Photo Editing: Photoshop Retouching

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Photo Editing: Photoshop Retouching

Sometimes I like to give the skin in my photo's a little touch-up. Not too much, I don't want to have an airbrushed look, but enough to take away the obvious blemishes. To start, open your file.

In photoshop, get the Clone Stamp Tool (S). In the option bar, set your brush to the circle that has fading or feathering around it's edges. Pick a size that is large enough to cover the blemish, but not too large to start covering lots of detail.

While hovering over a good part of skin, hold the alt button and click. This will take that part of skin, and then when you click over the blemish will take the small piece you just took and put it there. It';s a bit like copy and paste. I zoom far in when I do my stamping, occasionally zooming out to check the overall look. When you are finished, it might look like this:

Check out the before and after:

Hummm very good tip!!! Thanks!!!

nice! thanks for the tip!

Looks good. thanks for the tip.

I use this one all the time! Thanks for placing it here as a Tutorial, Marisa.

This is a great tip for anything you need out of a picture. I have also used two pictures at the same time to put something from one picture into another picture.
Thank you for all your tips.

You make this look easy. I've tried this before and I my results didn't look nearly as good.

This is a great tip!! Quick and easy to make little touch ups!

Great tip, thanks!

I will definitely have use for this tip. Thanks.

Awesome! Thanks for sharing!

great tip, thanks!

Photoshop has a better option for small blemishes, which I use frequently when photo editing--the healing brush. It's not a perfect tool for things close to an edge, because it blends colors from around itself to remove the spot/stray hair/unnoticed loose string from the background, but it does quite well at evening skin tones on face and arms, or even helping your teen forget about the huge zit she had for her winter formal.

It's on your tools palette, the icon that looks like a band-aid/sticking plaster, or you can type the letter J to bring it up. I prefer the one with the little circle, as it's the simplest to use. That's called the "spot healing brush", and you just brush over the top of the zit or bit of string and let it do its magic.

The "healing brush" tool works much like the clone stamp tool used in the tutorial, in that you have to select a source location before it'll help fix things. It's more useful for things like stray strings at edges, where the spot healing brush struggles.

I recommend making sure your photo's exposure is adjusted before spot retouching, since it can get blotchy if you retouch and then adjust exposure, but that's a topic for a different thread, I think. (Short version for those of you who want to know--my photo editing workflow is: levels, curves, local exposure adjustments, warming/cooling filters if needed, then spot retouching as needed.)