Site design and admin - Velochic Design. Site content (except material used with permission) ©2007 E. Courtright operating as rgbcmyk Imaging


How to think about retouching:

One of the best ways to learn photo retouching is to go to the make-up counter for a make over. (If you don't wear make-up take some one who will). Make-up artists know a lot about retouching the face and by studying how they apply make-up it makes it easier to duplicate their good result on your not so good photo.

Mascara is added from the root out and the best direction for darkening eyelashes in a photo. Working non-destructively, set your empty layer to multiply and work from the root out with the History Brush. You will get a more natural look applying blush the same way the make-up artist did - from the apple of the cheek toward the ear. Set your brush to fade out on the stroke. That is what happens to the real blush brush as you apply it. As make-up styles change go to the department store for a refresher course on what is in vogue.

The eyes draw you into the photo. Special care on the eyes makes a big difference in the final result. Eyes pop when the pupil is black and the surrounding iris colour is not. The edge of the eye that hits the sclera (the white of the eye) should be darker than the iris. Dark gray or black at the edge defines the edge and makes the iris pop. You need the little white reflection on the pupil to show the direction of the light.

If only all of life's problems could be solved with a healing brush.\

How to get great skin:

The secret to great skin is noise! It is easy to get carried away when you are airbrushing out blemishes and wrinkles and remove all the pores. The trick is to subdue the pores with out removing them. If you go over board be sure to add some noise to compensate for the "airbrushed" look. Women want to look naturally beautiful and not like the cosmetic surgeon attacked them with the Liquify tool.

When do I use Photoshop?

Photoshop is not for logo design. Great logos should be done in Adobe Illustrator for the best results. Vector artwork is scalable and handles type with out jagged edges. Be sure to convert your Pantone colours to the final printing process (RGB or CMYK) before you show your customer the file. You save money on press by only using CMYK inks. Not all Pantone colours convert well, so you can avoid disappointment by only using them where requested by the customer.

The Advantage of Layers:

I have never met a customer that didn't need to change their mind. Here is where learning the power of layers can save your butt. I always leave the bottom layer un-retouched. I copy it and then place in a new folder above the original. I like to name the folder "WIP" (Work In Progress) so that other people looking at the file know where the grunt work is being done.

I pixel edit on this new background copy. Then I make a new adjustment layer to start the image corrections. Adjustment layers take up less space than image layers and help to keep your file size down. You can add masks to these layers to only affect parts of the image. To check your progress, turn the WIP folder off and on to compare your work to the original.

When you are finished, save this file as a PSD. Then you can flatten the image and save a copy to send to the customer. When they start making changes you go back to the PSD file and make the changes in the WIP folder. Since the changes were non-destructive you can continue to alter them without "wrecking the image". Then re-save the PSD, flatten and re-save over the last flattened copy. This keeps the confusion down.