10 Tips and Tricks for Retouching in Photoshop

10 Tips and Tricks for Retouching in Photoshop
10 Tips and Tricks for Retouching in Photoshop

10 easy ways to give your portraits a pro makeover. Learn how to banish spots, smooth skin, add digital make-up and more with my article. Over the next paragraphs I'll show you how to take your portraits to the next level with 10 tried and tested techniques used daily by pro retouchers. You'll discover how a few subtle but effective enhancements can make all the difference, whether you want to boost eyes, soften skin, remove spots, tighten waistlines or even add digital make-up.

1. Remove stray hairs

Stray hairs are one of those things that are easily overlooked when photographing a person. It's only when you look at the image later that you realise how annoying and distracting they are. Taking a few minutes to remove the hairs and tidy up around the head will really help to give your portraits a professional polish. It's very easy to do. Make a new layer, then grab the Clone tool and check Sample: All Layers in the Options bar. Choose a hard-edged brush tip and set Opacity to 100%, then zoom in close (hold down Cmd/Ctrl+Space then drag to the right to zoom).

Hold down Alt and click to sample a point in the background next to the stray hair, then paint over it. Continue around the head, varying the hair lengths so the results aren't too uniform. To tidy up hairs that cross over the face, switch to the Spot Healing Brush tool, check Sample All Layers, and paint over the hairs.


2. Sculpt faces with the Brush tool

This is a really effective enhancement for adding depth and definition to a face. It works by selective lightening and darkening to accentuate facial features like cheekbones and jawlines. Hold Alt and click the Create New Layer in the Layers Panel to access the New Layer dialog box.

Choose Mode: Soft Light and check 'Fill with Soft Light Neutral Color' then hit OK. Grab the Brush tool, hit D to reset your colours to black and white, and 1 to set Brush Opacity to 10%. Paint with black over the shadow areas on the face and body, then paint with white over the highlights.

When you're done painting, go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur and set Radius to about 50px. This helps to make the effect look more natural.

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8 comments on “10 Tips and Tricks for Retouching in Photoshop”

  1. Really outstanding. I'm glad to be here and I'm really happy to place this as a resource like it. Once again very helpful.

  2. Very nice tutorial. I usually try and do these minor things myself, but often times end up messing with the photo more than a couple of times.

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