Enhancing and Brightening Eyes

This is another one of those "30-second miracles" for brightening eyes, enhancing the catch lights, and generally drawing attention to the eyes by making them look sharp and crisp (crisp in the "sharp and clean" sense, not crisp in the "I burned my retina while looking at the sun" kind of crisp).

Step One:

Open the photo you want to retouch.

Step Two:

Co under the Filter menu, under Sharpen, and choose Unsharp Mask. When the Unsharp Mask dialog appears, enter your settings (if you need some settings, go to the first technique in the Sharpening chapter); then click OK to sharpen the entire photo.

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Unsharp Mask

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Step Four:

Co under the Window menu and choose History to bring up the History palette. This palette keeps track of your last 20 steps, and you'll see the four steps you've done thus far listed in the palette (an Open step, followed by three Unsharp Mask steps. By the way, these steps are actually called "History States"). Click on the Open State to return your photo to how it looked before you applied the Unsharp Mask filter.

Step Three:

After you've applied the Unsharp Mask filter, apply it again using the same settings by pressing Command-F (PC: Control-F), and then apply it one more time using the same keyboard shortcut (you'll apply it three times in all). The eyes will probably look nice and crisp at this point, but the rest of the person will be severely oversharpened, and you'll probably see lots of noise and other unpleasant artifacts.

Step Five:

In the History palette, click once in the first column beside the last Unsharp Mask State (as shown in the previous capture). Now, switch to the History Brush and choose a soft-edged brush about the size of the iris. Click once right over the iris, and it will paint in the crisp, thrice-sharpened eye, leaving the rest of the face untouched. It does this because you clicked in that first column in the History palette. That tells Photoshop "paint from what the photo looked like at this point." Pretty cool!

Enhancing Eyebrows and Eyelashes

Afier Kevin Ames showed me this technique for enhancing eyebrows and eyelashes, I completely abandoned the method I'd used for years and switched over to this method because it's faster, easier, and more powerful than any technique I've seen yet.

Step One:

Open the photo that you want to enhance.

Step Two:

Get the Lasso tool from the Toolbox and draw a loose selection around the eyebrow. It isn't necessary to make a precise selection; make it loose like the one shown here. In this example, there's only one eyebrow, but if there are two (meaning they don't have a uni-brow), after you select one eyebrow, hold the Shift key down and select the other eyebrow.

Step Three:

After your eyebrow(s) is selected, press Command-J (PC: Control-J) to put the eyebrow(s) on its own separate layer (as shown).

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Step Four:

In the Layers palette, switch the Blend Mode of this eyebrow layer from Normal to Multiply, which will darken the entire layer (as shown here)

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Step Five:

Hold the Option key (PC Alt key) and click on the Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers palette (as shown). Holding down the Option/Alt key fills the Layer Mask w/th black, which hides the Multiply effect from view. As you can see. the eyebrow looks normal again. Next, press the letter "d" to make white your Foreground color.

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Step Six:

Choose a soft-edged brush that's about the size of the largest part of the eyebrow. Co up in the Options Bar and lower the Opacity of your brush to S0%. Now, paint over the eyebrows, going from right to left As you paint, hold the Left Bracket key to make your brush smaller as you trace the eyebrow. As you do. it darkens the eyebrow by revealing the Multiply effect.

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Step Seven:

Now on to the eyelashes. Get the Lasso tool again and draw a loose selection around the eye(s). and make sure your loose selection fully encompasses the eyelashes (as shown here).

Step Eight:

Once ihe eye and eyelash area is fully selected, press Command-] (PC: Control-J) to copy it up to its own separate layer. Change the Blend Mode of this layer to Multiply, which darkens the entire layer (as shown).

Step Nine:

Hold the Option key (PC: Alt key) and click on the Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers palette to add a Layer Mask filled with black to this layer. Just like on the eyebrows, doing this will hide the Multiply effect (as shown).

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Step Ten:

Make sure your Foreground color is still set to white, and then choose a very small soft-edged brush and paint along the base of the eyelashes to darken that area (as shown). Also paint along the top eyelid, at the base of the eyelashes to make the lashes appear thicker, fuller, longer, and more luxurious. (Maybe she's born with it. maybe it's Maybelline, or just maybe it's a Photoshop Multiply layer with a Layer Mask and a soft-edged brush.)

Step Eleven:

When it comes to enhancing individual lashes, zoom in close on the eye and choose 3 very, very small brush (as shown). Then start at the base of the eyelash (where it meets the lid) and trace the eyelash, following its contours to darken them. You may have to use a 1- or 2-pixel-sized brush to trace the lashes, but it will be worth it.

Step Twelve:

When you're done painting over the eyelashes, zoom back out to reveal your final retouch (as shown here). Compare the eyelashes shown here with the ones in Step Seven to see the difference. If the effect seems a bit too intense to you, just lower the Opacity of either layer. (Incidentally, the reason we put the eyelashes and eyebrows on separate layers, rather than doing them at the same time, is so you can control the Opacity of each part individually.)

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Whitening Teeth

This really should be called "Removing Yellowing, Then Whitening Teeth" because almost everyone has some yellowing, so we remove that first before we move on to the whitening process. This is a simple technique, but the results have a big impact on the overall look of the portrait, and that's why I do this to every single portrait where the subject is smiling.

Step One:

Open rhe photo you need to retouch.

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Step Two:

Switch to the Lasso tool, and carefully draw a selection around the teeth, being careful not to select any of the gums (as shown here).

Step Three:

Go under the Select menu and choose Feather. When the Feather Selection dialog appears, enter 1 pixel and click OK to smooth the edges of your selection. That way. you won't see a hard edge along the area you selected after you've whitened the teeth.

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Step Four:

Co under the Image menu, under Adjustments, and choose Hue/Saturation. When the dialog appears, choose Yellows from the Edit pop-up menu at the top. Then, drag the Saturation slider to the left to remoye the yellowing from the teeth.

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Step Five:

Now that the yellowing is removed, switch the Edit pop-up menu back to Master, and drag the Lightness slider to the right to whiten and brighten the teeth. Be careful not to drag it too far. or the retouch will be obvious.

Step Six:

Click OK in the Hue/Saturation dialog, and your enhancements will be applied. Last, press Command-D (PC: Control-D) to Deselect and see your finished retouch (shown here).

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The Photoshop Book for Digital Photographers

If you've ever had to deal w\th hot spots (shiny areas on your subject's face caused by uneven lighting or the flash reflecting off shiny surfaces, making your subject look as if he or she is sweating), you know they can be pretty tough to correct. That is, unless you know this trick.

Removing Hot Spots

Step Two:

Select the Clone Stamp tool in the Toolbox. Up in the Options Bar, change the Blend Mode from Normal to Darken, and lower the Opacity to S0%. By changing the Blend Mode to Darken, we'll only affect pixels that are lighter than the area we're sampling, and those lighter pixels are the hot spots.

Step One:

Open the photo that has hot spots that need to be toned down.

Step Three:

Make sure you have a large, soft-edged brush; then hold the Option key (PC: Alt key) and click once in a clean area of skin (an area with no hot spot) as shown here, above her left eye. This will be your sample area, or reference point, so Photoshop knows to affect only pixels that are lighter than this.

Step Four:

Start gently painting over the hot spot areas wr.h the Clone Stamp tool, and as you do, the hot spots will fade away. As you work on different hot spots, you'll have to resarnple (Option-/Alt-click) on nearby areas of skin so the skin rone matches. For example, when you work on the hot spots on her nose, sample an area of skin from the bridge of her nose where no hot spots exist

Step Five:

Here's the result after about 60 seconds of hot-spot retouching using this technique. Notice how the hot spots on her forehead and tip of her nose are now gone. Much of this was done with brush strokes, but just clicking once or twice with the Clone Stamp tool often works too.

Glamour Skin Softening

This is another technique I learned from Chicago-based retoucher David Cuerdon. David uses this technique in fashion and glamour photography to give skin a smooth, silky feel.

Step One:

Open the photo that you want to give the glamour skin-softening effect and duplicate the Background layer. The quickest way to duplicate a layer is to press Command-J (PC: Control-))

Step Two:

Go under the Filter menu, under Blur, and choose Gaussian Blur. When the dialog appears, enter between 3 and 6 pixels of blur (depending on how soft you want the skin), to put a blur over the entire photo.

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Gausuan Blur

The Photoshop Book for Digital Photographers

Step Three:

Next, lower the Opacity of this layer by 50% (as shown at teft). At this point, the blurring effect is reduced, and now the photo has a soft glow to it. In some cases, you may want to leave it at this, with an overall soft, glamorous effect (you sometimes see portraits of senior citizens with this overall softening) so your retouch is complete. If this is too much softening for your subject, go on to the next step.

Step Four:

What really pulls this technique together is selectively bringing back details in some of the facial areas. Switch to the Eraser tool, choose a soft-edged brush, and erase over the facial areas that are supposed to have sharp detail (her eyes, eyebrows, lips, and teeth). What you're doing is erasing the blurry eyes, eyebrows, lips, and teeth, and thereby revealing the original features on the layer beneath your blurry layer.

Step Five:

David completes his retouch at Step Four, leaving the subject's clothes, hair, background, etc. with the soft glow. I prefer to switch to a larger soft-edge Eraser tool and erase over everything else except her skin—so I erase over her hair, and the background so everything has sharp detail except her skin. This is totally a personal preference, so I reeom mend trying both and seeing which fits your particular needs.

Advanced Skin Softening

This is a technique I picked up from Kevin Ames that does an amazing job of simulating a Hasselblad Softar »2 filter in that it softens the skin tones, but at the same time introduces a little bit of soft flare and lowers the contrast of the image. Perfect for fashion photography.

Step One:

Open the photo you want to softea

Step Two:

Press Command-) (PC: Control-)) twice to create two duplicates of your Background layer in the Layers palette. Then, hide the top copy (Layer 1 cooy) by clicking on the Eye icon next to i: in the Layers palette, and then click on the middle layer (Layer 1) to make i: active (as shown).

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Step Three:

In the Layers palette, switch the Blend Mode of this middle layer to Darken.

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Gaussian Blur

Step Four:

Go under the Filter menu, under Blur, and choose Gaussian Biur. Apply a 40-pixel blur to the photo.

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In the Layers palette, hide the middle layer from view, and then click on the top layer (Layer 1 copy). Change the Blend Mode of this top layer to Lighten.

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Step Seven:

After you've applied the blur, click back on the middle layer (Layer 1) and lower its Opacity to 40% in the Layers palette.

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Hide the Background layer from view, and then create a new layer by clicking on the Create New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers palette. Click-and drag this layer to the top of your layer stack (as shown). Then, hold the Option key (PC: Alt key) and choose Merge Visible from the Layers palette's pop-down menu. This creates a flattened version of your document in your new layer.

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Step Nine:

In the Layers palette. make the Background layer visible again (as shown), but hide the two duplicate layers in the middle (Layer 1 and Layer 1 copy).

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Make sure the top layer in the stack (Layer 2) is the active layer, and then lower the Opacity of this layer to 40%.

Step Eleven:

Lowering the Opacity of that layer creates the overall softening effect (which is fine if you want an overall effect), but in most cases, you won't want to soften the detail areas (eyes, lips, etc.).

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Step Twelve:

Click on the Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers palette to add a layer mask to your blurred layer. Press the letter Mx" until your Foreground color is black, get the Brush tool, use a soft-edged brush, and paint over the areas that should have full detail (lips, eyes, eyebrows, eyelashes, hair, clothing—pretty much everything but the skin). The upper photo shows the results of the softening effect. The photo below it shows the original (from Step One) without the softening.

The final photo with softened skin.

The original photo before applying the skin softening technique.

The final photo with softened skin.

This is a pretty slick technique for taking a photo where the subject was frowning and tweaking it just a bit to add a pleasant smile in its place— which can often save a photo that otherwise vvould've been ignored.

Transforming a Frown into a Smile

Step One:

Open the photo that you want to retouch.

Step Two:

Go under the Filter menu and choose Liquify. When the Liquify dialog appears, choose the Zoom tool (it looks like a magnifying glass) from the the Liquify Toolbar (found along the left edge of the dialog). Click it once or twice within the preview window to zoom in closer on your subject's face. Then, choose the Warp tool (it's the top tool in Liquify's Toolbar, as shown here).

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Step Three:

Press the Left/Right Bracket keys on your keyboard to adjust the brush size until it's about the size of the person's cheek. Place the brush near the corner of their mouth (as shown at right), click and "tug" slightly up. This tugging of the cheek makes the corner of the mouth turn up, creating a smile.

Step Four

Repeat the "tug" on the opposite side of the mouth, using the already tugged side as a visual guide as to how far to tug. Be careful not to tug too far, or you'll turn your subject into the Joker from Batman Returns.

Step Five:

Click OK in Liquify to apply the change, and the retouch is applied to your photo (as shown at right).

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This is a very simple technique for decreasing the size of your subject's nose by 15 to 20%. The actual shrinking of the nose part is a breeze and only takes a minute or two—you may spend a little bit of time cloning away the sides of the original nose, but since the new nose winds up on its own layer, it makes this cloning a lot easier. Here's how it's done:

Digital Nose Job

Step One:

Open the photo that you want to retouch. Get the Lasso tool, and draw a loose selection around your subject's nose. Make sure you don't make this selection too close or too precise—you need to capture some flesh tone area around the nose as well (as shown here).

Step Two

To soften the edges of your selection, go under the Select menu and choose Feather. When the Feather Selection dialog appears, for Feather Radius enter 10 pixels (for high-res. 300-ppi images, enter 22 pixel's), and then click OK.

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Now, press Command-J (PC: Control-J) to copy your selected area onto its own layer in the Layers palette.

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Understanding Adobe Photoshop Features You Will Use

Understanding Adobe Photoshop Features You Will Use

Adobe Photoshop can be a complex tool only because you can do so much with it, however for in this video series, we're going to keep it as simple as possible. In fact, in this video you'll see an overview of the few tools and Adobe Photoshop features we will use. When you see this video, you'll see how you can do so much with so few features, but you'll learn how to use them in depth in the future videos.

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