or if we want to make the image more cyan, we can then drag the slider in this way.
We can also mix sliders together in order to come up with interesting color combinations. Well, what I want to do for demo purposes here, is warm up the cheeks here and add a little bit of health, to the photograph. To do that, we're going to increase the reds, yet I'm going to exaggerate this value And I want to do this so that you can really see how this particular technique works. Later what we'll be doing is reducing values to something much more reasonable. But for now you can see here I've added this red magenta shift.
The image looks horrible. Yet stick with me, I'm just exaggerating these values in order to show you how this technique works. Later, we'll reduce them much further down. Now obviously, this is effecting the entire photograph. I only want it to effect a certain area, so we need to invert the mask. An easy way to do that is to navigate to the Mask area in the Properties panel. And a click Invert. That allows us to invert the mask so that it's filled with black. Remember that a black mask conceals, or hides, the entire adjustment.
Another way to do the same thing is to press a shortcut key combination. On a Mac, that's Cmd+I. On Windows, that's Ctrl+I. Well either way, either by using the shortcut or by pressing the Invert button. Go ahead and and invert mask. Next, let's select the brush tool. You can do so by tapping the B key or by selecting the brush tool in the tools panel. Here we want to paint with white to reveal the adjustment, and then we want the opacity all the way up to 100%.
That brush is a little bit small here, so I'll go back to my Options bar and increase the brush size. And that looks pretty good there.You want to work with a brush without any hardness. And in this case what I'm going to do is add a little bit of exaggerated color the cheeks. Remember I exaggerated those values. To highlight how this technique will work. I'm aware that right now this just looks plain silly, yet keep in mind that often when makeup artists add makeup, they'll add it to a particular localized area, and then they'll spread it around, which will soften it, or blend it in to different areas.
We can do the same thing by working with the feather slider. Here as we click to increase the feather slider, you'll notice that the color will become less intense and, eventually, it will spread around to the larger area, as you can see here. Well, obviously this amount is too high, and this color doesn't really work. Yet, I wanted to include an exaggerated color just so you can see how important this feather slider actually is. Lets go ahead and decrease that feather amount back to zero and go back to color balance and here lets bring in a more appropriate color.
In this case perhaps something which has a little bit of red and maybe a touch of magenta and perhaps a little bit of yellow there as well. How you mix this color will really depend upon the complexion of the subject. The type of effect that you want to bring in. Next, we'll go to that mask area, and increase the feather slider. We're just looking for an amount where it becomes a little bit more diffused and subtle. Here we can also click to paint around to add a little bit more if we want to add this to a few more areas, as well. And the effect that we're going for here isn't something which is extremely over the top Rather just adding a subtle, yet perhaps a significant improvement to this portion of the photograph.
If you've added too much, well just choose black as your color. And what I like to do is to increase the brush size by tapping the right bracket key, and then to just get close to the area that you're working on. This again will help to create a bit more of a diffused effect there, or a soft edge. Or you can also decrease your brush size, and paint it in with a really large brush. And again, it just helps to sort of create a nice soft look there with that particular effect. Now if you want to increase the intensity, go back to the color balance controls. And here we can crank the value up, and you can see how we can really change the color of that area of the photograph.
How far you go with this is obviously completely subjective. This is really up to you and what you want to create. Sometimes what you may want to do is just lower the opacity of the entire adjustment just to make it a little bit more subtle. Remember, we aren't interested in overpowering the photograph. But we are interested in beginning to enhance color. Now, again, while this is a subtle adjustment, sometimes with portraits, it's those subtle adjustments which you add which eventually build up to creating a really nice and natural look in your photographs.
Alright, well, there you have it. There's our first attempt to begin to enhance the color in this picture. Let's continue to work with color in this photograph and we'll do that in the next movie.
- Cleaning up images and removing distractions
- Softening skin and reducing freckles
- Enhancing eyes
- Adding blur to the background
- Using Liquify to change the wedding dress
- Adjusting light and color with Curves and masking
- Painting in light with the Camera Raw adjustment brush
- Whitening teeth
- Cropping to improve compositions
- Converting to black and white