Retouching Portraits

Retouching Portraits

Follow these steps below:

Duplicate Layer:

  1. The first thing you need to do once you open your image is duplicate it. To do this you can right click on the Background layer and select duplicate. After you duplicate it you can rename it whatever you’d like, so you can tell the difference. Stay on the duplicate layer throughout these steps.


Invert Copied Layer:

  1. After that step click on the copied layer and invert it, by pressing “control I” or “cmd I” if you are using a mac. This will create a blue and white color to your subject.


Change Blend Mode:

  1. While staying on the duplicated layer, change the “Normal” Blend mode to vivid light. This blending mode is right beside the Opacity box right above the layer panel. Applying this blending mode will make your image darker. So, if it gets darker you’re doing it correctly.


Filter Tab:

  1. Click on the filter tab on the top, and scroll to “Other” then select “High Pass”. A box will appear after you select High Pass. Change the radius on the bottom to 24.0


Filter Tab:

  1. Click on the filter tab again, and select Blur, then Gaussian Blur. For this type of blur try to stay between 3 and 4 for the radius. You don’t want to go too high or it will show more detail to the face. So, keeping it at a lower number will decrease the detail and create a softer look. Your image should look softer and have a blur effect look to it. The only part we want to have a soft look to is the skin of the subject. To only have the skin be soft and everything else be original and have detail, go to the next step.


Final Steps:

  1. For this step click and hold the alt button and create a new mask. If you have a mac hold the option button instead. To create a new mask, click on the square Icon with a circle in the center of it. This button is on the bottom right of the screen. Doing this creates a negative mask for your image. Allowing you to add softness to your subject’s skin.


Select Brush Tool:

  1. Select the brush icon and make sure the foreground color is white. From here just go over your subject’s face creating a soft look to your image. Keeping the opacity around 90-100% and flow at 100% as well. Only go over the areas that are supposed to be soft.


  1. If you go over an area by mistake that is supposed to be sharp such as the eye just press the button “x”. This switches the foreground color to black, so you can go over that area so you can get the sharpness you want back.