It Can Always Be Better

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Ask The Retoucher #48 - Pro Retouching Details

Warning: This is an Intermediate-Advanced class. Purchase Eric's Photo Restoration and Retouching Foundations course to get started right.

In show #48, Eric of Photo Grafix focuses on photo retouching, as compared to photo restoration. Fine-tuning is the final stage of photo retouching (after you have taken care of the basic color correction or cleaning up).

Watch Eric work on a picture by photographer, Scott Griessel to make it sing.

1. First, sharpen the photo by using “Sharpen/Unsharp Mask” and adjusting the settings, putting the Radius at 1.5. Then go to “Fade/Unsharp Mask” and drop it to luminosity.

2. Then in the History Pallet, undo all those stages and click on “Fade/Unsharp Mask” history state.

3. Then grab the History Brush, increasing the opacity to about 50% and paint the History Brush on the eyelashes, tear ducts and specular highlight.

4. Then use the Healing Brush and clone stamp to clean up any remaining stray spots or marks.

5. Then make a new History State and grab a big History Brush and change mode to “screen,” dropping opacity to 20. Wipe the faces. Using Multiply mode in History Brush, darken in the hands.

6. Add a Curves Adjustment Layer, creating an S Curve, being sure not to lose contrast. Take Paint Brush Tool, Mode Normal and wipe the white areas.

7. Save as Layered TIFF option.

Fixing some blown-out highlights in another photo by Scott Griessel.

1. Grab the Paintbrush Tool, changing mode to color and wipe over the edges on the earphones.

2. Using the original photo, open the Raw dialog box. Use Lens Correction and adjust the red and yellow fringe on the earphones. Drop exposure down, making sure it's the same target resolution and color profile. Open it from the Raw dialog box and it will appear next to your current version.

3. Copy and paste that new Raw file into your current image. Cover it up with a Layer Mask.

3. Using the Paint Brush Tool, use White color to get the metal edges and detail back.

4. Add Adjustment Layer/Curve and adjust the channels.

5. Save as Layered TIFF option.

Photo Retouching Principle to remember: Good photo retouching does not change the picture, it enhances the picture.

—Edited by Judy Bond for Photo Grafix University

Please send your questions and problem photos, your location—and genealogical society affiliation if appropriate—to Eric for future "Ask The Retoucher" columns. Visit Photo Grafix online for more information.

Eric runs Photo Grafix, a humble photo-retouching studio in Evanston, Illinois (USA), making photo illustrations and improving photos for hundreds of people and companies worldwide. If he doesn't know the answer, he won't rest until he finds it. Eric Basir is at your service: With each "Ask The Retoucher" article, he'll help you successfully tackle your digital photographic problems. 

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