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The 5 min Photoshop Retouch

There are few things i hate more than a snapshot of myself….my nose looks large, my eyes are non-existent, and my face is round.  Snapshots don’t usually get the pro retouch…but I really like my friends and would like to keep them as friends…so I do the 5 min retouch on my snapshots.
I had my husband take this image of me right after I woke up..no make up…no coffee… I’m sorry if you get scared..but why not start with the worst….

use the spot-heal brush to remove any dots

Next comes the teeth. Most of us have some yellow tones on our teeth (darn my addiction to coffee!) so,from the bottom of the Layer palette click the black and white icon (1) and choose  Color Balance

Up the blue slider a bit.  Because yellow and blue are opposites on the color wheel they cancel each other out .

Add a mask, inverse it (ctrl or Cmd + I. Using white as the foreground color, paint back in the teeth so they are white ( you may end up lowering to opacity of the layer too)

I often add a brightness/contrast layer with a layer mask and erase the teeth, I do this in the same way as creating the Color balence.

Eyes are the next step. Follow the step I outlined in the article Make Them Shine right here on TipSquirrel.com a little while ago.
Here is where those drawing classes I had to take in school come in handy (don’t worry I got a ‘mercy C’ in drawing). I can make my face look thinner with the Burn tool and my under eye circles almost disappear with the Dodge tool.
If you’re happy so far, merge all the layers by choosing “Merge visible” from the flyout menu in the layers Palette. Then Ctrl or Cmd+J to make a new copy of this layer to work on as the next steps can be very distructive and take a little practice.

I burned around my face, my forehead, and the bridge of my nose. Now I use the dodge tool on a new layer to create a triangle under my eyes…this helps lighten those REALLY dark circles..and gives the illusion of a lift. The trick here is to use a very low opacity brush, less than 10%, and be patient!

here is a sample of where I burned (black) and dodged (white)

and here is the before and after.. not a HUGE difference…not bad for being awake for 5 mins, no make up and a simple snapshots.  Keep your friendships, and spend a couple minutes re-touching before you post a snapshot!

About Andie Smith (10 Articles)
Andie Smith is a Dallas-based freelance photographer, specializing in editorial and fine art photography. Andie’s favorite artistic expression has always been photography. As a child, she fell in love with the art while vacationing with her family. Even now, when she looks at those photos, she is instantly transported back in time to experience those moments again – the sights, the sounds, the smells, the people. It is Andie’s hope that her photography evokes a similar response in all her clients. She realized photography was more than just a hobby while studying graphic design at The Art Institute – Dallas. Andie knew she had the skills to succeed as a photographer, so she jetted off to southern Florida where she studied photography at The Art Institute – Fort Lauderdale. Andie’s favorite photography subjects are aircrafts and Americana (especially main streets).
Contact: Website

4 Comments on The 5 min Photoshop Retouch

  1. Hi Andie,
    First off, I hope your self criticisms were in jest because your face looks lovely and you should be very happy with it!
    Now to business. I took the liberty of saving your “before” shot, and put it through Portrait Professional. Took 7 minutes. You can see the result here: http://remektek.info/tipsquirrel/asmith-tstips-4040-before-200x300_pp.jpg
    Email me if you get this, and tell me what you think of the resulting pic.
    Have a great day!

  2. ps: forgive me for the image quality, but it was done with a very low res sample.

  3. Hi Paul, thanks for your feedback.

    Portrait Pro is a clever piece of kit but doesn’t allow for adjustments after the fact like layers do with Photoshop. There’s also the depth of control PS allows. In my opinion, your image looks over done and looks like it has been manipulated, using Andi’s technique the difference is very subtle. Someone once told me, the better you are the less people should know.

    Andi says in her intro that this is a technique she uses on snapshots of her friends, not a glamour shoot. I would be very careful using PP on shots of your friends, they may be offended that you thought they needed it.

    Finally, Portrait Pro has taken your image as a whole and adjusted the background, which means Andi’s fence is a an odd angle, so more work needs doing to straighten it.

    Anyhoo… Like I say, PP is a great piece of software, but I’ll stick to just PS for now 🙂

  4. the cool thing about photoshop are there are 5billion ways to do the same task. Thanks for sharing yours!
    I wanted to show how quick you can do a quick retouch to snapshots without any extra plug in.s

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