What every photographer must know to retouch portraits

What every photographer must know to retouch portraits

Corrected images should be like the individual when you think about it.

Some traditionalists will claim that an image must never be changed. Others think that drastic alteration is fundamental. I would suggest that different kinds of images require different methods to retouching.

Now that that’s clear, let’s talk a little about what all photographers must know to retouch a portrait!

Have a plan!

Look cautiously at the image on your monitor. Visualize and define what the portrait really needs. After that, create a plan and resume based on it to accomplish the effects you want. Prior preparation is very important to prevent mistakes and guarantee precision in the final product.

Make and take benefit of the layers!

Don’t clone over the base layer, it’s better to make a duplicate and work on it or better yet .. in a blank layer !. That way, you can securely mask and change things without any fear. In case something doesn’t go the way you wanted, you can always do it again without damaging the image.

Use the zoom carefully.

Get closer to make sure everything is fine while you touch up. But do not forget to zoom out at times to have a general view of the photo. When you are very close, you can lose the notion of the defects. A good cloning is characterized by the lack of distinction of these problems when the image is seen in a general manner.

Modify brush sizes

Start with a soft brush, as hard one can leave unwanted lines when the image is enlarged. However, to avoid monotony and achieve greater clarity, try different sizes of brush without hesitation and go retouching by mixing the sizes depending on what the particular section requires that you touch at the time.

Quick skin retouching

My favored tactic is always to touch up, as far as achievable, in a non-destructive fashion, so that I can always get back, reduce or change the retouching.

If you are going to touch up the skin, you should pay attention to the details and not lose patience. Learning from online tutorials, it is very likely that you have come across many tips to touch up easily and quickly. But to be honest, it’s not real to become a skilled editor … neither easy nor fast.

You must devote many hours to read about retouching tips and practice, practice, practice.

Do not forget to check the full picture.

A very common mistake is to concentrate completely on only one area, often the face. You should always make sure to check everything to catch loose hairs, dust spots and marks on the backgrounds, and never neglect the rest of the skin and clothes.

Remember to look at a photograph as a complete image, and never forget to pay attention to the photo as a whole.

Remove or retain character marks.

In portrait photography, the image signifies a person, his personality and his attitude. Nearly all clients ask for the elimination of spots, a mole or a mark. It’s usual, because they want to embellish themselves.

But keep in mind, unless they ask or you ask the client, do not implement extraordinary changes that could change the perception of what that person is.

Concentrate on removing small spots, sunburn or anything that disappears in a short time anyway.

And to finish…

I hope these tips are as useful as they have been for me, the retouching is a process, but with a little patience you can achieve everything you set your mind to! If you feel that you need a little push on your way retouching images, I recommend the Master Retouch Workshop for portrait digital retouching!

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