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Proper retouching methods?

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  • Proper retouching methods?

    I'm in the process of hauling my butt up the learning curve to learn how to retouch images properly, at the pixel level, so I can get my photography all the more close to the level that I want. I'm kinda stumped though, and could use a kick in the right direction.

    Right now, I'm using the healing brush or patch tool to get rid of the larger imperfections, but I'm kinda stuck as to which direction to go when it comes to dodging and burning. Do I use the dodge/burn tools as is, or should I be using the paint brush with different blending modes???

    I know everyone has different ways of doing it, but any advice you can lend or any tuts you could link would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    Re: Proper retouching methods?

    A more time-consuming approach, but one which gives far less artificial looking results is described in Ronald Tan's Basic Pixel Level Dodging and Burning Tutorial MM thread . Another guide is Christos’ Understanding Skin Retouching Regarding LIGHT thread . A more detailed guide from Glitterguru (Suzette Troche-Stapp) goes through this and more.

    Check out those links for some serious insight.


    • #3
      Re: Proper retouching methods?

      Thanks Julian! I'll definitely check those out.


      • #4
        Re: Proper retouching methods?

        Also check this one for some tips as well.


        • #5
          Re: Proper retouching methods?

          All good links from Julian. And you're right, everyone has different ways.
          I'm surprised a little that you're using the healing and patch tools, to what sounds like a large degree. In photograph retouch they are generally not needed much at all. There are many ways to remove tiny unwanted textures or shadows without them, at least not in their "normal" blending modes.

          You may want to also find some reading material on how Photoshop represents image data. It will enlighten you as to why each tool is there and why they work the way they do. It will help you target in your mind before-hand what to do, rather than just trying to memorize what tool to use and how to use it. Get familiar with PS channels, luminance, high-bit data, etc. All of these things will provide you additional tools to tackle your photos and minimize your workflow. I know this sounds a bit fuzzy, but it is hard to explain in a thread.

          Good luck !


          • #6
            Re: Proper retouching methods?

            Thanks Tommy! When I say I'm using the healing and patch tools, I mean I'm using them to clean up larger blemishes. After those are clear, is when I really want to dig in with the D&B, layers, blending, etc. I'm actually toying around with am image as I'm typing this (thanks for interrupting!) with different paint brush settings in a soft light 50% gray layer. I'm liking the results so far. Now, I just need to get a tablet...


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