Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Cleaning up the small details, part of Photoshop CS5: Fashion Retouching Projects.
This is a conceptual fashion photograph that comes to us by way of one of my photography students, Jennika Kane. Jennika, thanks a ton for the use of this file. Let's go ahead and zoom in on this image, and when we do that, one of the things that we notice is that for the most part the image is in good shape. For starters, one of the things that I want to do is start working on the little teeny details. So in order to do that, let's zoom way in, so I'll go ahead and press Command+Plus to zoom in pretty closely. Next, let's create a new layer and let's do that by way of a shortcut.
Here we'll press Shift+Command+N on a Mac, Shift+Ctrl+N on Windows. We'll name this cleanup - 1. From here we'll press the J key in order to select our Healing Brush or our Spot Healing Brush. I am going to go ahead and start off with the Healing Brush because I think that will be helpful as we seek to work with these little details. In our Options bar, we want to make sure we are cleaning up to all layers so that we can have all of this cleanup work done on a layer near the top. Now one of the things that happens a lot of times when you're retouching is that you start to focus in on the bigger problem areas.
I want to stay away from those. Now I want to work on the little teeny details here. So again, I am Option+Clicking or Alt+ Clicking it and just looking to retouch some of these small little blemishes and skin variations that I am noticing. In order to try to reduce and simplify, especially, for a project like this, which is a bit more conceptual. The final look that we are going to go for with this image is going to be a little bit more surreal. We are not necessarily going for realism. The posture, the clothes, the cake, everything already leans towards that. So we are going to see if we can use Photoshop in order to take that further.
Now one of the problems here with the light is the light on each side of the nose. We are going to have to deal with that, but I will deal with that a little bit later. Press the Spacebar key and pan around your image, and again just work on any small little skin variation or detail that you find distracting. Now, usually you don't typically retouch freckles, yet here I am going to do that simply because again we are going for something a little bit more surreal. All right, we'll make our way around the photograph just looking for any small little blemish that we want to remove, and there are some quick ways to deal with a lot of these little blemishes.
So I am going to leave some of them in there just to be able to show that technique. All right, panning around the image, this is looking all right. So far so good. I am just going to double-check everything here. Again, getting the little details cleaned up here as much as possible. Small little spill here on the tablecloth, we'll get rid of that. As far as these wrinkles, let's try to remove some of the major wrinkles or creases and then later, we'll go back and deal with some of the smaller ones. So just go through and try to sample from different areas, removing some of these little wrinkles.
I want this to look a little bit more perfect and then again we'll start with these little wrinkles here. And we'll make our way around to some of the other areas. All right, I am just going to keep going. Whenever you do this detail work, it's always a good idea to have on some good music, so that you can really get in the mode and start to focus in on the task at hand. Sometimes people retouch their images at the stage upside-down. So they flip the image upside-down, so that they can notice any small skin variation or blemish.
All right, well so far so good. I think we've removed a lot of the little teeny details. Next, we need to start to work on a few more of those details, a couple of little texture things. And then began to dig a little bit deeper into some of the other areas in regards to changing shape and working with light.
- Changing clothing drape or shape
- Modifying the background
- Working with shadows and highlights
- Improving color
- Adding blur
- Cleaning up flyaway hairs
- High pass sharpening
- Adjusting eyes and eyebrows
- Reducing shadows around the eyes
- Making creative adjustments with color
- Removing wrinkles and smoothing skin texture