Retouching photos – in particular, portraits – is all about making selective adjustments to certain areas of the face. It can be helpful to think of the face as a series of zones, each requiring a particular edit.
You’ll lighten the eyes, soften the skin, boost the lips and sharpen the lashes. You might think the best place to make these changes is in Photoshop, but Adobe Camera Raw also has a few powerful retouching tools.
In fact, using Adobe Camera Raw, it’s possible to perform a complete retouching workflow without even entering the main Photoshop interface.
What’s more, by making tweaks in Adobe Camera Raw rather than in Photoshop, you’ll ensure the best possible quality. And because Adobe Camera Raw is so neatly organised, easy to navigate, and totally non-destructive, you may find it’s the ideal choice for enhancing your portraits.
How to use Adobe Camera Raw’s Adjustment Brush for retouching photos
Sharpen the lashes
Paint over the lashes with the Adjustment Brush, then use the sliders to sharpen and add Clarity.
Lighten the whites
Carefully paint over the whites of the eyes, then increase Exposure and Highlights to lighten the whites.
Soften the skin
Drag the Clarity slider down to soften the skin, and increase Exposure slightly to lift the tones.
Paint a mask over the cheeks, then introduce red with the Color Picker. Add blue to the eyes in the same way.
Enhance the irises
Boost the colour, contrast and detail in the irises, but keep the circular edges dark.
Improve the lips
Boost the colour in the lips. Paint a precise mask to cover them, then increase Saturation and Clarity.
Boost the clothes
Use the temperature and Saturation sliders to warm the hues in the jumper. Increase Clarity and Highlights.
PAGE 1: How to use Adobe Camera Raw’s Adjustment Brush for retouching photos
PAGE 2: How to paint a mask
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