Monday, July 21, 2008

Photo Editing - "Saving Face"

Do you believe everything you see in photos? Judging by this layout... do you believe that I have unblemished skin with no wrinkles or freckles or dark circles under my eyes? Do you believe that my teeth are perfectly white and that I have eyes as deep as the sea? HAHAHAHA! I actually joke with my husband and say "Who needs expensive make-up and skin care products when you have PHOTOSHOP????" In this week's lesson... we will learn the art of touch-up. I have searched and begged for friends and family to loan me their photos for this process... but they all PROMPTLY protested. So... I chose a (not-SO-bad-one) of me. Luckily, the way the light hit my face as my sister-in-law took the picture (Thanks Candice!!!!), it's one that I don't mind so much sharing with the world in its unedited state. Sigh. :) So... here is the layout we will be creating today:

1.) The first thing you want to do is to Duplicate your image so you don't lose your original in case you mess up. You can either right click on your photo layer and choose duplicate and simply do your editing on a separate layer. This way, if you mess up, just delete that layer and duplicate your original and start over. However... I always choose to acutally duplicate my image and create a whole separate file. This is simply because once I'm finished... I'm sooooo likely to reach up and click 'Save' and then lose my original. This isn't so bad since I'm "fixing" my flaws... however, I usually do all of my photo editing in one shot. So the effect I use on my photo for my layout is probably not the effect I would want for simply printing the photo itself. Make sense?

**Here are the most common problem areas one usually wants to work on in a photo. So (as I take a deep breath before I feel all exposed, hehehe) let's zoom in on our photo.

2.) I usually start with the blemishes or freckles I want to get rid of since these are the easiest to fix. Choose your Spot Healing Brush from your tools palette.

3.) Now refer to the top of your screen for the Settings of this tool. For our purpose here, I have set mine as follows:

4.) Now that your cursor appears as a circle, place it over the spot, blemish, or freckle that you want to get rid of. I'll start with a freckle on my shoulder:

5.) Now simply click. Viola!! It disappears!!

6.) Now continue doing that on any places of the skin that you want "fixed". (Note: Be aware that some clicks are going to pull from an area nearby that doesn't match... if that happens, simply click in the same place again and it should pull from a different spot. If neither of those work, undo those clicks (CTRL+Z), zoom in closer to the area, make your brush a little smaller and try the process over again... that usually does the trick.) Here's my before and after photos just using the Spot Healing Brush:

7.) Now... let's move on to wrinkles. We're going to use a different tool for this one. Right-click on the Spot Healing Brush we just used and choose Healing Brush Tool.

8.) Refer to the top of your screen for your settings. Again, for our purpose here, I have set mine as follows:

9.) Now... this tool isn't as "automatic" as the Spot Healing Brush. We actually have to "define" the "color" that we want to "paint" over the area. But, since we have the hardness of our brush set as a softer edge AND we have our Mode set to Lighten, it blends in really well. So we actually have a little more control over it. Here are the main areas I'll be focusing on in this photo:

10.) So... your cursor should now appear as a circle. Zoom in pretty close to the area you want to remove the wrinkle or dark circles. Place your cursor in an area VERY close to the "offending" area. Press your ALT button (your cursor will change to a little "target" symbol) and click once, as follows:

That ALT+click actually "copies" the tone and color you want to use for covering up your wrinkle. Now, let go of your ALT key and place your cursor at the start of the wrinkle. Simply Click and Drag a short distance. Now... as you can see, when you start doing this, while you're dragging, it's looking like a big and very noticable line. Don't panic. It's supposed to do that. Once you let go of your mouse buttom, it will blend. This is why I only drag the mouse for a short distance... so that I can make sure it's blending well. (If it doesn't look right, just click CTRL+Z to undo that step and then, again press your ALT key, "copy" another area that's pretty close to the wrinkle and then try it again.) So... here's what it looks like as I'm dragging my mouse and then what it looks like after I let go:

11.) Now... continue brushing over the wrinkle (every now and then "copying" a new little area to copy) and finish this eye. Then you move to the other eye (or another wrinkle area) and "copy" an area near that eye and do the same thing. Continue these steps until you are happy with the overall result. Here's what mine looks like after fixing both eyes and a couple of other little spots I wasn't thrilled with. (ok... maybe a few other spots... but if YOU can't tell... then why should I? hahahaah!)

12.) Now... as you can see... I'm still sporting the sort of darkness on the inside of my eye that we are ALL so blessed with. hehe. That is easily fixed using your dodge tool. So, choose your Dodge Tool from your tools palette.

13.) The size of your brush will depend on the size of the area you are wanting to brighten up. Set your hardness to somewhere in the middle and set your Exposure to around 35% or so, so that your result per click will be subtle.

Now simply click on the area you want to brighten up. If it's not bright enough on your first click... just click it again. Keep clicking until you're happy with the result. Here's where I placed my Dodge tool:

And here's how it looks after a couple (ok... a few) clicks. :)

14.) Now... since we already have our Dodge tool activated... let's move onto teeth. Make your brush smaller and place your cursor over the teeth in the photo. Begin clicking on the teeth in your photo, being careful that you don't "brush" the gums or the lips. (Be SURE you don't make them too light or bright... you don't want it to look like you have a black light shining on them. ) Here's mine as I start to "brush" over them as well as what it looks like after I'm done:

15.) OK... last, but certainly not least. The eyes. Now, I wish my eyes were more open in this photo, but we will work with what we have. We will be using several tools for this. Our dodge and burn tools, as well as our sharpen tool. Let's start with our sharpen tool.... choose that from your tools palette:

16.) Look to the top of your screen for your settings. I set mine at a smaller round brush with 0% hardness and 50% Strength.

17.) Now, place your brush over the iris and pupil of the eye and click a couple of times... just to give the variations some definitioin.

18.) Now... choose your Dodge Tool again with a very small brush... maybe 10 or 15... Range is Midtones and Exposure at 35%. Place your cursor right outside the pupil and trace around it once or twice to lighten it. This will result in a subtly light area right outside the pupil. KEEP IT SUBLTE! If you lighten it too much your subject will begin looking a little like an alien. eeek!) Here's mine after these 2 steps:

19.) Now... keeping your dodge tool activated, click a time or two on the whites of the eyes. Again... keep it subtle. Here's mine after dodging the whites:

20.) Last step... choose your burn tool from your tools palette:

21.) Now we want to run the Burn Tool right along the edge of the iris, being careful not to burn the whites of the eyes. (OH... and sorry... but it bears repeating one more time... keep it subtle. hehehe).

Now... let's look at the before and after to get the real impact of the difference. :)

Now... just throw some FABULOUS effect and crop on your photo and pop it on a layout!! (On mine, i just simply duplicated my photo layer once, changed the Blending Mode to Overlay and reduced the opacity to about 60%. To see more about blending, see all of my blending tutorials!) Again... here's our completed layout:

I would LOVE to know what you think of this tutorial. Feel free to leave comments! If you have any questions regarding this tutorial, you can certainly email me at

***I would also love to hear what type of tutorials YOU would like to see! While your here, scroll up and take a vote on what tutorial you would like to see NEXT week! I have a few in mind, but wanted to see what YOU want!!

You can find a PRINTABLE version of this tutorial (and all of my others) in the Tutorial Section at Oscraps!


katg1006 said...

Amanda I am soo loving your tutorials I learn a new thing everytime I read one!! I did not use a dodge tool on black eyes...that is awesome!!! I will have to try that!

Thanks so much for sharing! You look beautiful before and after :)

stevie kay said...

Where would we scrapping women be without editting our own faces? hee hee hee. Thanks for the tutorial. It's always nice to add a few extra tips up my sleeves!

Helen said...

Thanks for another wonderful tutorial A!!

Liz said...

another FABULOUS tutorial amanda!!!!!

Lien said...

Thank you for the tutorial. It's great ! I will give it a try !

Casey said...

Love this one! How many photos of beach & pool scenes do I have where the grown ups are looking a little worst for wear? Not a good look! Kids can carry it off well though. Now Amanda comes to the rescue! You have my undying thanks!

missy said...

Wow this is a superb tutorial! I need and can use all these tips on photos ... although it's going to take A LOT more clicks on any of me! You look so pretty even in the before shots, so don't feel too "exposed!". Thank you so much for this awesome tutorial and all the other ones so far! You make me feel so much smarter about this digi photo stuff!

One tutorial I need is how to take the red eye out of brown eyes! Both my dd's have brown eyes and occasionally I'll end up with a decent photo that is ruined with red eyes. The auto red eye thing never works right on these brownish red eyes!

Thanks again Amanda, I think you are doing an excellent job with these tutorials!
Thanks again!!

Cat said...

Horray, no need for trips to the cosmetic surgeon!

Awesome tut Amanda, and now that I am using my CS2 I will practice :)

MariaT said...

Great little tips! It seems like they wouldn't make much difference so why bother, but then you show the before and after and case closed. I'll have to start taking the time to make little changes too, thanks again!

Snowsmoon said...

GREAT JOB, Amanda...I love reading your tutorials and Learn something from each one. Thank you so much for sharing your talents with us.

Arya said...

Great tut, Amanda! And another one that I for sure will use! Thanks!!!

BTW - you look gorgeous BEFORE too!

Yummy Mommy said...

Hi Amanda,

Just recently discovered your blog and tutorials... (i am new at digi scrapping and photoshop) and so far love love love your tutorials. I even tried some out and posted them on my blog. Please feel free to check it out and tell me what you think. (
If you go on my blog, you will see the lastest pic i just did. But i couldnt manage to get the lips a bit more pinkish.. (the flash was to close to her face when i took the picture). Any tutorials for that?
Thanks again for all of your tutorials. I feel so proud and happy when i acheived great trick with photoshop, and now all my family thinks i am a pro!! lol...
Sabby from Adelaide, South Australia.

Jeanann said...

love this tutorial.

Barb said...

This was a very helpful tutorial! It was easy to understand, and I'm confident that I can master these skills to enhance my photos. Thank you so much.

Tali said...

Rockin' tutorial girl - this is awesome! I'm going to be using this again and again!!

Suzs said...

Thanks so much for this, I really needed a tutorial like this.

Laura said...

Your tutorials are so very important to me! you do a wonderful job of breaking down the mysterious into very easy to follow components. Thank you SO MUCH! I can't wait to see what you'll teach us next! :)

IreneO said...

Great tutorial. I have been using the dodge tool for teeth for quite a while now - makes such a difference! The one thing I do differently is I use the magic wand tool to select the teeth first - that day I don't lighten any of the area around the teeth accidentally. (You may need to adjust the tolerance on the magic wand to get the teeth selected perfectly and use "add to selection".

By the way, you are beautiful in both the "before" and "after" photos!

liannallama said...

oh, fantastic! I learn so much from you--I have never used the new-fangled tools like the healing tool so this is all great to learn! I learned PS3.5 way back when and haven't learned much since then so your tutorials are so useful to me and the techniques are like magic, LOL!

Anonymous said...

Dear Amanda,
I agree with the ladies who wrote the comments before.
I LOVE your tutorials!!
Even though I've bought all the issues of photoshop creative(4 in the netherlands, smile) I learn so much from your tutorials.
Txs again


ps: probably the wrong thing to say, but I would not retouch the freckles (smile)

xo Colleen said...

TY Amanda for the great tips. LOVE LOVE what you did...although I have to admit I couldn't imagine what you were going to need to fix.

I've always used primarily one of the healing-spot brushes, so I'm excited to try using another technique on wrinkles, as well as lightening and brightening the areas you worked on. Your canvas (hehe - face), is not in as much need, so maybe in your next tut., let's have an older model and you can really go to town on! And no, I'm not offering.

How about fixing a photo that has several people in it so we can see various techniques based on diff. ages/colors/etc., and usually someone is in a darker or lighter section and adjustments have to be made. Just a thought...

USE SUNSCREEN - a strong one - CONSTANTLY. Neutrogena makes a great, dry/nongreasy one that comes 55-75-85. Those few and small spots will begin to multiply until you can't believe how many you have and kick yourself for your lack of foresight and protection. Trust me! LOL

xo Colleen Chi-Girl

faery-wings said...

you so rock, Amanda- but seriously dude- you're gorgeous no matter what you do to your photo!

Janet said...

I really love your tutorials. I have PSE, so can't use all of the tools you use, but am still learning how to use the ones I have so much more (like changing the options on the healing brush).

Great photo - both before and after!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great tutorials! The before/after is not as dramatic in this tutorial, though, because you already looked great in the untouched picture!

Hámos Beáta said...

Thank you so much! I find it very-very useful! Your tutorials are great!!! Thanx for sharing your knowledge! :)

Lilipruneau said...

Thank you for the lesson, Photoshop is a fantastic tool to make a nice girl like a mermaid!!!



Mary Ellen said...

Thanks so much! Here is my before and after.

Laura in CT said...

Terrific tutorial--thanks very much. Thanks, too, for the pointer to the printer friendly archive at OScraps. Great stuff!

Veronica said...

I have just learned PS & LOVE picking up tips!! Yours was GREAT! THANKS!!

eve said...

i just found your blog and your tutorials are superb! i am new to digi-scrap and photoshop so those help me a ton, thank you!

Pat said...

Hi, I have a suggestion for a tutorial! How about drop shadows in PSE. Many say the "trick" is to not use black, some say the angle of light is the most important thing. . . but I would like to know what governs these decisions? How much shadow, (size) should an item have? Etc, etc., etc! This would be very helpful to me. . . and hopefully many others! Your tuts are the best. . . trust me, I've read many!

Amy said...

Great tutorial! I'm done some of the same things a different way so it was fun to see how you can do things more than one way in Photoshop!

Hummie said...

Thanks...I'm adding it to the Resource Jamboree thread in my forums --you are welcome to share there yourself when you put up another tutorial.

Roberta T said...

I've read a LOT of face improving tuts and I learned some new things here. Thanks so much for your wonderful tutorials!

Karyn (Red Sonya) said...

Amanda, I'm sorry to be the one who has to tell you this honey, but I think you need corrective eye surgery! While I appreciate your helpful tutorial for all us "graciously aging" women out here, the day YOU need PSE is the day I'm never going out in public again!
Truly, you are the bomb, and we all appreciate your hard work putting these tutorials together...

Lori said...

Thanks so much for the tutorials... I just found your blog a few days ago and have been learning a lot.

Here is a link to where I posted my results.

Thanks again

*~Digital Fairy~*

carl0347 said...

I love your tutorials Amanda. It's written in everyday conversation style language. You should totally write a book about photoshop techniques and photography. That's something we'd enjoy reading!!! Cheers!!!

PS. Thanks for sharing!

hazel said...

this is what i really like about photo editing software. it can edit the not so nice things in your picture.

website design

Randy Ford said...

A good tutorial on Photoshop. Thank you for sharing them. I often use this After using Photoshop is an indispensable thing. Some of the details you do not hide, and easy to edit. It's easier for me.

Zhenhong Bao said...

tory burch outlet online
swarovski outlet
burberry outlet online
coach outlet online
thomas sabo uk
true religion outlet
mulberry handbags
coach outlet store
polo ralph lauren
oakley sunglasses
coach outlet online
christian louboutin outlet
michael kors wholesale
lebron james shoes
rolex watches
michael kors handbags
fitflop clearance
ralph lauren outlet
nike roshe
ralph lauren outlet
timberland boots
fitflops outlet
tiffany jewelry
nike air max
rolex outlet
michael kors outlet online
tiffany outlet
louis vuitton bags
ralph lauren uk
louboutin pas cher
polo ralph lauren
air jordan shoes for sale
mulberry bags
true religion outlet
tiffany jewelry