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Photoshop portrait effect
Start with a normal white background file. Now using the rectangular marquee tool, place a rectangular box where ever you would like it on the white file, then EDIT>stroke and set the radius to 5-10 for the box line. Change the color to RED for the stroke line.
Now, find a picture of someone that you really, really, like, and turn the photo to black and white. Move the photo into the new file and simply erase the parts of the face except the nose and mouth. Once you just have the mouth and nose areas left, use a much larger eraser tool set (large enough to cover the whole nose area) and set the opacity to maybe 10% opacity and erase as much of the nose as you like, (don't do the mouth yet). Once you get the nose to where you want it, then do this next step for the mouth. Duplicate the photo layer and set this new layer to color mode. Set the foreground color to RED and paint over the lips.

Flatten the layers and save.


Photoshop red eye removal

Photoshop doesn't have a red-eye brush, so here's what I do.

Duplicate the layer and select your new layer.

Go into Channels and copy the green channel into the red channel, which usually eliminates the red. The image will look pretty green.

In Layers, add a layer mask with the button at the bottom of the palette.

Invert the mask.

Everything will be transparent until you use a small white brush to paint on the mask. Make sure you have the layer mask selected as you dab. The eyes will become opaque.

If you want to do it fast, download


Try this..

1. Zoom in on the eye(s) and press "Q" for Quick Mask mode.

2. Paint (in black) over the eye with the brush


3. Once covered in black (which will look red), hit the "Q" button again then hit Select --- Inverse

4. Layer -- New

Adjustment Layer

5. Move the saturation slider all the way to the left.

That's a start anyways. It was taken from Karen

Eismann's Photoshop Restoration and Retouching. There are plenty of other ways to do it though and I'm sure someone

will step in and help. Paul

There is also a PS action


Here's How:

Open the image.

Go to Image > Duplicate and close the original.

In Photoshop 6 or earlier, go to View > New View. In Photoshop 7 go to Window > Documents > New Window. This will open a duplicate window of the same image.

Zoom one of the windows so that you can see the eyes as large as possible. Set the other window view to 100%.

Arrange the two windows so you can see both the zoomed view and the 100% view at the same time.

Create a new layer.

Use the eyedropper to pick up a color from the iris of the eye. It should be a fairly gray tint with a hint of the eye color.

Paint over the red part of the eye on the new layer, being careful not to paint over the eyelids.

Go to Filters > Blur > Gaussian and give it about a 1 pixel blur to soften the edges.

Set the layer blend mode to Saturation. This will take the red out without removing the highlights, but in many cases it leaves the eyes too gray and hollow looking.

If that's the case, duplicate the saturation layer and change the blend mode to Hue. That should put some color back in while still preserving the highlights.

If the color is too strong after adding a Hue layer, lower the opacity of the Hue layer.

When you're happy with the results you can merge the extra layers down.


If you need to darken the pupil area, use the burn tool. It should only take a couple of taps with the burn tool to darken the pupils.

This technique works in Photoshop 4 and up, including Photoshop LE and Photoshop Elements.

Photoshop remove dark eyes racoon eyes

Racoon eyes - quick fix

I'm probably the last to know this, but just in case I'm not alone, I'll pass it along.

I tried several methods to lighten the skin behind my sister's dark glasses, but couldn't come up with a natural look until now.

Here's how:

1. create a new, empty, transparent layer; set it's blending mode to soft light.

2. on the empty layer, paint with a light gray over the sections of the image you want to be lighter (in this case, I used a light gray from her hair)



Another way to do this is to make a copy of the layer. Change the blending mode to screen, add a black mask to this layer (alt/opt) add vector mask. Make selection of the glasses and feather the selection by about 2 pixels depending on the resolution of the image. Change the foreground color to white and turn the opacity and flow way down on the brush. Start painting the mask to lighten the eyes up.

This way I think you have a little more control on how light you want it to be, plus if you go to far you can always paint back with black. I also think the luminosity is a little better.



Photoshop scripting selection coordinates

I have posted this at adobe too so I thought I would put it here
also for the person who is looking for finding selection co-

*********** as posted in the adobe forum *******************

This is a tricky one and I won't post actual code for now but it
works and I have working code that does this. I do feel a need to
say this took me a bit of thinking to sort out but the bell finally
rang one day.

First duplicate your document because you are going to tear it up.

Save the width and height of the duplicated document for later.

Now delete all the layers you don't want to know anything about

leaving only the layer you wish the co-ordinates for. You will note
as you do that the canvas size remains constant and the exposed
areas of the canvas become transparent.

The trim command allows for trimming transparent pixels on the top,

left, right and bottom. That's the trick.

Now do a trim transparent pixels only on the top

docrefDup.Trim psTransparentPixels, True, False, False, False
lVrtPos = lOrigheight - NewHeight (new height after the trim)

Now do a trim transparent pixels only on the left

docrefDup.Trim psTransparentPixels, False, True, False, False
lHrzPos = lOrigWidth - NewWidth

You now have the vertical and horizontal positions of the layer.

Close without saving the duplicated document effectively going back
to your original.

This also should work for the person who wants to know how to

determine selection co-ordinates. Just do a selection inverse then
clear (clearing everthing outside of the selection) and follow the
same trim and calculation.

Keep in mind that text layers have a different vertical position

relative to the top of the layer than non text layers. Text layers

have a vertical position that corresponds to the bottom of the
character (not the drop down portions such as the bottom of a y) but
the bottom of the characters as if they were printed on a lined
sheet of paper.

The vertical co-ordinate of text layers seems to be where the line

is. Therefore this method will not give you the co-ordinates of a
text layer. That's ok though becuase it's a lot easier to get the co-
ordinates of a text layer by:

refLayerText.TextItem.Kind = psParagraphText

Now you can get the co-ordinates of the text layer (by having made
it a paragraph type.

Photoshop sharpen alternative
Another Technique

C:\Documents and Settings\bgb\Desktop\photo_stuff\photography_stuff\Sharpening 101.htm

Another Technique

Original opened in photoshop, then duplicated to form another layer, duplicate layer then sharpened using Unsharp Mask, blending mode of layer changed to Darken, sharpened layer then duplicated, that duplicate layer then set to blending mode of Lighten. Opacity of DARKEN and LIGHTEN layers then adjusted manually to give desired result. This is not my technique but one I found on this forum "somewhere"

Another Technique

Unsharp mask is a great sharpening utility buit is also sharpens the background noise

another alternative is to use the High Pass method which will sharpen the contrasting tetail and leave much of teh noise unsharpened.

1. Create a new layer and call it sharpen

2. Select the Filter -> Other -> High Pass option

3. Select radius of 10 Pixels click on OK

4. In the blending options change the blend mode to "Hard Light"
5. Adjust the Opacity to vary the amount of sharpenung you want in the final image. Usually between 30-70% is about right.

This method will also allow you to return to the image later and readjust the sharpening if you save it as a PSD file.



Another Technique

I have put a bunch of posts and tutorials and the books I have been reading together into the following process for sharpening. I hope it may help someone trying to learn sharpening and, as usual, I would love to hear any suggestions on jimprovements.Unsharpen Mask (USM)

1. Terminology:

a. Amount: amount of sharpening to be applied (0-500%)

b. Radius: width of sharpening line (halo) that is to be applied to highlight edges, e.g. sharpen

c. Threshold: degree of edge distinctiveness required before sharpening will be applied to any specific edge within the image (raise Threshold to reduce application of sharpening to small, unimportant edges and noise)

2. Process:

a. Change screen view to Actual Pixels

b. Press Tab key to clear screen of unneeded tool palettes

c. Open USM dialog box (Filter>Sharpen>Unsharpen Mask

d. Increase dialog box view to 200-300% and center it on area with distinct edges

e. change settings to: i. Amount: 500 ii. Radius:0 iii. Threshold: 0

f. Adjust Threshold up to eliminate excess noise and harshness in areas that should be smooth

g. Adjust Radius up as much as possible without obliterating detail (0-50) h. Adjust Amount to taste (@50-150 depending on size of file)

3. To restrict sharpening to luminosity channel and reduce any color shift, a. Click EDIT>FADE

b. Change Mode to LUMINOSITY and OPACITY to 100%

4. use Sharpening Tool to touch up small but important highlights


Photoshop sky replacement

1) Prepare by getting a replacement sky image ready. Make sure both images (the one with the bad sky and your sky replacement image) are the same size.
2) Open a copy of the image that needs a new sky (never work on the original). Copy and Paste the new sky into your composition and name it's layer "New Sky". The New Sky layer will be on the top so all you'll see in the Image Window will be the new sky. You can close the replacement sky image now, it's no longer needed.
3) Make sure the top layer (New Sky) is active and open it's Layer Style dialog box. There are several ways to do that but double clicking the layer thumbnail (not the layer name) is probably the easiest. In the dialog box, leave the Blend mode set to Normal. In the "Blend If" pull-down menu, make sure that "Gray" is chosen.
4) Using the lower slider named "Underlying", move the left triangle as far to the right as it will go, then slowly back to the left. Continue to move the slider to the left until the new sky completely replaces the old washed out sky. Watch especially, the very tips of any tree branches that extend into the sky area. Your adjustment is critical at this point.
Some of the new sky will probably show in places where you don't want it. Don’t worry about it, you'll remove that in the next step. When you're satisfied with the replacement, click the OK button.
5) If in step 4 above the sky has replaced areas in the picture that you don't want affected, add a mask (white) to the top (New Sky) layer. Now, you can simply paint the unwanted places away with black.

This is new to me but I apologize if old hat to others. Want an easy way to replace white or drab sky even among trees and around objects without making a selection, then try this.

Open image with white or dull sky, Open same size image with good sky. Alternative is open blank image of same size and pixels as original, add gradient and or render clouds to make your own sky.
Copy and paste or drag the original bad sky image into the good sky image as a new layer. Bad sky image should be top layer.

Change mode on upper layer (bad sky) to darken.

Double click lower layer (good sky) to change from BG layer to full layer, dial down opacity to suit.
If there are any details from the good sky image that are showing through that you don't want then make this layer active and paint out the unwanted details with white.
The same for the original image in that if there are grey or dark areas blocking the new sky then paint them out with white on the original layer.

Move the good sky layer around if necessary to just cover the sky areas.

Seems to work great on some images and so so on others depending on lightness and darkness. But when it works it is a time saver.

Thanks to Tim on the Jasc users forum for this tip.

Photoshop straighten an image
Just ran across a useful tip on how to straighten an image. For example if your horizon is not horizontal you might want to use this tip.
Click and hold your cursor on the eyedropper tool until you get a popup menu - choose the measure tool
click once in the image on the horizon (in this example) and drag to the right (i.e. horizontally)
Then choose image - rotate canvas - arbitrary and the correct angle of rotation required to straighten the image wil already entered into the rotate canvas dialogue box.
Photoshop tips

Say your image is entirely underexposed. To to Edit-Apply Image, and change the blend mode to screen. Adjust opacity until it's properly exposed. I've found that those results are almost identical to adding a positive exposure compensation in C1 Pro.


When you need to lighten or darken an area of an image if you select it with a feathered edge, copy the selection to a new layer (control-J) and then change the blend mode of that layer to Screen or Multiply you can achieve the desired result (lightening or darkening) without losing contrast.

Go to Image>Apply Image"

CONTROL > J ===To create a duplicate layer. MODE > SCREEN ===To lighten layer. Then you can adjust the opacity as you wish. This method lets you maintain layers so that you can always revert back to the original picture if you wish, or make other adjustments without affecting the original.


Make a selection, then add a Curves adjustment layer. The Layer Mask will already be set, and you can raise/lower the midpoint, or any other point, to your heart's delight. Want to change the selection? Just edit the Layer Mask.


Photoshop Trimoon Glaze effect
The technique isn't really mine. It's modified from one of Trimoon's tutorials (the first CD), a fuzzy memory, and some stuff I read in one of my books about how old painters used to fill the canvas with dark colored paint before they started work. I put it on top since photoshop seems to work upside down from how painting works (at least to me).

I've got several variations I use for step 2.

It goes something like this:
1. start with an empty layer
2. fill it with color (sometimes I just use dark brown, but lately I've been taking 2 colors from the image (can be light or dark), running render--clouds, then running through impressionist or paint engine (or both), then (sometimes--depends I how it looks) running texturizer
3. add a layer mask and use a grungy brush at low opacity to paint the image back in
4. try different blending modes to see what looks best (linear light seems to brighten and leave the texture behind most often)

It's only a subtle difference, but I like the uneveness it leaves--like the texture under the paint varying by paint thickness.


One of the problems with many of the filters that give such cool effects is that those cool effects lose to much detail. This is one method for keeping the detail and still having the effect.

1. image--mode--cymk

2. go to channel palette. duplicate black channel. turn on the original channels and turn the duplicate black channel off.

3. image--mode--rgb

4. select--load selection--channel--black copy

5. run your art filters (for this example I used impressionist custom preset textured streaky)

6. deselect and proceed as normal. if too much detail has been retained, reselect--select inverse--run a mildly distorting filter (I use VP oil most of the time, but didn't do it for this example).

7. remember to discard the black channel copy before saving (easiest time is after flattening)
The two image attached were run through impressionist with the same settings. One had the CYMK mask and the other didn't.



Weird Effects with Photoshop
My favorite photographer is Justin Grant. His website is

Anyone have any input on this?

Convert to Black and white....

go to channels, goto blue channel,select blue channel, select RGB channel,

go to layers, create layer, paint layer white, blur layer, set layer to overlay

and adjust opacity to how you want it to look, flatten image.
> Okay, I'm good on all this except for the selecting of the

> channels. I go to channels, select blue, and RGB? If I click on

> blue, it selects just the blue channel, but if I touch RGB then all

> the channels are selected again. I musta been sleeping through the

> channels part of my PS lessons!
to select the blue highlights... mouse click on the letters at the blue channel, this will select the channel. now hold down the ctrl key and click on the small icon in the blue channel. You will see just the blue channel highlights are now selected.

Now just click on the letters at the RGB channel and they will all turn back on but the blue highlights will still be selected.

Then go to layers and create new layer, go to the edit pallet, fill, white. This will turn the highlights to white. Now deselect, now blur and then adjust the opacity slider until you get the effect you want. Now change picture to greyscale.
Hope this is a little better explanation
Woops there was a link to a tutorial on this and I lost it...
go to to channels, select blue channel, ctrl click on blue channels small icon to select highlights, select RGB channel, go to layers, create new adjustment layer, edit pallet and choose fill with white, deselect the selection, gaussian blur around 5 or 6, set layer to overlay and adjust opacity, change picture to greyscale, now flatten.
Sorry about losing the tutorial link, I'll try to find it again today. __________________________________________________
Weird effects

Essentially I created a color blend layer and chose a color using the color picker that looked good with this particular shot.

I then created another adjustment layer for Contrast
I played with a couple of different brushes for dodging and burning and this is what I came up with.
It's not perfect but the original image was far from perfect. I wanted to apply this technique to some of my concert shots.. I'll work on it a little more but for now I am happy with the way it is progressing.


1. Copy B channel to R and G channels to form greyscale image.

2. Convert above RGB greyscale image to LAB greyscale image.

3. Copy L channel of above greyscale image to L channel of color original.

(- select B channel of the image (assuming RGB mode)

- "select all"

- copy

- convert to LAB (image->mode->LAB)

- select the lightness channel

- "paste" the b channel from the clipboard into the lightness channel

- covert back to RGB )

Some did not understand my "How I did it". I will try to put very simple.

1. Make one copy in Black and White, blend it to an unedited version of the original.

2. Colorize that image.

3. Polish it up.
thats it!!! You dont follow steps, you never do!! You get the key moves (eg "1-2-3.") and approach them the way you know best.
I mention that the most important was the thought process, not how I got there. Its: "What do you need?""What do I have", and knowing the tools I know, "How do I get there."
If I suggest -Turn a background copy into BW and blend it with a bg copy. dont just follow my steps, or others, blindly.
Turn the image to BW the best way you can. Its not easy. Never use desaturate. There are several ways. I like using Channel Mixer. And I never follow any combination to get a good image, I rather play around with the bars until I see something I like. If you are still having much trouble, just use the channel with best contrast, its usually blue or green.

Colorize the image.

Do you know how to add (enhance) color to an image?

Do you know how to add color to a Black and White image?

Do you know the basics of color theory?


another ...size=big&password=&sort=1&cat=500

My first two attempts were Dragan-ish but the last two have been Dragan inspired. So I have tried to put together my evolving method but there is no ONE method. The picture above was "roughly" done as follows:

1. Got and duplicated images.

2: With one copy I selected the best contrasting channel - in this case the blue channel. This channel was then set up as the grayscale image.

3: Then I selected Duotone mode (actually quadtone in this case)

The first tone was black - The second a "yellowish pantone" The third a "pinkish pantone" and lastly a "bluish pantone" The curves were adjusted to suit along with the shades of pantone.

4: This layer was then highlight and darkened by dodging and burning.

5: Then the layer was sharpened.

At this stage the image looks OK as a toned B&W

6: Then the original image was moved across and the colours saturated.

7: Also the image was blurred a tad.

8: added were a few adjustment layers like hue&Sat, Selective Colour and curves, mainly to give me something to play around with :).
9: The two layers were blended - cannot remember what I finally ended up with as I kept experimenting.
The background of the original was quite light and distracting so I put in a black layer at the bottom of the stack and over that a layer with grey rendered clouds and blended in with the rest.
There was also a top layer of a yellowish-orange colour applied over the top on an overlay blend and a mask sprayed over to get rid of this colour where not needed.
10: Flattened the image (didn't save as a PSD cos I don't like reworking only starting from scratch - I seem to learn more that way) Then duplicated the layer and applied High pass filter on the top layer and blended with overlay at about 40%
Photo white balance coffee cup Styrofoam

Turn on white balance - long button on the side of the lens barrel with WHT BAL over it.

The ONE PUSH icon should be displayed on your screen. The icon is comprised of two triangles and a dot. It looks like a gun sight to me. If a different white balance icon is displayed press the WHT BAL button until the ONE PUSH icon displays.

Place a dry white stryofoam cup over the lens.

Press the small round ONE PUSH button on the side of the lens barrel, the one with the icon over it.

Hold until the WHT BAL icon on the display stops blinking.

The Styrofoam White Balance is now set and stored in the camera's memory.

It can be recalled by turning on the WHT BAL (using the long button), the ONE PUSH icon should be the first to appear on your screen. If not press the WHT BAL button until it does appear.


> How tight around the lens? Off of it to allow light in?

No, so that it covers the lens. The camera will frame the bottom of the cup which will be severely (and usefully) defocused. The idea is that the cup (or whatever) collects, integrates and diffuses the light that will be illuminating the subject (i.e. the light coming towards it). By using a cup shape rather than a flat diffusing screen, better allowance is made for light from the sides, and above and below the main incident light path, e.g. from a strongly coloured wall from which some light is reflected on to the subject as well.

That said, a plane (flat) translucent diffuser can work very well, and many early camcorders had one incorporated in their lens cap for just this purpose. The Sony FD-91 still digicam also had one of these, as you can see here:


Photoshop mask insert people images

Photoshop Tip: Fake Vacation Photos Insert yourself into a photo without using a blue screen.

By Alex Lindsay

A few months ago I showed you how to insert people from one photo into another photo. The original

pictures I used were an African landscape pic and a photo of my kids in front of a bluescreen. Many of you dared, prodded, and pushed me to show you how to move the kids from one image to the other without having a bluescreen to make things easy.

On today's "Call for Help" I'll show you how to do it.

The process in a nutshell To get the job done, I duplicated the Red channel in the picture of the kids (the channel with the most contrast), quickly deleted the outer areas of the background, used Levels to increase the contrast, and fine-tuned the image with Dodge and Burn. Finally, I loaded the channel as a layer mask.
OK, in detail... The whole process involves developing a mask or matte to specify the area of the image you want to work with, preferably using the image rather than by hand, which usually looks too clean.

When you create a matte, you generate a black-and-white image that describes the transparency of a

layer. White = Where the image is opaque. Black = Where the image is transparent. Gray =

Semi-transparent pixels When you create a selection, you draw an image like this but you only

see the border where the marching ants show up.

Of the many ways to create a matte, today we're using the color channels. Each channel represents the amount of a certain color in a photo (red, green, blue, etc). If you can find a channel that looks even a little like the matte you want (white where the image should be opaque and black where it should be transparent), you

can manipulate the image and pull a usable matte out of it. You'll also need contrast between the foreground and background. The more correction you do, the more damage to the edges will occur. Here's how to start building the matte. Look at the color channels to look for the greatest contrast between your foreground (in this case, my kids) and the background (the backyard). Duplicate the layer with the most contrast. We'll use the Red channel. Use the Polygon Lasso Tool to create a Garbage Matte and knock out all the information other than the background bordering your subject (the kiddos). By "knock out," I mean fill the area with black

so you don't need to think about most of the background, just the edges (all that really matters). Click Image, Adjust, Levels and increase the contrast by pushing the white and black points inward. But using Levels won't be enough. Since some areas of the image are more delicate than others, you can't apply corrections to the entire image or it will look unbalanced. The effect will be too much in some areas and too little in other areas. To handle the problem, use the Dodge and Burn tools to push whites up and blacks down gently. While it takes a few minutes to work the whole image, it's an effective way to adaptively adjust the matte.


Printing in duotones, etc.


If you were doing this for a real print job, Use only the Solid Coated colors. The files have to be save in .eps format to go to the printer.

Try applying the Adobe presets for Duotones and Tritones on an image. Observe the differences in one family of color numbers, for instance: Duotone presets; red 485 bl 1, 485 bl 2, 485 bl 3 and 485 bl 4. You have to look at the different effects of each set and open the curves of the color and black to see what is affecting the look. Then try changing the color, but leave the curves the same. Then play with just the black curve to see what happens and so on. Once you go through all that, you'll realize that the combinations are endless.

The point of using Duotones is that on a real press, they would use Pantone colors which are more vibrant and saturated than any CMYK mix. As far as tritones and quadtones, usually the colors are of similar tones like all earth tones. An earthy quadtone would be a light beige, medium brown, dark brown and black. Each color overprints the lighter color and creates a new color from the overlaps. You would print more of the lighter color and less of the darkest color (black). That is where adjusting the curves come in. It is a lot like 4/c process but with different ink colors. Too much of each color gets muddy and each color has to print with different screen angles and dots. Anyway if you are experimenting with 3 or 4 colors, think what color you want the 1/4 tones to be, midtones to be, 3/4 tones to be and shadow detail to be. Then Adjust the curves accordingly of each color to emphasize the color of that areas of the image. If you are just picking colors and don't play with the curves, then it won't really look like anything... I hope this all makes sense.



froggee wrote:

> Thank you for your quick responses :)
> I have a question in regards to this part of your reply:
> > If you were doing this for a real print job, Use only the Solid
> > Coated colors. The files have to be save in .eps format to go to
> > the printer.
> My question is if I were to send my images out to WHCC for printing
> they state this in their requirements:
> Files must be exact size at 300 PPI and in Level 10 Standard JPEG
> format
> Files must be saved in sRGB color space with sRGB profile embedded
> Now if I use multitones will the quality of the image be sacrificed

> in printing being saved in .jpg?

Duotones (so named in Photoshop) is a tool to help create film separations using 1-4 PMS Spot colors of a Grayscale image together to create a multicolor printed image, like a silk screened tee-shirt. It is a tool to help you visualize what 2, 3 or 4 colors may look like when actually printed in those colors.

You are just using the tool to create a colorized B & W image (greyscale) image to send to a Photographic Print Service to print a Photograph, so you need to convert your Duotone file to RGB format and size it to what ever size you want to print: 4 x 6, 8 x 10, 11 x 14, etc. @ 300 DPI, then make sure you work in and save as a sRGB (opposed to Adobe RGB) JPEG file (.jpg) This will give them the proper resolution and format they need to print your image as a color photograph.

Only if you were to print a true Duotone, Tritone or Quadtone, then the file would have to be saved as a Duotone .eps file. That type of printing would be like silk-screen or offset printing where they use metal plates on a printing press to print thousands of copies, like a limited edition Art Print.


> I do appreciate you taking the time to help me. Thank you :)
> BTW, do you have any favorite combinations? Looking for a starting
> point so I can venture out. I have found that playing with the
> curves of the tones does make a large difference on how the image
> comes across. Sometimes the curves change the colors altogether.

I usually start with a Tritone or Quadtone preset, then make adjustments to it. There are lots of other methods and actions to colorize a Black & White that can give you a similar look without ever having to leave RGB mode.

Try downloading Sepiatona by Andy, Duotone Dreams by Dave and Thomas Niemann's Tones and play around with them.

You can download these Actions from here:

Have fun!


I have a tutorial in duotones, tritones, and quadtones. You can find it here.

I also have a set of duotone, tritone, and quadtone presets. My favorites are selenium and bronze. .../PhotoshopTools/TLRImageToner.htm





Shan Canfield – Adding Lip Gloss and Highlights to Hair

-ON GLOSSINESS: I didn't soften anything; I used the original post which was already softened.

For catchlights in the eyes and lip highlights, I create a blank layer on top of everything. Using my wacom with the stylus option set for pressure/opacity I simply use a small airbrush with white and scratch in a few highlights on the bottom lip and also create a white line on the skin above the center lip dip! I then adjust this layers opacity if needed. ON HAIR: Now for the hair I did set a transparent layer to "SoftLight" blending mode and painted with a light beige color with a large softedge airbrush on this layer to "pop" the hair color!

Shan Canfield – Clean Skin Process

CleanSkinFX from:
can do some of the work for you.

shan canfield wrote:
> --I always use what I call digital makeup.
> 1. Create a blank layer above image.
> 2. Select a BIG soft edge airbrush; use a Wacom/sylus pressure or
> lower the pressure for mouse use.
> 3. Sample colors as you paint. Option click [Alt click] in the
> image area to sample nearby or underlying colors as you go. The
> idea is to smooth out the tone and blend it nicely with the natural
> shadows. So you will be sampling various tones of the skin but you
> can also lighten shadows and fill in blown out areas with this
> method. DO NOT worry about "overspray" or if the build up looks too
>'ll fix that later. The most important thing I can tell
> you about this technique is not to use a small brush. Don't be
> afraid of overspraying in order to get a nice airbrushed even tone
> over the skin.
> 4. Once the tone is set, add a layermask to the digital makeup
> layer. Now you can choose smaller brushes to clean up the overspray
> that probably got into eyes hair and clothing. When you think
> you've cleaned up the overspray double check the mask only by
> Option clicking on the MASK thumbnail. This will give you a good
> indication of the areas and how well you masked them.

> 5.Matching the grain.Once this is done, Option click again on the

> mask for regular view. Zoom in on your image to an area that shows
> both your makeup and an area that has none/ Go under
> Filter>Noise>Add noise. Use uniform, choosing monochromatic or not
> is a matter of preference. Add a medium amount so you can target
> the difference and then slide back on it until it matches the
> natural noise or grain of the image. Click OK.
> 6. Here's the last step....Lower the opacity on the makeup layer so
> some of the underlying tones etc are slightly visible. Click the
> eye on/off for the makeup layer to determine what looks best.
> 7. You can add multiple digital makeuplayers. For example if my
> model had wisps of baby hair on the forehead, I would had another
> layer and apply the above mentioned technique but I wouln't lower
> the opacity of the layer...because I want to cover this area.
> I've used all the other methods of Blur/mask and cloning and
> history etc. I've been doing retouching since 1999 and find the
> digital makeup is the most efficient...I used to be a painter and I
> also have done some "real" airbrushing so I'm not really
> intimidated by this procedure. I've tried teaching my students and
> some of them who profess they are not artists seem to have
> difficulty mastering this....but it's gawd awful easy if you just
> loosen up. You can't hurt're on a separate layer.
> Anyway have fun!
> Shan
> Visit the home for Photoshopaholics at

Pro Tips for Efficient Workflow Part ONE

By Will Crockett   last updated July 2004

Digital photography has brought the creation and production of high quality photographs within reach of many serious amateur shooters around the globe.   These shutterbugs have countless hours to spend “playing” with files to make prints and seem to enjoy these pixel moving exercises.   Professional photographers who waste time with this “fix it in Photoshop” mentality soon find themselves dreading the process or worse – they find themselves out of business.   Pros need to be efficient and productive in their workflow so they can create high quality images without spending 20 minutes patching or preparing each file to yield a full tonality print.

What is efficient digital workflow?   It's the practice of creating, processing and outputting digital files to make clients happy in the least amount of time possible, and it's the real reason pros convert from film to digital – because digital is so much more efficient.

During the past two years, I've been in constant contact with the pro community through my seminar tours, DVD's and Shootsmarter website and have learned a lot from the masses of photogs on what they need, want and expect from their own digital workflow.   Through this interaction, I've discovered the most efficient way to make images flow through various workflows and here's a set of professional grade tips to help you do the same...

Tips on Camera Settings:

Tip A1: Try to get your standard studio images to look good using your cameras' “standard” color, tone and sharpness settings.   That way when you need a little more color of a little less contrast – you've got it right at your fingertips.


Tip A2: Custom white balance / grey balance rules!   This will neutralize out the color shift in your light sources and give you remarkably accurate color rendition.   Use custom as often as possible in your workflow.


Tips on File Prep and Processing:

Tip B1: Flashmeters are the fastest, easiest and most accurate method of determining exposure.   And no matter what you've been told, they work by using the dome under the chin pointed into the lens for measuring mains and fills.  It's actually written in the instruction manual.The sooner you realize that, the sooner all your exposure troubles disappear.

Choose one of our recommended meters for best results, and here's some more metering tips if you like.


Tip B2: We can confirm proper skin tone exposures not by eyedroppers and RGB values in highlights and shadows, but by the facemask histogram. It's what your lab probably uses. Learn it and love it – it works!


Tip B3: Gotta profile your monitors, it's the only way to get true color and tone on-screen.   We've tested all the photo-grade monitor profiling kits and click here for the best of the bunch.I don't mean to scare you, but if you are not profiling with one of these recommended kits – you're behind the rest of the crowd.   Time to catch up.   : )


Tip B4: Try to use the D65/6500K white point and a gamma (contrast) of 2.2 when profiling your monitors,even on a Mac.   Why?   Because both the sRGB and the Adobe RGB color spaces are build on D65 and gamma 2.2 so you will get better print to screen matches.   Only those of you with Apple Cinema Displays will have to use gamma 1.8 to profile your monitors because 2.2 just won't work.

Tip B5: Solid state LCD / TFT monitors are great but not as accurate as the tube type CRT monitors.  You really need to have at least one tube type monitor in your studio as a "reference" monitor to see all the files color and contrast accurately to make critical decisions.  Even if you profile the best TFT screen with the best profiling kits, it's just not as accurate as a $350 CRT monitor profiled with a $250 kit.


Tip B6: 16 bit is GREAT when you need to capture subtle color differences in the subject, or when you need to make major adjustments to files.   What is considered as a “major” adjustment?   Any slider in Photoshop that moves more than 20%. Test it and see?



Tips for Portrait/Wedding/Senior Photography:


Tip C1: JPEGs are the format of choice because of their speed as long as you have a handle on exposure control. Yes RAW will yield a better image, but for this type of work there's very little difference from your customer's perspective when looking at 20x24's and smaller from most pro digital camera files.   Personally, we have no problems with 4.6M jpeg's created from our S2's going up to 30x40 – those of you who have seen my programs will most likely agree.


Tip C2:Sharpen in the camera for most images.   Special large prints or big group shots may benefit from sharpening in post processing, so turn sharpening to low or off and sharpen to your liking in Photoshop or we prefer Nik Sharpener Pro for all our sharpening tasks.


Tip C3: sRGB only.   Your lab wants sRGB. Your calibrated monitor displays (kinda) sRGB. Your labs' prints have a gamut that is substantially less than sRGB. Your inkjet printer does have portions of it's gamut that exceed sRGB (very saturated yellows and cyans) but it really doesn't matter to the wedding/portrait senior shooter.  Why? Just about every image this type of shooter will create will never have one pixel outside of sRGB.   No kidding.   Custom input profiles for this type of work are a HUGE mistake, stick with sRGB and make money.

More on sRGB /Adobe RGB.


Tips on Commercial / Editorial Photography:


Tip D1: JPEG is just fine for many images going to offset, but I think the RAW file processed to TIF is the way to go for more industrial or product oriented subject matter.   If you can spare the time, RAW is the default format of choice processed by the manufacturers software for the best quality, or use the Photoshop Camera RAW processor for speed, or we like the CaptureOne software from PhaseOne for both quality and speed.


Tip D2: Best bet is to set the in-camera / RAW processor sharpening to low or off and let the pre press folks sharpen as they see fit.


Tip D3:This is the Adobe RGB world here, no sRGB or custom input profiles unless the prepress folks requested it that way.   Adobe RGB rules the graphics / printing world so make it easy on your client and give them what they want. More on sRGB /Adobe RGB.


Tips on Landscape / Architectural / Fine Art Photography:


Tip E1: Let's face it, film is still king here.   But if digital is your thing, then shoot RAW files processed to TIF. For processing, use the manufacturers software for the best quality, or use the Photoshop Camera RAW processor for speed, or we like the CaptureOne software from PhaseOne for both quality and speed.


Tip E2: Best bet is to set the in-camera / RAW processor sharpening to low or off and let the pre press folks sharpen as they see fit.


Tip E3: Custom input profiles will neutralize your camera, lens and files settings to their most accurate state and were designed for this type of work.   They are a real pain to create and maintain for most of us but they will actually save time in the long run. Contact my pals at for help making input profiles.  If custom input profiles are beyond your comfort zone, then stick with Adobe RGB.


CLICK HERE to go to part TWO for print tips:

-through a Portrait/wedding/seniors lab.

-through a Commercial or Fine Art Lab.

-and (of course) in-house.


-Will Crockett

Pro Tips for Efficient Workflow PART TWO

By Will Crockett   last updated July 2004

Part ONE of this article covers camera settings, file processing, and job type specific workflow production tips.  Now here's more info on outputting your files...

Tips on Printing:

Tip F1: All printers are 8 bit, there are no 16 bit printers.   None. 16 bit file editing is great when you need to make some rather major adjustments, but you'll have to scale the file back to 8 bit for all the common printing techniques.

Tip F2: Re-saving JPEGS as JPEGS is just fine assuming you start off with a quality file. Believe no one on this – not even me.   Test it yourself as we do “live” in my programs and see for yourself.

I have no problem shooting a book cover portrait for an author in JPEG mode, opening it up for retouching and resaving it as a JPEG in quality level 12.   There's only miniscule recompression damage that most of us cannot identify. So for my portraits with up to 10 people in frame or so, JPEG all the way is cool.  But, if I shoot a group of 12 board members for an annual report in JPEG mode, I'm going to save that as a TIF to eliminate any possible trouble.   More to come on this topic.


Printing through a Portrait/wedding/seniors lab:

Tip G1: Lab printers will make prints from 8bit RGB files whose pixels fit inside the sRGB color space.   Even if your lab accepts files in Adobe RGB, they convert them into sRGB THEN again into the specific space for their printer.   We don't want to re-convert files, so use sRGB. Ask your portrait / wedding lab for the color space they prefer?


Tip G2: Converting images to B&W?   Use the gamma 2.2 settings if you plan to print through your portrait/wedding lab because they drive their printers with PC's that process in the gamma 2.2 range.


Tip G3: Order entry software like ProShots, StudioMaster Pro, PreviewPro and lab-specific software is the way to go!   It's fast, easy, and usually saves you money.   Most of this software is PC only so MacHeads (like me!) need to adopt the Windows environment into our workflow.   XP Pro is very Mac-like as compared to previous Wintel OS's so give it a try?   No whining now.   :   )


Tip G4: Soft proofing into your portrait labs output profile is just about always a waste of time.   Labs that distribute their output profiles do it only to pacify those that think they need it.   Focus your energy on making better files instead of patching bad ones and let the pros at the lab print your professional files. And if your lab is having trouble printing your premium quality 8bit sRGB files - fire them.  There are LOTS of labs out there looking for shooters who know how to create premium files.  ; )


Printing in-house:

Yes, Ink jet prints are photographs and I have no problems believing that a quality inkjet print made on quality materials will last a long time - longer than some traditional silver based prints under realistic viewing conditions.   If you are interested in creating prints with long life, and I hope you are concerned about that, you have two "mainstream" choices: Fuji Crystal Archive prints, or Epson UltraChrom prints on Epson paper. Those are the two printing mediums that appear to have proven that they will in  fact last a "lifetime".


If your customers object to the gloss differential on inkjet prints, laminate them – but make sure they are good and dry before you do.


“Canned” or stock printer output ICC profiles available on the manufacturers website are sometimes good, sometimes not so good. Most printers will benefit from a custom output profile.


Custom output profiles for your printer are not cure-alls that patch up problems created earlier in the digital file capture process.   They will not make a bad print good; they will make a good print GREAT though. All they do is perfect or linearize the color / grayscale of the printer to it's printing materials.   Don't worry about custom output profiles until you can make a good print using the stock profiles.   One step at a time!


There are no concrete rules on rendering intents and a properly profiled monitor will show you the different intents and their result.   The general guidelines are:

-Use Perceptual to print to inkjet printers for portraits and some non-portrait prints.   OK to use relative colorimetric if you like.  Your monitor should reveal the difference.

-For sending files to the lab, stick with relative colorimetric unless your shadows are really blocked up, then switch to Perceptual to open them up.

-Use Relative Colorimetric when printing to a Pictrography or Kodak Dye sub printers unless your shadows are really blocked up, then switch to Perceptual to open them up. -Don't be afraid to use Absolute or Saturation on some color –specific (non-photographic) files?   It's OK to experiment!

Printing through a Commercial or Fine Art Lab:

Anything goes (I LOVE commercial labs!).  PLEASE contact the lab before the job and ask them what they need to make a great print.  They know their gear better than you do so please take their advice?  We do, and have some really terrific prints hanging in our studio because of it.

Final Tips:

The conversion from RGB to CMYK is a violent one-way trip.   If your client asks for CMYK files – be worried.   No “real” offset printer wants you to convert unless you do it to THEIR specs which means knowing the proper CMYK color space, the dot gain, the TAC (ink limit), sep type (CGR or UCR) etc.   This is really a job for a professional prepress person.

Color negs were never meant to be scanned therefore scanning them is rather difficult.  Lab grade scanners cost $42K and up and do a really terrific job of scanning and have unbeleivable software designed for the sole purpose of neg scanning so instead of spending countless hours messing around with scanning your negs on a $700. scanner only to make mediocre scans, send them to a portrait / wedding lab and have the scans made there for $6?

I know all this digital stuff gets to be a little daunting, but don't worry.  Everyday the digital products get better and easier to use.  We'll bring you all the info you need on our website an in our hands on digital classes at ShootSmarter University.  Join us for a class?


-Will Crockett

sRGB vs Adobe RGB: The Truth

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