Good Morning everyone! I hope that you had a fantastic weekend! I spent some time with my family, took a much needed break from the computer and just got to RELAX! That doesn’t happen very often, but it sure was nice to have my mama fuss over me a little and make me some great meals and we even got to work in the garden a little!
Of course, relaxing a little let me think about a fun tutorial to bring to you today and it is one that I use on almost every portrait I shoot. Smoothing or softening skin turns your photos from snapshots to truly beautiful portraits. I use this method a lot on my fair skinned girlies because they tend to have blotchy skin in the Texas heat, but it is great for smoothing those wrinkles and helping with acne!
I’ll be working with this image of my beautiful daughter Rachael. She has been a subject of many of my tutorials, mainly because she lets me take her photo more than the others do! This spring, I took her out on a warm day to take her birthday pictures and she, of course, got a little splotchy on her cheeks and nose. The picture is OK on its own, but smoothing her skin will make it look even better!
Open the image that you want to adjust and duplicate the image by hitting CTRL+J on your keyboard. It is VERY important that you duplicate the image and NOT work on the original…just in case you make a mistake! By working on a duplicate, if you make a mistake, you can trash it and start all over. The same can’t be said if you make a mistake on the original. Always…ALWAYS… duplicate the background layer!It is a good habit to get into!
Select the duplicated layer (Layer 1 or Background copy) in the Layers palette and locate the layer blend mode option in the top left corner of the Layers palette (under the word Layers). The drop-down box is currently set to “Normal” as its default mode. Click on the arrow to the right of the word “Normal” to bring up the different layer blend modes.
Select Overlay from the list
Once you change the blending mode to Overlay, you’ll see an increase in both the contrast and color in your image. Don’t worry if the color looks off, we will fix that in a minute!
Select the top layer (Layer 1 or Background copy) then go to Filter>Other>High Pass.
Once you select High Pass, the High Pass dialog box, will open. The High Pass filter looks for details in an image and then sharpens only the edges in the photo while leaving the rest of the photo untouched! However, I want to use it to my advantage in this instance, and do the exact OPPOSITE with this filter! In order to do that, however, I need to begin by setting my Radius value in the dialogue box to between 6-10 pixels, depending on my resolution. The higher the resolution of my picture, the higher the radius value in my box. Since my resolution on my photo is 300, I am going to set my radius to about 10 pixels.
Click OK to accept changes and exit out of the dialogue box.
Now, I want to add a mask to the newly inverted layer by clicking on the “Add Layer Mask” icon at the bottom of the Layers Palette.
Your layer 1 or background copy should now have the mask attached but no changes will be able to be detected on your photo.
Next, we need to invert the LAYERS MASK by clicking on the white square next to the thumbnail and pressing CTRL+I to invert the mask.
Your mask will appear black and your photo will no longer look blurry. Now we need to “paint” on the softening effect to the photo. Select the paintbrush from the tools palette and set your foreground color to white since the layers mask is black. I generally choose a medium sized brush set to between 40-50% hardness. Change the opacity of the brush to 40%.
Here is my completed photo.
And that is it! Smooooth Sailing! You can do this in your projects that needs a little bit of retouching.
Hope you all have a great week, and I will see you right back here next Monday!