I am not a pro at this. I would like to be more proficient, so last night I took it upon my self to have a go at retouching a photo. Not just the tweaking of exposure or a curves layer, but what could we do to the photo that a typical model might have done. So, here is the before picture.
¬†I thought this wasn’t too bad a picture, other than beeing a little dark. I fixed that with a curves layer. I chose the lighten preset. I don’t think I even tweaked it.
What I really wanted to do was things like smoothing the skin, whitening the teeth, and lightening the eyes.
First off, I thought that her skin was pretty good, but I knew that she had complained about not smiling too much because she didn’t want lines in the photos. He she has a nice smile. We can fix the little lines.
First, I selected the healing brush. There were a couple of little marks on her face that I wanted to deal with first. CTRL-click near the mark, then click on the mark it’s self. Done.
Next, the skin smoothing. First I created a new layer by copying the background layer. (Command-J) Then I went to the filters menu, and picked gaussian blur. I set this to 20%. The whole picture looks blurry, but that’s OK, we will apply this to only part of the picture. First lower the opacity of the layer to around 40%. You can adjust this later when we are done. What we need now is a layer mask. Add one to our new layer, then click the white layer mask, and fill it with black Command-Delete. Now the blur should be gone. We will now “paint” it back where we want it. Select a soft brush, that is not too big. You may want to zoom in on the picture. You can change the brush size with [ and ] on the keyboard. Now paint over the skin you want to smooth. Do not get the eyes or mouth. When you are done, play with the opacity of the layer until it looks how you want it.
¬†You can flatten the layers. Now to the teeth. Her teeth are fairly white – better than mine! Select an area of her mouth, making sure to get all the teeth, but some of her mouth is just fine.
After, create a new adjustment¬†layer for hue/saturation. When that dialog appears, click on the “Edit” dropdown and select Yellows. We are going to remove any yellow cast. Move the saturation slider all the way to the left. Yellow be gone. Now you can move the lightness slider to the right a little. Not too much. They need to stay natural.
If you have a lightened ring around the lips, we will need to fix that. The process is similar to that of the skin. We need to fill the layer mask with black. Click on the mask, Command-Delete to fill with black, and all our work will be un done. Now paint with white in a soft brush before just over her teeth.¬† Tada! You can flatten the image when done.
Only thing left is her eyes. First was the little bit of red eye. I selected the red eye tool, and clicked on the center of her eyes. Easy. Next was to whiten her eyes. I created a new copy of the background layer again, but this time I picked Screen for the blending mode. The picture immediately got ugly. That’s OK. Once again, create a layer mask, fill it with black. Then zoom in really close to her eyes. You will need a very fine brush to do this. Paint the whites part of her eyes. If you make a mistake, select a black foreground color, and “erase” your mistake. Sometimes this is the easier way to do it. After you are done, zoom out. Her eyes will look scary. You need to adjust the opacity of this layer downward. Move this until they look normal, but brighter. Select/un select the layer to see the before/after of this effect.
There you have it. I probably should have sharpened it too, but I was so proud of myself that I completely forgot. Oh well…