Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Retouching a black and white portrait, part of Learning Photoshop Portrait Retouching.
- [Narrator] I've created and included this final bonus chapter for those of you who are interested in going above and beyond what we've covered so far in this course. In this chapter you will encounter a couple of bonus tips, and then a few advanced challenges. Let's start off with a bonus tip. One of the things we haven't talked about yet is how do we retouch a black and white portrait. Well, when it comes to black and white, we actually approach this a little bit differently. Often we start with Camera Raw or Lightroom. Here I am in Bridge, and so I'll go ahead and open up the file in Camera Raw, yet either tool will work.
Here we go to File and then Open in Camera Raw. And often when we open up a portrait, we zoom in on it and we start to say, well what are the details we have to work on, and we see a few little skin variations or shadows underneath the eyes. Well rather than going straight for those parts of the image, what we can do is one of two things. First, we can start with some basic adjustments. Making exposure and contrast adjustments, maybe bring the highlights down a little bit, a little bit of light into the shadows. So we can go through our normal workflow here.
But then next what we need to do is go to that HSL/Grayscale panel. Here's where the magic takes place. When you click Convert to Grayscale, we have the ability to control the brightness values of different colors in our image. Now one of the things we know about black and white images is that with skin tones, a lot of the detail is in the reds and the oranges. So take a look at this. If I increase the darkness of the oranges, all of a sudden I have all these skin problems, right? Same thing with the reds there. Can you see how it just looks horrible.
And if darkening does that, can you imagine what lightening does. The opposite. So if we bring these values back up, what we can actually do is retouch away blemishes simply by bringing these sliders up. See the shadows underneath the eyes right there? Watch them disappear when I bring up my oranges here with these skin tones. Now each skin tone is a little bit different, but the blemishes tend to reside in our reds, oranges, and yellows for most skin tones. So by bringing those values up, in a sense what we've done is retouched away a lot of the problems.
Then of course, after having done that, we can go back to the Basic tab and make any more adjustments. Maybe we want to brighten things up a little bit more. When you brighten up in black and white, it tends to look really good and have perhaps really deep, dark shadows. Or the darkest tones of the blacks, maybe a little bit of clarity there, too. It creates a really compelling and engaging black and white image. So you'll jump back and forth between these two areas here, modifying any slider as needed. Maybe you'll want to brighten up some of those shadows a little bit more, or change the value that we have here.
The thing to keep in mind is this. When you're working with these sliders, you won't just adjust one. If I only adjust my oranges, it just looks kind of strange. Same thing if I only adjust my reds, it just doesn't look right. These two tend to travel together and that will give you really nice, smooth, beautiful skin tones. This works with guys or gals and in both situations it can help to change the quality of the skin. Now after we've done all of that work, HSL and Grayscale, jump back and forth and made a few adjustments, then we can get to the rest of our workflow.
In Camera Raws we've talked about we could use a tool like this spot removal tool, and we can go ahead and click through our spots. Or we can go into Photoshop and we could use a spot healing brush and make all those adjustments there. The thing to keep in mind is the sequence. In other words, we first do good black and white and good skin tones. Then we get to all the other issues, because some of issues like this little blemish that was on the neck, I don't know if you saw that one previously, it was pretty pronounced before, but since we did that black and white adjustment, it's now gone.
So I don't really need to worry about it. So by taking those steps first, it can help us to leapfrog our progress and move more quickly when we work on black and white images.
- Cleaning up the background
- Removing distractions with the Spot Healing Brush
- Removing logos, jewelry, and lint
- Sculpting with Liquify
- Smoothing skin
- Removing unflattering distortion
- Changing the face with Face-Aware Liquify
- Removing shadows and wrinkles
- Improving eyes
- Whitening teeth
- Changing makeup
- Using multiple frames
Skill Level Beginner
Photoshop Retouching: Beauty Portraitswith Timothy Sexton1h 12m Intermediate
1. Clean Up the Background
2. Remove and Improve
3. Shape, Sculpt, and Modify
4. Improve Skin
5. Remove Shadows and Wrinkles
6. Improve Eyes
7. Whiten Teeth and Change Makeup
9. Using Multiple Frames
10. Bonus Tips and Advanced Challenges
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