Photoshop Tutorial To Enhance Photos and Still Keeping Skin Pores
Clients that attend bridal studios or professional photographers want to look good in their photos. But they also want to look real. They want to look like themselves (but with a few enhancements).
They did not have the ambition to look like models in magazines but unrealistic when compared to them. Reducing or minimizing (not removing completely) some of their flaws, like wrinkles, dark circles, or moles, and improving their best qualities, like the color of their eyes or hair, is the basic use of Photoshop.
Using too much Photoshopping is not only unnecessary, but what’s worse is that the valuable expressions captured in the moment by the photographer are erased in Photoshop when the smile lines or wrinkles are removed. Some easy to follow tutorials result in blurry (pore less, featureless) skin.
However, some really good tutorials are hard to follow, with many complicated steps. Here is a simplified guide on How to Get Your Photos Enhanced Without Having To Learn All The Tools In Photoshop.
1. Open the image in Photoshop
Duplicate the Background layer by dragging the background layer to the small symbol new layer on the bottom right of the Layers palette.
Still on the duplicated layer, use the Stamp tool to reduce the most visible flaws. Use the alt key to pick the sample (use the closest color of the skin), then stamp on the skin we want to improve. For dark circles combined with wrinkles, stamp only at the edges to smooth the difference. The less you use the stamp the better. Usually I use a relatively big brush, but with low opacity. For an unwanted spot, use the right size, just enough to cover the spot with a higher opacity.
4. Duplicate the Background Copy Layer5. Blur Current Layer with Gaussian Blur
Radius 1.5 Pixels
6. Add Noise To It
Move current layer (Background copy 3) below Background copy 2.8. Click On The Mask Tool
And use the black brush (in mask mode) to reveal the layer underneath, which is the smoothed version. Leave the eye brows, eye lashes, eyes, and lips, outlines untouched.
9. If The Dark Circles Are Too Dark
Use the square tool to select the eyes, copy and paste to a new layer. Use the Levels option (Ctrl+L) to lighten the skin around the eyes.
10. Apply A Mask On The Eyes Layer
And use a brush to remove the edges and the inside of the eyes. Now you can see that the skin under the eyes is the same brightness as the other part of the face.
11. Repeat (optional)
If the face is not smooth enough, feel free to duplicate Background copy 3, and repeat step 5 with a higher number, followed by step 6. Adjust the opacity of the layer until the result is satisfying. The lower the opacity, the closer it is to the actual picture.
12. Duplicate The Layer For The Hair Enhancement
Use levels to enhance the brightness and contrast of the hair. Pay no attention to the face: it has no effect because we will use this layer for the hair only.
13. Move The Hair Layer One Backwards
Apply mask and brush on the face layer to reveal the enhanced hair.
14. Repeat 12 and 13 With The Eye Color and Brightness
15. That’s it
Now you have a natural-looking photoshopped picture.
People in the ‘real world’ (particularly women) want to look natural. The above techniques will help you achieve this whether its your own photo or someone else’s. Noise is a good tool to replace skin pores in a small to medium size images.