With this image from the free stock website http://www.sxc.hu I applied some sharpening and toning effects to give him a more weathered lived-in grungy look…
Category Archives: Retouch
This image is from a photographer called Chaf on Model Mayhem (#1895650). Along with a lot of skin retouching and blemish removal, this image I felt could be enhanced by some digital make-up. In this instance I created an empty layer above the background and sampled a colour from the lips (I had adjusted the hue of the lips earlier) and painted on the layer with a pressure sensitive wacom tablet, I then changed the blending mode to colour and reduced the opacity of the layer to taste. By first painting on a normal layer gives you a better idea where exactly to add in the eye liner and blusher before changing the blending mode to colour. By sampling the colour from the lips you help balance the colour palette of the face, if you wanted to change the colour of the added make-up you could just add a clipped Hue/Saturation adjustment layer to your layer stack – this way you would be just affecting the colour of the layer immediately below it, not the entire face.
When someone asks me to retouch them in Photoshop I usually am slow to respond – its wise to assess the situation to ascertain what exactly they want from you – it’s a sensitivity minefield. “Do you want me to remove your double chin?”, “Oh sorry, you didn’t think you had one”…. “Do you want me to take 20 years off?”, “Apoogies, I didn’t realize you were 27″….. “Your moustache?”, ” My bad, that must be a shadow from somewhere”….. “I could reduce the size of your nose?”, “Again sorry, that angle makes it look bigger than it is in reality”…… “Just make you look like a Model?, “Yeah the retouching on that will take me forever!, I charge by the hour so it will cost you a fortune”…..
Sometimes I get the impression the person is fishing for a compliment – “Sure you don’t need any airbrushing – you’re practically flawless!” in which case you do nothing to the image, maybe adjust some levels and hand the file back! The reality is – your aim is to make the person look their best – the image may have factors mitigating against this – unflattering light, no make-up, too much make-up badly applied, maybe the person has some spots that weren’t there yesterday etc….. The vast majority of women and a surprising amount of men use make-up every day to make themselves look at their best – to hide unflattering aspects of their appearance, whether permanent or temporary, (imagined or real – best not go there) and to accentuate their good side. Photoshop is there to do the same – apply virtual make up. As in the real wold equivalent it is easy to slap on the virtual make-up. Finding a happy medium is not always easy as how people view themselves is by its nature entirely subjective – you may consider that the wrinkles show character, they on the other may think it makes them look haggard and weary.
So my usual response is non-committal and non specific, along the lines of – “I don’t think there is much to be done, but I will have a look”… This I feel needs to be refined …. while you may know you have a lot of work to do to make them look at their best, in order to flatter your client you want them to believe you think you don’t , – an intentional collusion of self delusion if you will – how exactly do you get paid for that? Maybe the brutal truth is the way to go after all……
The image above is courtesy of Retouch Pro, below is my retouched version….
Another image submitted on the retouching website RetocuchPRO in the restoration challenges section. This one with a seasonal slant seeing as it has the big fella from the North Pole in it. I think there is a similar photo somewhere featuring myself at a slightly younger age – it’s probably in a Jacob’s biscuit tin in my parents attic. The Jacob’s tin truly is the pandora’s box of retouching – beware.
This image was submitted on the retouching website RetocuchPRO in the restoration challenges section. The original poster had left one of his favourite images on a countertop and somebody spilled some juice over it (at a guess I’d say cranberry) leaving it in the horrible mess you see below. Not one to shirk a challenge I obliged by taking the juice stained kid into Photoshop. I used several hue/saturation layers with selective masks along with targeted curves adjustment layers with masks to get rid of the stain. I also used a blank layer set to color mode and painted sampled colors on it. I used the healing brush and a dodge and burn layer to get rid of the transitions between the stained and non-stained part of the image.
The present giving season is fast approaching, if you are at a loss and are responsible for sloshing a burgundy over somebody’s wedding album – you are on your own, anything short of that I maybe able to help.
Time and tide wait for no one – you may remember it just like it was yesterday, every moment and detail of that special day vivid in your minds eye, the photograph on the wall may not have fared so well however. All photographs fade and loose their lustre over time, you may have worn pure white on your wedding day but the photo on the wall tells the world it was dirty yellow. At Farlco Digital Imaging we can restore those prints to their former glory, helping those of us with cloudy memories lift the veil and remember those moments as they were.
Farlco Digital Imaging
This image is another one submitted on the the Model Mayhem website for retouching. The photographer in this case was Dallas J Logan, from Brooklyn in NYC. Most of the retouching on the skin was achieved by painting with a small low opacity brush (4-7%) set to either black (burn) or white (dodge) on a 50% gray layer set to the soft light blending mode. The clone stamp and healing brush were used sparingly on the the skin, apart from removing or reducing some of the major blemishes, but quite a bit on the hair.
The high pass filter is often overlooked as a method of sharpening in Photoshop perhaps because it is not grouped with the other sharpen filters hidden away as it is in the “other” section of the filter menu. Of course sharpening really is increasing the contrast of neighbouring light and dark pixels. The typical implementation of the filter is to duplicate the background layer apply a low pixel radius high pass filter and change the blending mode of the layer to overlay and adjust the opacity of the layer to taste. The soft light blending mode has a less harsh sharpening effect and hard light and linear light have harsher effects. I find the filter useful for sharpening images that have well defined edges already such as architectural images and less so for portraits as it can be quite unflattering, incidentally an inverted high pass filter is useful for portraits for a quick smoothing of skin (used with layer mask and low opacity layer). In the example here I used the filter to exaggerate the lines on the old mans face, I duplicated the high pass layer a few times and also used a number of other blending mode techniques to desaturate and tone the image. As with all blending modes a little experimentation can yield pleasing results……
I found this contemplative portrait of a young girl on a beach on the free stock site http://www.sxc.hu. Overall I thought the image had a nice feel to it – it was let down by by being too flat and being too warm (overly red). So naturally for a beach shot I decided to cool it down substantially and increase the contrast………
Model Mayhem (http://www.modelmayhem.com/) is a website community for models, photographers and photoshop “wizards” (their term not mine!) etc. On one of the forums people submit sample images for retouching, I happened on the image below from photographer Carol Lee from Texas (Mayhem #1216562) on this thread http://www.modelmayhem.com/po.php?thread_id=550304 . The extent of the retouch is quite extreme, I spent a couple of hours on it – but it shows what can be done with less than perfect skin…