Black And White Portrait Retouching

January 1, 2019 7:40 am by columnblogger
Photoshopping fashion photographs
There is a pretty dramatic difference between the original photos simply desaturated and the final images that i detail retouch soft black and white
Black And White Portrait Retouching

To start off (you guessed it) create a Black and White adjustment layer. You will notice there are sliders for each Color in the image. When working with the Skin tones, you will be focusing on the red and yellow sliders. It is really about finding a balance between the two; each photo is different and it will take time and practice to know which Colors need to be increased/decreased. For this particular photo, it looks best to increase the yellows and decrease the reds.

7. Whiten Teeth and Change Makeup7. Whiten Teeth and Change Makeup

Create another new Black and White Adjustment Layer. Next, change the blending mode from Normal to Luminosity. This changes the way the sliders affect the tones in the image, and we have found that it’s an efficient and successful way to edit the Skin in portraits.

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There are many different ways to convert an image to Black and White in Photoshop. For the purposes of this episode, we use the most complete method which is a Black and White Adjustment Layer. This allows an incredible amount of flexibility in terms of editing the tones of the portrait.

Something that many people may not know about Black and White Adjustment Layers in Photoshop is that you can save your Adjustments as a preset! This can be very very helpful for instances like batch editing, or if you just like the look you created on your image and would like to use it in the future. Simply click on the icon in the upper right corner of the Adjustment window. Then, select “Save Black & White Preset.” Name the Preset and select the location you would like to save it in. Now, you can go back and select that specific Preset for other photos! There are basic Presets that Photoshop provides as well.

There are infinite possibilities for Black and White editing in Photoshop! Hopefully this tutorial inspired you to create some stunning Black and White portraits.

5. Remove Shadows and Wrinkles5. Remove Shadows and Wrinkles

10. Bonus Tips and Advanced Challenges10. Bonus Tips and Advanced Challenges

Another nice touch is to use gradients to create Vignettes to add on the subject. Choose a Radial Gradient that goes from black to white, and create the gradient on a New Layer (set the blending mode to Soft Light). It’s very easy to remake the gradient if you don’t like it – all you have to do is click and drag again.

Next up: play with tints! Check the tint box, and then click on the Color block to change the color. It tends to look nicer and more natural if the Saturation is relatively low. We chose a yellow-orange Color and a Saturation of around 6% for this image. It creates a really nice warm, Sepia look!

Want to improve your portraits, but can’t afford to spend hours obsessing over distractions and discoloration? In this course, Chris Orwig shares techniques that can help you use Photoshop to bring out the best in your portrait subjects in a pinch.

He explains how to remove distractions from the background of an image, as well as unwanted logos, jewelry, and even lint. He also shows how to shape and sculpt your portrait subjects, improve skin, eyes, teeth, and hair, and use multiple frames.

To wrap up, he offers bonus tips for retouching black-and-white portraits and applying creative effects, plus a few advanced challenges for testing your ability to clean up a background and improve skin.

If you think Black and White images are simple, think again! Learn how to create a stunning Black and White portrait in Photoshop in today’s episode!

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– [Narrator] I’ve created and included this final bonus chapter for those of you who are interested in going above and beyond what we’ve covered so far in this course. In this chapter you will encounter a couple of bonus tips, and then a few advanced challenges. Let’s start off with a bonus tip. One of the things we haven’t talked about yet is how do we retouch a black and white portrait. Well, when it comes to black and white, we actually approach this a little bit differently. Often we start with Camera Raw or Lightroom. Here I am in Bridge, and so I’ll go ahead and open up the file in Camera Raw, yet either tool will work. Here we go to File and then Open in Camera Raw. And often when we open up a portrait, we zoom in on it and we start to say, well what are the details we have to work on, and we see a few little skin variations or shadows underneath the eyes. Well rather than going straight for those parts of the image, what we can do is one of two things. First, we can start with some basic adjustments. Making exposure and contrast adjustments, maybe bring the highlights down a little bit, a little bit of light into the shadows. So we can go through our normal workflow here. But then next what we need to do is go to that HSL/Grayscale panel. Here’s where the magic takes place. When you click Convert to Grayscale, we have the ability to control the brightness values of different colors in our image. Now one of the things we know about black and white images is that with skin tones, a lot of the detail is in the reds and the oranges. So take a look at this. If I increase the darkness of the oranges, all of a sudden I have all these skin problems, right? Same thing with the reds there. Can you see how it just looks horrible. And if darkening does that, can you imagine what lightening does. The opposite. So if we bring these values back up, what we can actually do is retouch away blemishes simply by bringing these sliders up. See the shadows underneath the eyes right there? Watch them disappear when I bring up my oranges here with these skin tones. Now each skin tone is a little bit different, but the blemishes tend to reside in our reds, oranges, and yellows for most skin tones. So by bringing those values up, in a sense what we’ve done is retouched away a lot of the problems. Then of course, after having done that, we can go back to the Basic tab and make any more adjustments. Maybe we want to brighten things up a little bit more. When you brighten up in black and white, it tends to look really good and have perhaps really deep, dark shadows. Or the darkest tones of the blacks, maybe a little bit of clarity there, too. It creates a really compelling and engaging black and white image. So you’ll jump back and forth between these two areas here, modifying any slider as needed. Maybe you’ll want to brighten up some of those shadows a little bit more, or change the value that we have here. The thing to keep in mind is this. When you’re working with these sliders, you won’t just adjust one. If I only adjust my oranges, it just looks kind of strange. Same thing if I only adjust my reds, it just doesn’t look right. These two tend to travel together and that will give you really nice, smooth, beautiful skin tones. This works with guys or gals and in both situations it can help to change the quality of the skin. Now after we’ve done all of that work, HSL and Grayscale, jump back and forth and made a few adjustments, then we can get to the rest of our workflow. In Camera Raws we’ve talked about we could use a tool like this spot removal tool, and we can go ahead and click through our spots. Or we can go into Photoshop and we could use a spot healing brush and make all those adjustments there. The thing to keep in mind is the sequence. In other words, we first do good black and white and good skin tones. Then we get to all the other issues, because some of issues like this little blemish that was on the neck, I don’t know if you saw that one previously, it was pretty pronounced before, but since we did that black and white adjustment, it’s now gone. So I don’t really need to worry about it. So by taking those steps first, it can help us to leapfrog our progress and move more quickly when we work on black and white images.

Chris OrwigPhotographer / Author / Teacher / VisionaryLearn MoreShow lessView on LinkedIn

Skills covered in this courseAdobe PhotoshopPhoto RetouchingPortrait PhotographyImage Editing

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If there are other specific Colors in the photograph that you would like to change, you can use the sliders for those as well. A helpful trick is to use the Hand Tool to actually click and drag left and right on the image. Keep in mind, these are global Adjustments! If you click and drag on a green stripe in the image, it will also affect all of the other greens throughout.

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