10 Tips and Tricks for Retouching in Photoshop

10 Tips and Tricks for Retouching in Photoshop
Cropping in tighter is something that you'll see portrait photographers do time and time again, and a slight tilt to the frame when cropping will often result in a more pleasing angle. Tilting the head backwards towards their higher shoulder, like in this image, is seen as a more feminine angle, while a tilt forwards is more masculine. The Crop tool also offers a'rule of thirds' guide - CS6 users can access further compositional guides via the View drop-down such as the Golden Ratio. For a classic composition, loosely position the eyes or face along one of the thirds.
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9. Tone down eye bags

Day-to-day life takes its toll on your eyes. Unless you've spent the past month being pampered in a luxury spa with 10 hours of sleep a night, it's likely that you'll have dark circles under them. As with most retouching techniques, we don't want to remove eye bags completely, as this will look fake. We just want to tone them down. Zoom in close to the eyes then click the Create New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers Panel. Grab the Clone tool from the Tools Panel then go to the Options bar at the top of the screen. Choose Mode: Lighten (this means you'll only replace areas that are darker than your clone source), set the Opacity to 20%, and set Sample: All Layers. Hold down Alt and sample a clone source on the cheek directly below the dark area, then make a couple of swipes with the Clone tool to tone down the bag.
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10. Skin smoothing using High Pass filter

Pro retouchers will often spend a few hours working just on a model's skin, painstakingly removing every imperfection with the Clone and Healing tools. Of course, most of us don't have the time or patience for such work, but luckily there are things we can do to cut corners. One of the best loved - not to mention fastest - skin smoothing techniques is the High Pass method. It gives your subject silky-smooth skin while still retaining some of the detail and texture. Therefore you don't end up with the dreaded plastic look' some methods can give. Instead, you get beautifully realistic smoothness. If you want greater control over the strength of the smoothing effect, you could try applying a touch of Gaussian Blur (Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur). As the image is inverted at this stage, the greater the blur radius value, the more subtle the effect. When painting the mask, you don't need to be too precise. A few quick strokes with a large, soft-edged brush should do the trick.
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Conclusion

Before we get to an end, a quick note on workflow: we've all seen plenty of examples of portraits that have been overly retouched, so for ultimate control, in each tip the start point will always be to make a new layer or merge a new copy. Now's the time to learn two of the best keyboard shortcuts: Cmd/Ctrl+J to duplicate a layer andCmd/Ctrl+Shift+Alt+E to merge a copy.
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I really apreciate you for reading this article. - Tony Magli

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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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