Don’t know how to make a perfect glamour post-production? These portrait retouching tips to upgrade your skills in glamour retouching.
The answer is simple: instinctively you will like the person who looks natural. Here the following questions arise, what do we see on the Facebook pages, in the magazines and TV - Natural or retouched beauty? Automatically, we mark two basic objects: smooth, fair skin, its healthy equal color, and probably the most important feature is the expression and clear eyes.
As the present level of the photo-equipment characteristics gets higher and higher, it is simple to distinguish the skin’s microstructure in the photos: very small pores, wrinkles and hairs on a face. All of these add a great quality to pictures, but it is also a problem for the editor.
It means, that on a photo a large amount of imperfections, defects and flaws will be manufactured, that’s why it’s too hard to overcome them without having experience. Skin retouching which doesn’t destroy the artistic feeling and the high-quality color correction is what is necessary here.
A pretty good crowd of photographers not good at removing blemishes on a portrait, go along a standard route — cover the skin using blurring tools. Honestly speaking, this process has nothing similar with professional retouching. The qualified retouchers and professional digital artists categorically don't work with this instrument and don't use filters which destroy the texture.
The general retouching is carried out approximately, with the feeling of a measure, great attention to the details and by paying attention to the main characteristics of the model’s face in a picture. We recommend doing the editing step by step at full oncoming, where the smallest flaws are visible, and in order to correct light, dark and color stains and imperfections which prevent seeing the volume and lines in a level photo.
If the skin has bigger blemishes like scars, zits or birthmarks, then, firstly, it is better to get rid of them. To cope with it the Healing Brush is ready to help.
Healing Brush is the tool for filling of the area in the shot by an advanced, defined cloning source. It’s an important feature and the difference is that the Healing Brush Tool doesn’t just copy a certain area, but it also considers some of the parameters of a source: color, brightness, and lightning conditions and texture.
At this stage you may also use the Clone Stamp tool which retouches only the details similar to the Healing Brush tool. However, the Clone Stamp has one peculiarity: you can change opacity of a stamp and that can't be done with Healing Brush. The more time you spend editing the skin blemishes, the better and more natural your photo will look. If you are going to be called a professional glamour retoucher, you should pay as much attention to this stage as you can.
Generally, eyes retouching consists of the clearing up the excess veins and the redness on the eyeball, strengthening of the make-up and the density of eyelashes, and also fixing the shade of an eye’s iris saturation. If you want to attract the viewer’s attention to your model’s eyes more, add in some contrast, and increase the brightness of the pupils, but don’t abuse photo color correction of the white of the eye: the colorless eyeballs will show the exact work with Photoshop tools which causes some unpleasant feedback.
Let’s talk about the shades of face retouching now. In life they are very difficult to distinguish, but you can see them perfectly in the image. They appear because of the circulation of blood inhomogeneity, and, besides, because of the diverse light reflections from colorful clothes which in their turn, paint the skin in unnatural colors.
For the successful and high-quality color correction all color transitions on a face should be allocated, and also do the same with the separate spots of the one color. After that, being guided by the numbers of RGB channels, correct the skin shades on different parts of the person’s body, and also, don’t forget about the difference between the light and shadow zones in moderation.
One of the most important things is not to forget about the bright flares of light, the shooting conditions and other peculiarities, as each part of the skin has to have its own, unique shade and color.
Having painted the face in one color, you end up with a clay mask instead of a face, and the model will seem artificial. Read about this and other retouching mistakes and how to avoid them at in our previous blog post.
To finish the glamour retouching and receive an eye candy portrait of the person, it is necessary to estimate what volumes and face zones create the temperament of your model’s appearance, which ones should be singled out by the clear-obscure, and which zones should be hidden in the shadow. Your last stage of glamour post-processing should be the portrait stylization by means of color correction — giving slightly unnatural, but fascinating art shades to personify the light and dark parts of a photo.
Fixthephoto has gathered some tools which may help you with light and color editing:
1. Gradient Map - automatically creates the pleasant gradients in the photo, dividing shadows and flares. In this correcting layer there are ready presets, but you may make your own. It works better if you use all of the settings in the Blending Mode - Soft Light or Screen. You can also play with transparency of the layer to achieve a natural effect.
2. Photo filter – is a correcting layer in which there are diverse auto settings. Do experiments and be composed so that your viewer will appreciate your work, all of them are produced by professional editors.
3. Selective Color - allows retouching the defining color of the shot. For example, if Magenta obviously prevails in the photo, you can slightly muffle exactly this shade.
4. Black & White. If to use this layer with 10 - 20% of clarity, you will gain a quite interesting and noble effect. See these retouching examples at to understand how it works. It is better to use it, especially if there are too many bold and bright colors in the images, especially when Magenta and Yellow prevail.
The main task for the retoucher in such types of photo post production services is not to paint a face, but to edit the defects, as it is important to give the face a healthy look and to correct the results of bad lighting.
Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a photographer, photo retoucher and of course, journalist. Here on FixThePhoto blog you can find all of my reviews, photography and photo editing tips, pricing guides, and photography experiments.