A key ingredient in the success of many great photos and our own Front Page Images here in the PurplePort Community is skin retouching. And not just any skin retouching, but skillfully done techniques that do not destroy the texture of the model's skin, instead, enhancing the features that you like and removing imperfections that you don't. Being able to still retain skin texture after the editing process is the sign of a professional.

You might be asking yourself what is lacking in your portfolio, and what can you do to step it up. There are so many incredible images here on PurplePort that are missing this key step, and all they need is some decent skin retouching. So we advise get learning or get contacting a reputable skin retoucher if you want your photos to be as successful as they can be!

In this post, I will be discussing one of the top skin retouching techniques that you can try, 'Dodging and Burning'. It is one of the preferred methods because of its ability to retain texture whilst correcting imperfections.

This video tutorial by Irene Rudnyk tells us the why’s and how’s behind this technique. Dodging and burning involves brightening specific areas and darkening others, allowing you to even out skin tone, draw attention to pinpointed sections, as well as subtly reshape desired features.

There is a danger of overusing this technique, which can leave your portraits flat, or overly contoured, but the right amount will do them the world of good and level your photos up from amateur to pro.

There are a couple of ways to set up your Dodge & Burn layers, but let’s focus on the Curves method. To start the process, you will need to create a Curves Adjustment Layer to Dodge (referred to as Highlight in the video) as well as a Curves Adjustment Layer to Burn (referred to as Shadow in the video). Remember to invert the Layer Masks on both layers to black, so you can use a white brush to paint over the desired areas. 

To see an explanation of what you are targeting with dodging and burning, go to 1:40, and skip to 9:05 to see this technique in action for correcting and perfecting skin. This tutorial will not only show how to retouch skin, but also how to retouch lips, hands, eyebrows, and makeup. Other tools and final touches demonstrated afterwards are the Spot Healing Brush, Colour Correction with the Colour Blending Mode, and Selective Colour.

I hope you found this information helpful, and wish anyone on their retouching journey the best of luck! Your images deserve the best treatment, and to reach their full potential!

Please feel free to message me, Penelope Purple, with article or interview suggestions :)

Original source: retouchingacedemy.com

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