Photo Retouching: how to give your portraits a professional makeover

Photo Retouching: how to give your portraits a professional makeover

Next in our popular Raw Tuesday series we turn our attention to photo retouching. Over the next several weeks, our ultimate guide to photo retouching will show you how to give your portraits a stylish and professional makeover.

We’ll show you a range of key photo retouching techniques you can use to make eyes sparkle, how to make perfect teeth and beautiful lips, as well as sculpt body shape and make amazing hair.

In our first post, however, we examine the different techniques for one of the most important elements of photo retouching: how to create flawless skin.

Photo Retouching: how to give your portraits a professional makeover

When it comes to retouching skin, there’s a fine line between flawless and fake. You want to tone down imperfections and get the perfect look, but you don’t want your subject to look too plastic or immaculate.

Professional retouchers spend hours painstakingly working over skin in minute detail to remove flaws in such a way that the subject will not look overly retouched.

For the rest of us, there are a few excellent shortcuts. The key is to smooth over the area you are working on with a touch of blur but still allow the skin’s texture to show through. Also, always work on a separate layer so that you have control over the strength of any alterations.

How to get blemish-free skin

How to get blemish-free skin: step 1

01 Heal spots
Add a new empty layer then select the Spot Healing tool. Check Sample All Layers in the Options bar then start dabbing over any imperfections you find.

 

How to get blemish-free skin: step 2

02 Lose bags
Add a second layer then select the Clone Stamp tool. In the Options bar, change the Effect Mode to Lighten, set Opacity to 33% and choose Sample: All Layers.

 

How to get blemish-free skin: step 3

03 Bright eyes
Hold Alt and click on the cheek below the eyes to select a source, then paint over the dark areas beneath the eyes to lighten them and make them look fresh.

PAGE 1: How to get blemish-free skin
PAGE 2: Key Photoshop tools for smoothing out skin
PAGE 3: Smooth skin using the Photoshop High Pass filter

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