Portrait editing tricks: raw retouching
There are a couple of neat features in Camera Raw that you can use to retouch portraits.
First, there’s the Retouch tool, which is similar to the Clone tool and Spot Healing Brush in Photoshop.
When you click a blemish, you’ll see a pair of rings – one red, one green. The red ring is the area that will be repaired, while the green surrounds the sample area.
The two circles can be moved and resized, and the sampling mode can be switched between ‘heal’ and ‘clone’.
Another way to improve portraits using Camera Raw is to reduce the Clarity using the sliding control. This reduces local contrast, to smooth skin and hide fine imperfections.
You don’t want to undo all of your skin smoothing by applying sharpening across the whole image, but the eyes, lashes and hair usually benefit from selective sharpening.
The easiest way to do this in CS5 is with the Sharpen tool. Set the tool’s strength to about 20% and paint the areas that need to be sharpened.
Users of earlier versions of Photoshop should apply Unsharp Mask to a Duplicate Layer before going on to mask off the skin.
PAGE 1 – Portrait editing tricks: heal and clone
PAGE 2 – Portrait editing tricks: re-colour eyes
PAGE 3 – Portrait editing tricks: smooth out skin with the High Pass filter
PAGE 4 – Portrait editing tricks: raw retouching
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