Photoshop Retouching: a really simple tutorial for making every portrait perfect

Photoshop Retouching Made Easy: a really simple technique for making every portrait perfect

Photoshop retouching made easy: steps 1-8



Photoshop Retouching Made Easy: step 1

01 Correct colour casts
Open your start image, or download our photo. Open it in Photoshop and it will automatically open in the Adobe Camera Raw interface. To correct the slight cast, select the White Balance tool and click into the white of the left eye. The Temperature of the image will change to around 5100 and the Tint to -10.


Photoshop Retouching Made Easy: step 2

02 Recover shadow detail
The skin and background are looking bright now, but at the same time we want to lighten detail in the shadows. To recover some of the shadow detail, drag the Exposure slider to +0.25 and the Fill Light slider to +5. Next, to darken the image, reduce the Brightness slider to +25.


Photoshop Retouching Made Easy: step 3

03 Improve tone and colour
The adjustments to the shadows have left the shot looking flat. To help increase the contrast while minimising the effect on the tones, drag the Clarity slider to +25. You’ll see how this increase improves 
the definition of the facial features. Finally, to enhance the skin colour, drag the Vibrance slider to +30.


Photoshop Retouching Made Easy: step 4

04 Open in Elements
Click Open Image in the bottom right of the ACR interface to open the file into Photoshop Elements. From the Layers menu, select Layer>DuplicateLayer and click OK, then zoom into the image (Ctrl and +) to 100%. You can check on the zoom level by looking at the bottom left, just above the Project Bin tab.


Photoshop Retouching Made Easy: step 5

05 Remove spots
Hold down the space bar and left mouse-click to move the image so the forehead fills the screen. From the Tools palette, select the Spot Healing Brush and adjust its size so that it’s just larger than the spots. Click to remove each spot in turn. Once finished, move around the image to remove any other spots.


Photoshop Retouching Made Easy: step 6

06 Tackle blemishes
Moving around the image you’ll see there are a few blemishes that can’t be removed with the Spot Healing Brush. Click and hold on the Spot Healing Brush tool and select the Healing Brush instead. Hold down Alt and click just below the blemish to take a sample, then paint over the blemish to remove it.


Photoshop Retouching Made Easy: step 7

07 Brighten tired eyes
Dark areas under eyes need to be lightened 
and smoothed. Go to Layer>New>Layer, select the Polygonal Lasso tool and select the area under the eye. Click Refine Edge, then set Smooth to 30 and Feather to 5. Select the Healing Brush tool and at the top of the screen select Sample All Layers.


Photoshop Retouching Made Easy: step 8

08 Remove dark patches
Make sure the new layer is selected in the Layers palette. Alt-click just below the selected area, then paint over the area, with the brush covering the dark patches. Once finished, repeat for the other eye and then lower the layer opacity to 65%. Hit Ctrl+E to flatten the layer onto the image.

PAGE 1: Overview
PAGE 2: Photoshop retouching steps 1-8
PAGE 3: Photoshop retouching steps 9-16


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