Digital Toolbox: How-to Edit Portraits | Popular Photography

Digital Toolbox: How-to Edit Portraits

Flatter your friends with four easy Photoshop tricks for prettier portraits.

Digital-Toolbox-How-to-Edit-Portraits

Digital-Toolbox-How-to-Edit-Portraits

If you want people to pose for you, it helps to give them pictures of them looking their best. Or even slightly better than their best. Here are four quick tricks to raise the self-esteem of your friends, family, or paying customers.

Once you get the hang of it, the process shouldn't take more than 10 minutes -- depending, that is, on the amount of flattery you think they need. I'm using Adobe Photoshop CS3 to do this, but it will work with previous versions. Elements users can try my tricks for the eyes, smile, and wrinkles, but you'll need layer masks (only available in Photoshop itself) to smooth the skin.

Click here for tutorial steps.

More of Debbie Grossman's Photoshop tutorials can be found in the Digital Toolbox archive.

All-Over-Skin-Smoothing-Step-2-Go-to-Filter-Bl

All-Over-Skin-Smoothing-Step-2-Go-to-Filter-Bl

*Step 2*Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Set the radius to 50, and click OK.

All-Over-Skin-Smoothing-Step-3-Now-add-a-black-l

All-Over-Skin-Smoothing-Step-3-Now-add-a-black-l

*Step 3*Now add a black layer mask to the Blur layer. Holding down the Alt key (Option on a Mac), click the Layer Mask button (circled).

Bright-Eyes-This-trick-kills-two-birds-with-one-s

Bright-Eyes-This-trick-kills-two-birds-with-one-s

This trick kills two birds with one stone -- it brightens the iris and whitens the whites of the eyes.*Step 1*Zoom in so you can't see much except the eyes. Choose the Adjustment layer button from the Layers palette, and select Curves.

Bright-Eyes-Step-2-Hold-down-Ctrl-Command-on-a

Bright-Eyes-Step-2-Hold-down-Ctrl-Command-on-a

*Step 2*Hold down Ctrl (Command on a Mac) and click on a bright part of the white of one of the eyes. Then use your keyboard's up arrow key to raise that point on the curve.

Bright-Eyes-Step-3-Now-hold-down-Ctrl-Command

Bright-Eyes-Step-3-Now-hold-down-Ctrl-Command

*Step 3*Now hold down Ctrl (Command) again, but this time click on a darker part of the iris. Use the down arrow to lower that point on the curve. Then click OK.

Bright-Eyes-Step-4-Since-we-made-an-adjustment-l

Bright-Eyes-Step-4-Since-we-made-an-adjustment-l

*Step 4*Since we made an adjustment layer, there's already a mask. Fill it with black by making sure that black is your background color, and holding down Crtl (Command) + Delete.Now hit B to get a brush, and paint the eyes to reveal your adjustment.

Pearly-Whites-Step-2-As-in-Bright-Eyes-step-4-f

Pearly-Whites-Step-2-As-in-Bright-Eyes-step-4-f

*Step 2*As in Bright Eyes step 4, fill the layer mask with black, and use a brush to reveal your whitened teeth. If you brightened them too much in step 1, just lower the layer's opacity.

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