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Monte Zucker shows how to retouch a female portrait using Photoshop.
Tags:Post Production Work on a Female Portrait,female basic pose,monte zucker,portraiture,retouching portraits,retouching portraits with photoshop,software cinema
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As you can see, I’ve got four files from our recent shot here, pictures of Kathy, Ashley and Ben. And I'm going to describe for you some of the post production work that I do regularly on each of my pictures. So, we’ll open up Kathy’s first picture. I'm going to use the embedded profile and I’ll just say okay. I’ll bring it into the center. Usually, when I'm working, I’ll hit he F key to clear out everything that could be a distraction. If you hit again, of course it goes black but will bring it back to the normal screen so you can see the percentage. Let me show you now the pallets that I've got that I normally work with. Layers of course, channels, history and actions and I've got that set up to come up there just every time I open up a picture in Photoshop. So I’d like you to write down the steps one at a time in advance so you know that I have a plan. The first thing I do for my post production is to go image, adjust border level and that will usually made some adjustments to that. Then I’ll go image, adjust, and shadow highlights.
The next step I’ll do is retouched the photograph, I’ll find if there are any areas, small areas that need be darkened or lightened. So I’ll do a little burning and dodging in a very special way. I’ll do some soft focus, a little bit of venieting, and that’s the way I have my finished portrait finished. So what we’re going to do is we’ll start out by making a duplicate background layer. You may have shortcuts to do it. I'm just simplifying in here be showing you everything here. And I’ll go image, adjust auto levels just the way we talk about it. I look at the picture and see if I like it. Sometimes, I like it the way it is. Sometimes, I’ll go back and make it maybe 50%. So I think Photoshop sometimes over does it a little bit.
Let’s just flatten that out and we will keep it simple. You’ll see each step along the way. Now I'm going to go image, adjust, shadow highlights. We’ll do that on a special layer so you’ll see image, adjust, shadow highlights, and watch what happens to the dark areas of the picture. It’s opened them up just a little bit and that’s because I've set my default for shadows at 13, leaving the highlights at 0, then I’ll save it to this default and I’ll say okay. Let’s see what happened before. This is before, and this is after. I may want it all perhaps to define or refine the levels just a little bit, so I’ll go adjust levels. I’ll just use the shortcut on that and I've darken the skin tone just a tinny-tiny bit.
And now, I've got a good separation of both sides of the nose there and the reason I like that is because it gives it a three dimensional effect. Let’s make this picture a little bit larger. I'm just bringing it up so I can see more what I'm doing. And on this layer, I'm going to do start my retouching. So I think I’d better look at it even larger, maybe even up to a 100% so I can really see what I'm doing because I saw some hair here and a little highlight. I don’t know what cause that but I don’t like the light area here and this hair on her forehead. So I'm going to go into here and I'm going to use the patch tool under the healing brush. And I’ll jus circle this little highlight here, pull it over and get rid of it. I’ll do the same thing with this dark piece of hair here, circle this, pull that area over and I want to match the tone as much as I can and see where we are, maybe just a touch more here.
I’m very pleased with that. I'm going to look over the rest of the picture and see if there are any little small areas that I might want to get rid of. And this a particularly good area to do a spot healing brush. If I see a little blemish like this, I can just come into here and it disappears. I'm using a wacom tablet so the pressure on it will expand just a little bit. I'm going around just looking for a little small blemishes and getting rid of it in that way. It is so easy with that spot healing brush. I'm happy with that so I'm going to make one more layer and this time we’re going to go at 50% because this is where I'm going to do most of my retouching and I want somebody original to come through. I'm going to work of course with the healing brush at 50% and I usually start always using a soft edged brush in the center of the eye and work out. So I'm going to pick up from here and just go right along the bottom of the eye. Alright, I'm pleased with that; I’ll pick up from here and just soften that area. Pick up at this part of the eye and come around to the side of it. Let’s see before and after. I'm pleased with that. I'm going to flatten it just so I can see where I am and keep everything working simply.
I want to do a little bit of work on the eyes but not overdo it so I’ll make a duplicate layer and I'm going to use the burn and dodge tool. I'm going to use the dodge tool at the highlights at 10 or 12 percent and just briefly, easily get the eyes a little bit white. I don’t want to over do the eyes. I’ll take the mid tones still at a 10 or 12 percent and maybe pick up a little bit inside the eye and the color but I can easily wash out the dark area of the eye. So now, I’ll burn in the shadowed area or both of the eyes. And so, what I'm doing is defining the eyes. Here is before and after. It looks really natural like that so I'm very pleased about it.