Photo retouching includes the removal of blemishes from people, but can also include the removal of such things as powerlines from a nice outdoor photograph.
When retouching normal human beings (not magazine models), it is important to only remove blemishes that are temporary or to correct a stray hair.
It is best not to remove things such as birthmarks or scars, since those are part of the person.
A pimple however is a temporary blemish and therefore should be typically be removed. In addtion to this, it is important to make sure the digital file is correctly representing natural skin tones.
The model below was photographed in my studio against a black backdrop with the main light hitting her face at a sharp angle.
Placing the key light at almost 90 degrees to the model creates dramatic lighting but also highlights all of the texture of her skin.
Typically a MUA (Make-Up Artist) would apply make up to model's skin to reduce the effect of the key light bringing out the skin texture so harshly.
The "before" photo is also a bit dark. I purposely underexposed the picture about a stop so as not to create hotspots on her skin.
The "after" picture was edited in Adobe Camera Raw and then in Photoshop CS6.
I use Camera Raw for initial sharpening and exoposure adjustments.
In the "after" picture I applied a skin smoothing technique after removing the minor skin blemishes using the healing brush.
I also edited the whites of the eyes to remove some of the veins.
The amount of smoothing on the skin is what would be used for editing a picture for a magazine ad.
For regular portraits, I would leave a bit more texture in the skin.
This model is fortunate to have great facial features and good skin to begin with.
The harsh lighting and the effect of shooting in RAW format on a high-end camera results in making skin look worse that it would naturally.
In real life the model would appear somewhere between the before and after pictures.
Here is an example of editing a wedding photo taken at the Grand Canyon.
On the left is the final version of the photo after I edited it in Photoshop CS6.
Notice the better contrast, saturation and how the white colors of the clothes on the bride and groom really stand out.
On the right is the image after editing in Adobe RAW, but before final editing in Photoshop.
Even the simple editing of the RAW file is already much better than the camera captured JPEG version.
Also notice how much better the hair on both the Bride and Groom looks in the version on the left.
The Grand Canyon is often windy, so retouching hair is an important part of the editing process.
Photo restoration includes creating the highest possible quality digitial file out of your old photographs.
Color can be corrected, scratches removed and grain smoothed.
The process starts with cleaning the photographed followed by making a high-quality scan of the picture.
After this, the photographed is imported into Photoshop for restoration.
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