Walk Through: Male Portrait Retouch in 7 Steps

Last week I posted a ‘High Speed’ video showing the 7 Steps involved in a recent male portrait retouch, so carrying on from that today I thought I’d do a ‘walk through’ so that you can see a breakdown of what was involved rather than have it rush past your eyes at Mach 3:)

Oh and to give you an idea of timing, from start to finish the retouch took approximately 20 minutes with the majority of the time being spent on the subjects eyes and ‘tidying up’ …

Step 1: The Eyes
Actually before I started working on the eyes the first thing I did was make a few minor adjustments to the file in Camera Raw. This consisted of a boost in the Brightness and Clarity plus I reduced the ‘Orange’ colouring in the skin…

Once the image was open in Photoshop the first thing to do was to brighten the whites of the eyes. To do this duplicate the layer then change the blend mode to Screen. This will brighten the whole picture but as we only want the whites to be brighter, all we have to do is to add a black layer mask to this layer which then hides all the brightening. To bring back the brightness in the eyes, simply get a white brush and paint back in the whites of the eye.

At full 100% opacity this is going to make your subject look like something possessed so tone it down a little by reducing the opacity on this brighter (Screen) layer. I usually find anywhere around the 25-30% mark works just fine…

Now that the whites have been brightened the next stage is to brighten the iris. To do this I first of all select the iris using a brush in Quick Mask Mode by pressing ‘Q’ on the keyboard. Once the eyes have been selected, pressing ‘Q’ again brings you out of Quick Mask mode and leaves you with the ‘marching ants’ as you see below…

With the ‘marching ants’ still visible a ‘Selective Color’ Adjustment Layer is chosen and the blend mode of this adjustment layer changed to ‘Linear Dodge’. Straight away this has the effect of brightening the eye but clearly a little too much but that’s not a problem because as it’s a ‘Layer’ we can reduce the opacity to the desired effect. Also, from within the ‘Selective Color’ adjustment if we select the ‘Neutrals’ from the drop down menu we can then change the colour of the iris by playing around with the sliders…

Now this next technique I recently learned from reading Scott Kelby’s latest book “Professional Portrait Retouching Techniques for Photographers using Photoshop” and it’s a technique I use 100% of the time now when I’m retouching.

Incidentally, if you haven’t got yourself a copy of this latest book by Scott Kelby I highly recommend it. In fact so much so I’d say stop what you’re doing right now and head on over to Amazon and place an order…the book is that good!!!

So for this technique first of all add a new blank layer and make a circular selection just inside the iris using the eliptical marquee tool and fill this with white…

Then change to the rectangular marquee tool and make a selection which includes the top half of the circle you’ve just drawn out…

Once you’ve done that simply press delete to remove the top half of the circle. Next, hold down your CMD/CTRL key and click on the thumbnail of the circle in the layer panel to select it and bring up the marching ants and then move your cursor inside of the selection and position it up a little way as you see below…

Again press delete and this will leave you with a kind of ‘moon’ shape …

Finally to finish off add a 5% Gaussian Blur to this layer and change the blend mode to ‘Soft Light’. Of course you’ll need to do the same to the other eye so you can View full post »

  • May 4, 2011 - 11:20 am

    DaveT - Wow – very comprehensive and informative. Thanks for all your hard work and sharing it with us.


  • May 5, 2011 - 12:52 am

    Nat - Hi Glynn
    All I’m going to say is WOW! There is so much information here I’m going to be at it for weeks. Thanks so much for taking the time to share your skills with us. I so want to come to your workshop and will make it one day I’m sure.
    There are just not enough hours in the day for me to digest all this photography stuff ;)! Anyhow take care and keep up the awesome work!

  • May 5, 2011 - 10:06 am

    Richard - Thanks Glyn – watched the light-speed version the other day and was wondering exactly what you did at a few points, so thanks very much for the detailed break down. Great stuff.

  • May 5, 2011 - 12:41 pm

    Dmitriy - Hi Glyn. Can You tell what tablet Wacom model you use ? Thanks.

  • May 6, 2011 - 5:04 am

    There’s a Walk-Through For That :) » Glyn Dewis Blog - [...] posted a ‘walk through’ this week of the Male Portrait edit [Link], it reminded me about another ‘High Speed’ editing video I’d recorded a while [...]

  • May 6, 2011 - 7:14 am

    Scott Wiggins - Glyn,

    Great walk through. Look forward to giving it a go on some images.

    Just got Scott’s retouching book and I agree, it’s a fabulous resource.


  • May 7, 2011 - 8:02 am

    Glyn - @DaveT…Cheers Buddy :)

  • May 7, 2011 - 8:04 am

    Glyn - Hi Nat…Thanks so much for dropping by and for the comment :) I know exactly what you mean about the ‘hours in the day’ … I keep asking for more but alas nothing so far :)

    All the best to you,

  • May 7, 2011 - 8:04 am

    Glyn - @Richard…Thanks for that mate; glad it helped :)

  • May 7, 2011 - 8:05 am

    Glyn - @Dmitriy…I’ve got a Wacom Intuos 4 now; only just upgraded and love it :)

  • May 7, 2011 - 8:07 am

    Glyn - @Scott…Great to hear you’ve got Scott’s latest book mate; cracking stuff huh :)

  • July 7, 2012 - 1:53 am

    Joseph Sánchez (Venezuela) - Sir… I’ll be Wating for you all my life… (,= this is the type of retouch what I Looking for!!! awasome!!!

  • September 28, 2012 - 1:39 am

    Male Portrait Retouch In 7 Steps | Edit Step by Step - [...] Editor/Photographer: Glyn Dewis ( Twitter / FaceBook / G+ ) Tutorial: http://glyndewisblog.com/2011/05/04/walk-through-male-portrait-retouch-in-7-steps/ [...]

Photography & Photoshop Workshop Dates & Tickets available NOW!!!

Today I’m really excited to announce tickets are now available for my upcoming workshop series ‘From Concept to Print’…

The Workshops are limited to 6 attendees, run from 10am until 6pm and are being held at the fabulous Gareth Davies Studio in Wokingham, UK.

Full details about what the workshop covers, dates available and pricing can be found by visiting the ‘Workshop’ page in the menu above, by clicking on ‘Workshop’ from the menu on my main site or by simply clicking HERE

Look forward to seeing you there,

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  • May 5, 2011 - 5:54 am

    AlexFrame - Thank you so much Glyn!

Male Portrait Retouch in 7 Steps (High Speed Video)

Hi Folks.
Well to end the week off I thought I’d post a short video of a “Male Portrait Retouch in 7 Steps” showing the techniques in Photoshop that I used to take the image below from the ‘Before’ to the ‘After’ stage…

The video below is in ‘high speed’ so you can see how it all comes together and next week I’ll put together a ‘walk through’ post here on the blog covering each of the ‘7 steps’ which are:

  • Step 1: The Eyes
  • Step 2: Tidying Up
  • Step 3: The Skin
  • Step 4: Changing the Background
  • Step 5: Colour and Tone
  • Step 6: Sharpening (and a little more tidying up)
  • Step 7: Blur Vignette

Right, I’m off to watch some more coverage of the Royal Wedding so have a great weekend and I’ll catch up with you next week,

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  • April 29, 2011 - 5:08 pm

    David - Glyn, out of curiosity, what do you use to create the video. From screen captures to final presentation. Also, do you find yourself aware of the capturing process and feel you need to get everything done quickly or seamlessly?

  • April 29, 2011 - 5:41 pm

    Glyn - @David…I use ScreenFlow for recording screen recordings and for the tutorials I put together. The great thing about it is that you can edit in stages and and then save them out individually. When I do this I just put them together as one in iMovie.

    Cheers, Glyn :)

  • April 29, 2011 - 6:16 pm

    Brandon Jacoby - Superb Job, Glyn!
    Amazing work as usual :)

    – Brandon

  • April 29, 2011 - 6:36 pm

    Glyn - Hey Brandon, thanks alot for that…very kind :)

  • April 29, 2011 - 8:10 pm

    Alex - Glyn,
    great job once again.
    Love the tone of the image.

  • April 30, 2011 - 5:33 am

    Glyn - Thanks for that Alex; I’ll have the walk through up on the blog by Wednesday.

  • April 30, 2011 - 7:21 am

    DaveT - Great post Glyn- I reckon I saw some of the new techniques from Scott Kelby’s new book in there ;-)

    I too was wondering how you made the movies etc – so thanks for that information too.

  • April 30, 2011 - 7:31 am

    Glyn - Hey Dave, thanks for stopping by. Yeah I’ve really taken a liking to Scott’s ‘kicker’ light editing technique for the eyes; adds that extra bit of ‘pop’ :)
    Glad to see also that you got the info you wanted re the recording software. Any Q’s about it just give me a shout.


  • April 30, 2011 - 12:58 pm

    AlexFrame - I really want to know how this catchlight is made)

  • May 4, 2011 - 8:59 pm

    David Kelly - Nice work as always Glyn. Now if only retouching was that quick in real life ;-)



  • May 7, 2011 - 8:02 am

    Glyn - @David Kelly…Tell me about it mate; how cool would that be :)

Photosmith FREE Giveaway…3rd and Final Winner!!!

On the final day of our Photosmith FREE Giveaway, congratulations goes to AlexS for posting the winning (not so unlucky) number comment of 13.

Clearly by the number of competition entries over the past 3 days Photosmith is proving to be one heck of a popular iPad App and more reviews have been posted on the web. I’d highly recommend heading on over to Terry White’s Tech Blog [Link] to read his thoughts on this version 1.0 of Photosmith which he finishes by saying “If you have an iPad and you’re a Lightroom user with a desire to leave your computer behind, this is a good App to have in your ever evolving workflow.”

Photosmith is available now from the iTunes App Store [Link] priced at $17.99 (£10.99)

Photosmith on Twitter [Link]
Official site: http://www.photosmithapp.com
Support site: http://support.photosmithapp.com

•    •    •

That’s all for today so I’ll catch you here tomorrow,

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Day 3: Name the Missing Person and WIN a copy of Photosmith!!!

***UPDATE: Competition has now ended***

Ok so this is it, the 3rd and final FREE Giveaway of Photosmith: The iPad Mobile Companion for Adobe Lightroom and since we’re talking Lightroom here that’s how we’ll base the final question.

The image below shows Lightroom 3’s current loading screen…

For your chance to win the last promotional code for a FREE copy of Photosmith all you have to do is post a comment containing the name of the person who has been blocked out.

Once again you have until 9pm GMT today to post your answer in the comments section below before a winner will be randomly selected from the correct entries.
Good Luck:)

•    •    •

Keep up with Glyn ‘Day to Day’ on Twitter
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  • April 28, 2011 - 8:50 am

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    Third time lucky!

    Answer – Thomas Knoll

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