So you just snapped an amazing portrait and are now ready to edit it so you can publish it on social media or send it to your client. You want it to look amazing . You want it to jump out at the viewer . How are you to achieve this ?
Well , you’re in luck. We’ll be taking a look at the best portrait editing techniques. Read all the way to the end because we’ll be letting you which one is the very best.
Now all the methods that will be discussed here are for Adobe Photoshop users. We think it’s the best software for the most professional results editing any sort of photo.
We will also assume you know a little bit of Photoshop , so this won’t be a tutorial for beginners. Sorry.
Method 1: Imeganomic Portraiture
In the spirit of going from easy to more complicated , we’ll begin with this plugin from imeganomic.
Now this plugin has been around for a few years and made the work of photo editors really easy.
All you have to do is install it into your current installation of Photoshop and you are presented with a 14 day trial version.
The plugin gives you automated retouching options that climb from default, which gives you a smooth image with skin tones set to automatic, all the way to Glamour which gives a really soft and smooth skin with a contrasty look .
It goes without saying that already having a good shot is paramount before you get into post production, and this plugin will really save you on those days where your workload is extremely high, but you don’t have much time to get through it.
Method 2: The Clone Stamp.
The good old clone stamp is probably the first skin retouching technique I learned. It is simple , but greatly effective. I should warn you, this effect is destructive. That is to say, the changes it makes to a layer are actually permanent .
While time consuming , you have a lot more control over the results that are displayed on your image. So here’s how it works.
Step 1: After you load your preferred image into Photoshop , I would advise that you duplicate your image at least once. Always keep a layer of the original image just in case your edits end up damaging the original image.
Step 2: Do your preliminary preparations. That would be your curves ,levels and spot healing adjustments.
Step 3: Now is the time. Select your clone stamp tool . You can do this by hitting S on your keyboard, or selecting the clone stamp tool which should be located between the brush and the history brush tool . Hovering over the tools should tell you what their names are.
I would advise that you set your brush opacity and flow to lower end of the scale. I usually keep them as 35 and 30 respectively , altering them slightly depending on the image I have.
Now hold down the ALT key and left click on an area of skin that you think has a texture and click on a nearby part . Think along the lines of telling Photoshop that you would like the entire image to look like a particular part of your image.
Now patiently continue the process.ALT left Click an area, to pick the texture and tone, then left click to paint a nearby area. Repeat until you’re satisfied.
Do your final tone adjustments and you’re done.
Method 3: Frequency Seperation
I would say this is one of the most popular retouching methods . It’s been around a while now , and it really is effective. Just from the name , you can tell that it is a little bit technical.
What it entails is the editor being able to split the image tones and the image textures and then being able to interact with each independently of the other to end up with a very rich and beautify image. The beauty here is the technique is non-destructive. This means changes can be made even after you are so many levels into the ed
Step 1: After importing your image into Photoshop, duplicate it twice CTRL+J ,and group the two copies you just created.
Step 2: Now in the group , turn the visibility on the top layer in the group off and with the lower layer selected , go to filter , blur, and turn on Gaussian blur. The blur should be just enough that you can’t make out the details in the image but not too much that you can’t view the image itself.
Final step: Re-engage the visibility on the top layer in the group and apply the following.
Go to image, and choose apply image.
Leave the source as it is, and set layer as the lower layer.
Set the blending mode to difference . Leave the opacity at 100%, set the scale to 2 and opacity to 128 , hit ok
You should have a grayish looking Image like if you applied a high-pass filter .Now set it’s blending mode to linear light, and you should be back to the image you started with.
Now, let’s get back to the lower layer (the one with Gaussian blur) . Take a lasso from the tool bar and draw around any area of the skin you want to smooth. Now apply Gaussian blur till the skin looks as smooth as you like. Just don’t go too far. Now repeat the process till your whole portrait is fine.
You can couple all the above techniques with you favorite toning technique and that will be fine.
Thank you for reading.