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Portrait Retouching in Lightroom 1

Let's get started talking about
portrait retouching in Lightroom. There are hours and hours of retouching
lessons that you can find and theories and philosophies on retouching in Lightroom and
Photoshop and other programs. I am going to go over retouching
lightly, but I am also going to touch on the different intentions of
retouching. Portraits are almost always retouched – it is rare that you won't do a bit of retouching… …and for glamour photos you
might get kind of extreme! With this portrait of Ignacio – which
is already quite lovely – I'm going to start with some basic retouching that
you might do for any photo, and then… do a little bit of some glamour
retouching. Of course, Nacho is a young handsome man and he looks great in the photo. I also have to mention that we did some beautiful lighting when we made this portrait.

This is a very soft Rembrandt light with a beautiful hair light on the back. The light itself is very good the portrait is good – this is pretty much just out of camera. The only thing I've done to it is crop. We are starting with something very strong and that's ideal, of course! The first thing we want to do with any portrait retouching is to look
at blemishes. We want to smooth these out.

This isn't to say that these are a terrible thing… or that we always want to be
thinking correctively, but small blemishes will usually distract the eye from the features that we want to emphasize. In this case, Nacho has
great skin and yes, there's beautiful light. He has nice eyes and mouth and we don't want a blemish here and there to actually draw our eyes away from that. So let's go ahead and zoom in and get to work. We start with the healing brush, taking out a couple of these blemishes. This is not very complicated. We have our brush set to heal, rather than clone… ..but you can experiment with both and go back and forth between them. They're only subtly different. Remember
you can adjust the size of your brush… …either here or on your keyboard. Youwant that to be just a little bit bigger than whatever it is that you're
correcting – not too big or you can make some strange boo-boos.

You also can control the feathering. You definitely want to have some feathering – but in this case I don't want it feathered all the way. I'm going to be at about 70
percent feathering. The opacity right now is a hundred percent… but there are definitely times when you're doing retouching work when taking the opacity down will be helpful. I will show you that later. Let's take out this little blemish. Remember that you can move this around in case Lightroom makes a really bad
choice – which it often does! Remember that you can also
paint rather than just click on a dot. Let's see..well, that's making a pretty good choice! This one is okay. I am correcting more than you might do. I'm going to go ahead
and grab all these little blemishes.

There we go. I am going to scan through his whole face.This little one here this is not an offensive mark but… …we'll go ahead and just just simplify it.
And of course, his five o'clock shadow is part of the charm of the photo, so we'll
leave all of that. Remember that with this particular tool… …any time that you want to go back you
can. Grab any tool you want just by
selecting it and changing it. There's one last correction that I want to make here and that's to this scar. I havemixed feelings about it. If I was doing a more naturalized portrait, I probably would not take this out… but since we're doing glamor I'm going to go ahead. I have a feeling that we'll need to take the
opacity down just a little bit.

I'm going to take the feather up, take the size up and then we might have to adjust where it selects its correction from. Remember, these tools are not making stuff up – hey are finding other
areas to use. Let's see how it does.Yes it chose an interesting spot. Let's actually zoom out a little bit. I'm not sure I would pick that spot. Let's
move it up closer and zoom in. Usually I find if Lightroom chooses something really far away from the original spot it's a little bit odd. I'm going to pull it closer. The reason it's not picking something super close is because it doesn't want it to look repeated. I'm just going to play with the opacity.

There we go. I like that because it's actually left just a little bit of the hint of the
scar. I don't want it to look like we obviously fixed it but it's pretty much disguised. So that's basic blemish healing. Now let's look at a couple of other areas. This is a little bit trickier. I like this hair light but I don't like this one little goober. I'm going to go back to the brush and I'm going to go to the clone tool. I'm going to paint over. Let's see. I want the feathering to be pulled down.
I'm going to leave the opacity at 100% for now.

I'm gonna make the size pretty small because I'm really just trying to get rid of this area. Okay, cool. That actually worked pretty well. We might move it in so it looks a little
more natural. Excellent. While I'm up there I'll go ahead and just take out that little dot and that little dot. I think I'm going to go back in… but it is not going to let me do that very well. We will leave it. So you can see this just brings our eye
away from it. I could probably fuss with that some
more – maybe even in Photoshop. I would add some of this area back in just to make it super perfect. Let's actually go ahead as long as I'm up here.

Let's go back to that and see what we can do. I am going to try to use this area to fill in. It's tricky. It would work a lot better in
Photoshop but we'll go ahead. It's more of a disguise we might have to
come back to redo that later. But it is a bit less distracting. Now I'm going to come into his ear and we'll go ahead and just clone this out. But more importantly I'm going to use… …a couple of other tools to correct something else I don't like. I'm happy with this hair light but I don't like the way that backlighting is making
his ear look bright red. and I don't like how hot this is on this neck. This is pretty easy to fix. I'm going to go into a local brush. I am going to zoom into his ear… …and I'm going to turn on the Auto mask. I am going to zero this brush out.

The mask color is close to the color of his ear… …but I think will we still be able to see it. So I'm going to paint this mask over
the areas thatI want to protect. What I'm trying to get at are the areas that
are sort of light red. I am turning off the mask. I'm going to do two things: I'm going to
desaturate. That is really important. Then I'm also going to come
in and change this color… …take out the warmth and the magenta and take out a little more saturation. That will do it! So we still have that color but it's much more reduced and a lot less distracting. Let's make one more new brush – make sure it's zeroed out.

With this one I'm going to come
into the back of this neck. Again, I'm going to put the overlay on and use the auto mask… …which is really handy because it means it won't spill over into this area or up into this area. I love auto mask! Remember, it
automatically recognizes edges as long as you stay it within the area. All I'm going do here is take the exposure down… …and take the highlights
down. Oops, not too much! Just a tiny bit. We don't want to overdo it. If we have to, we'll go back.

That's about right .I don't mind this
little highlight – I think that's nice. This still needs some work but overall
that's looking good. Okay let's talk about some glamour work that we might do! So let's try some of our presets. I'll go back to my brush. On the brushes you're going to see that we have some very nice tools that are handy. One of them is "iris enhance". The iris enhance brings up the saturation and it brings up the contrast. What I like to add to my iris enhance is a little bit of white.

Let's zoom into the iris to make sure it's the right size. You can see I'm going to paint in
to the iris and bring those whites up just a tiny bit more and make his eyes look a little bit brighter. Remember that you have to choose a new brush… …if you're going to do something else. I am going back to the brush and I want to go to "soften skin". Notice that this is taking the clarity very far down. And so you can just go into areas where
you want to reduce the pore size, or reduce the shininess. I don't want to
take this everywhere… but I want to take the glow out in areas where it's distracting. Not on his lips – I think that's really good. This just softens things. I'll go over that area where I took the scar out. So we're starting to get towards something a little bit more glammy! Now – we can do some global

In portraits, I think I tend to do
my local adjustments first… and then my global, because that's where I can actually get into…..some of the specialty effects. So one of the things you can do for glamour is to UNclarify. Oops. That's a little bit bit heavy-handed! Or you can take your de-haze in the
opposite direction. This gets into a little bit more
sort of the glamour look. It's a little over the top! But then, some glamour is over the top! So that's a little start on techniques and ideas in portrait retouching!.

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