December 2020 // The How-to Edition

Retouching for Realistic and Natural-Looking Skin | Angela Marklew

STEP 4. REMOVE DISTRACTING ELEMENTS

Now that you’ve completed the heavy lifting, the remaining steps are fairly simple. When I talk about “distracting elements,” this includes things like cleaning up stray eyebrow hairs, bloodshot eyes, etc. I also use this step to remove any single strands of hair that I find distracting. Keep in mind, this will be a very subjective step, as one photographer’s distracting element may not even register with another photographer. My favorite tool for this step is the healing brush (I will alternate between the healing brush and spot healing brush).

before

STEP 5. DODGE AND BURN

I create a dodge and burn layer to bring up the highlights on the hair, as well as brighten the eyes and teeth. My method typically involves way more dodging than burning, and I almost exclusively only dodge the highlights. When I do use the burn tool, it’s usually to darken the part in someone’s hair or darken their eyebrows slightly, in which case I burn the midtones. In order to keep this from going too far, I leave my exposure set at 10%.

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