P1W4 – Portrait Edits

I don’t take many portraits. When I do, they are more for the memories than anything. I often find that I am very frustrated with how I look in them, which makes me shy away from both taking and editing photos with people – except as a kind of record.

This assignment made me stretch a bit. I watched about an hour or so of tutorials on touching up portraits and begun to put some of them into practice. Though my edits feel much more rough than those portraits, I feel much more confident with editing.

I could specifically use some pointers on touching up skin color to bring out the life and health of the model, hopefully some feedback will help me in this.

Ma and Dawg (Portrait Touch-Ups)


This photo of my mother-in-law was taken on her lawn, holding our dog Toru. She and Toru have bonded quite well, and because of this the picture was simply adorable. This was enhanced by the fact that both Sara’s parents are camera shy, and she does not have many photos of them.

I put some of the touch-ups I learned into practice, first in doing a few touch-ups to her face. Most of these involve a clone tool in lightening mode to simply lessen some of the wrinkles on the face and below the chin. A masked hue/saturation adjustment layer helped me whiten (desaturate) and brighten her teeth and eyes. Another similar layer helped me bring the color out on her hair.

With edits like these, I know it is really easy to overdo it, and especially with it being one of my first time implementing such edits I tried to keep them subtle enough that you wouldn’t notice the photo had been edited. Hopefully I succeeded in this.



Date: May 26, 2014, Evening
Location: Firth, ID
F-Stop: 6.3
Shutter Speed: 1/100
Camera: Canon EOS Rebel T3i
Edits: Heal/Clone, Teeth/Eyes, Hair Vibrance, Sharpen, Vignette, Levels

Purple to Red


Besides the color replace, The only edits on these are some simple spot healing brushes to remove bird poo from the brick (we really loved the brick, but the poop kind of ruins it). Because her shirt’s color is really the only one of its kind in the photo, it was quite easy to isolate it with the color replace tool in order to change it.



Date: May 7, 2014, Afternoon
Location: St Anthony, ID
F-Stop: 5.0
Shutter Speed: 1/100
Camera: Canon EOS Rebel T3i
Edits: Heal/Clone, Color Replace, Levels

Color Matching


In this photo I simply took a photo which had been taken in lighting which had washed out a little more, and combined it with the colors of another photo which had been taken in the shade of the building. This brings more color out, especially in her skin. In fact, looking back, I might have overdone it just a bit.

Photo Original


Date: May 7, 2014, Afternoon
Location: St Anthony, ID
F-Stop: 7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/100
Camera: Canon EOS Rebel T3i

Color Original


Date: May 7, 2014, Afternoon
Location: St Anthony, ID
F-Stop: 5.6
Shutter Speed: 1/80
Camera: Canon EOS Rebel T3i

2 Responses

  1. Megan on May 28, 2014 @ 7:40 pm

    I really like that you replaced the color purple with red.

  2. Alan on May 28, 2014 @ 10:36 pm

    All of your photos have impressively universal lighting and color! It looks like you have the knack for picking the right time and angle for composing portrait shots. I always struggle with glair on glasses but your shot of your mother-in-law looks great. Also like Magan said, the red replacement color looks authentic. Great Photoshop skills!

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