Perfect your portrait shots
Remove unwanted blemishes, soften skin and boost eyes with James Paterson’s simple techniques in Lightroom 5
More and more lately we’re finding Lightroom is overtaking Photoshop as the program of choice for enhancing our portraits. At first glance, with its emphasis on tonal controls and presets, Lightroom may not seem like the ideal place to carry out detailed work like portrait retouching. However, Lightroom was developed for editing photographs and it’s surprising how far you can take an image using a few simple tools and techniques.
A big part of retouching a portrait involves making adjustments to different areas of a face, and they’re usually the same adjustments every time: we lighten the eyes, soften the skin, boost the lips, sharpen the eye lashes, and tone down any bags under the eyes. All these adjustments can be made with one powerful tool: the aptly named
Retouching a portrait involves making adjustments to different areas of the face: we lighten the eyes, soften the skin, boost the lips…
Adjustment Brush. We’ll use it here to give our portrait a fully professional finish.
Another important (if at times monotonous) stage of retouching is the removal of marks, spots and blemishes. Everyone has them, but what goes unnoticed in a moving person can spoil a static image. In this area Lightroom is still playing catchup with Photoshop, but Lightroom 5 has taken a big leap forwards with the improved Spot Removal tool, which operates just like a brush.
Here’s how to give your portrait shots a more professional finish…