Just back from Glasgow and before I start posting all the wacky stuff I did up there thought I would get this on. This is Ed my eldest. 5th year med student up in Glasgow. Main reason we went up this weekend was to see him perform at the Universal on Saucihall Lane with his band Santa Lucia, if I can find a link I will post it. Did some videos on the phone, didn't take the camera, well it is Glasgow on a Friday night! Stayed in some apartments in the West End, in fact where this was taken, fantastic place and will put a link on for them as well. Ate and drank too much, ah Guiness and whisky chasers.........
In one of my previous lives I retouched portraits for a big Cheshire Studio and I will now share this technique of retouching with you all.
Open your file and duplicate it, this is the one you will work on. This top layer will be the basis for retouching at 100% volume, and then it is blended in with the layer below. dont forget if you over retouch people lose their character and go all mannequinny, do the retouching full on and change the opacity to blend in the changes with the original.
First up spots moles, extraneous hairs, bogies and dribble, if you clone things out then go back and select the healing brush and go over what you cloned out, this makes any changes smoother and less obvious. Fiddle your opacity to add some character back and merge, take a snapshot in history and then duplicate this merged layer; back to work on the top layer.
Alt clicked a new layer and filled it with 50% grey changed blend mode to soft light. Now I,m going to use this to lighten the shadows under the eyebrows and bottom of the nose. Chose a soft brush and select white and paint the areas on the overlay where you want to lighten, might look a bit scary at 100% but its the area you work on, the final result depends on the opacity you finally have the overlay layer on, fiddle the opacity to suit, merge and take a snapshot, duplicate this layer again.
I always take snapshots when doing this kind of thing as I sometimes run out of history states and can just whizz back to whatever snapshot I want, you can also use snapshots with the history brush if you ever need to paint back stuff that goes awol.
Now on this top duplicate layer I bang in a big gaussian blur, from 20 upwards and change the blend mode to soft light, this will give the image a softer feel without losing sharpness, but it also ramps up the contrast and saturation, so you may have to drop the sat in hue/sat and I tend to use blend if in the layer blending options if you lose shadow detail, you could always use the history brush with a previous state to do the same thing. I add a layer mask to the top active layer and then just paint on it to get the eyes back from the bottom layer, sharpened the bottom layer a touch and merged again and then channel mixed in monochrome, this had a 20/70/10 mix and a final tweak of curves. i have a bucketful of other colour to b/w conversion techniques for portraits but this is what I did today, as ever with Photoshop there are hundreds of ways of ending up at the same place! I,m not saying this is the best way but it works!!!!!
I know all this waffle seems long winded but when you do it, it takes no time at all, honest, no really.
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