this post will show my full methodology of retouching images from the A to the Z
Model: Mohammed Algothmi
Ibrahim Ajlan © 2009
ok Now we can find alot to modify on this photo
first, ill start with the RAW format because it uses complex calculation in editing and image reprocessing ( it the best format to edit colors with)
I use Aperture to do all the color editing or processing. Now, the image is a little be under exposed so ill increase the exposure for a little bit then ill do some modification in black spots, increase the saturation and finally giving the image some contrast. my final image in Aperture looks like this:
Now, Ill move the image to Photoshop to edit and change contents
the first thing I always do in Photoshop is clearing the background and removing any extra surroundings, in this photo I have created a blank layer from Layer > New Layer and named it. Then, using the brush tool I removed all whites in the background to make pure black. In addition, I didn’t like the reflection on the laptop so removed it by creating another Gradient white layer and reduced the opacity to 40%. you can find my layer pallet below.
Before we start doing anything, lets clear the layer pallet by flattening the image by clicking in small arrow icon on the layers pallet upper right corner. Then, duplicating the background layer to avoid missing with the image. Now, lets move to the face. I usually use two main tools to remove all red spots and scars from the skin. I do start with the Spot Healing Brush Tool (Hint: use it only for spots, one click at once, because it collects the data from the surroundings, so moving it might not serve your purpose). Then ill use the Healing Brush Tool to remove and clear the bigger ares with scars. you can see how its gonna be after, in the flowing two images.
Flattened layers again after finishing the cleaning phase. After that we need to smooth the skin for a little bit only (depends on how close the portrait id to the camera). first, ill duplicate the background layer and apply the Surface Blur filter by going to Filter > Blur > Surface Blur. I have chosen a Radius of 14 and Threshold of 18, these amounts will vary depending in the image size and pixels. Then, I created I Layer Mask by doing to Layer > Mask > Hide All .. that will cover the whole layer. After that, I used the Brush tool with white foreground color to reveal the skin areas I wanted to smooth.
After That, I have done the same thing again. Created another Layer from the Background Layer but this time I have applied the Gaussian Blur filter by going to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur with a Radius of 15.5, also depends on the pixels and size of the photo. then, copied the Layer mask of the Surface Blur layer by Option+Drag and Drop the layer mask to the new layer. After that, Changed the opacity of the Surface Blur Layer to 70% and the Gaussian Bur Layer to 30%. you can play around with the opacity of both layers until you get the final result.
Smoothing the skin will make the image a little bit blurry around the edges. In order to make cover these blurry areas and sharpen the edges you got the High Pass tool. I copied whatever I have reveled in the layer masks by clicking on the layer Mask + Command to select the areas. Then, went toe background layer and copied Edit > Copy and Pasting in to another Layer Edit > Paste, and moved the new layer to the top. Then, I used the High Pass tool by going to Filter > Other > High Pass and Radius of 30 pixels (depends on the pixels as well), then changed the layer blending mode to overlay. below you can find the layers details
Then, I just brightened the eyes a little bit by creating a new layer and using the the Brush Tool I covered the white areas (no need to be perfect because it lighten only the white areas) and changed the layer blending mode to Soft Light and decreasing the layer opacity to 70%.
and here is my final Image. right click to view a larger image.