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Lessons:15Length:1.8 hours
Headshot photography
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5.2 Retouching

For an actor's headshot session with a lower volume of images, the post-production process is a little bit different. In this lesson you will learn how to take a few raw headshot images, process them in Lightroom, and retouch in Photoshop.

5.2 Retouching

Headshot Photography. In this lesson, we're going to be doing something a little bit different. Instead of a high volume corporate shoot, this is the actors session that we shot in a previous lesson. And so as you can see, we have tons of images of Shane. But the good news is is, that by looking at the images earlier with Shane, we've already picked out our favorites, and we have them marked as blue. So here are the three images that we're going to be working with. Just like last time, the first thing that I like to do with my images, is start off by adding my Bright Grain preset. That just does the same thing. It gives me that consistent look that I can start, with and then I can tweak it from there. So, obviously, I feel like this is a little bit warm, so we're gonna make it a little bit cooler. We're gonna bring the temperature of the white balance down. I think that looks pretty good right there. A little green, so we'll bring it up a little bit redder here, a little more magenta. And it might even be a little bit bright. Let's see. That's, it's just a tiny bit. And I actually think I want it just a little bit cooler than that even. Right there, I think that's just about perfect. In our last lesson at this point, we just selected all of the images and synced to them, and then we were pretty much done. But because each of these photos was taken with slightly different light, we're gonna have to give each one its own attention. But just to start things off, I'm gonna go ahead and select them all, and sync them. Just because they are pretty close to each other. So let's see how close that got us. This one still looks pretty good. But it's not quite ready. So I'm gonna bring it up a little bit. Cuz I think it's a little dark. And I think it can even be a little bit cooler than the other one. And let's bring the shadows in just a little bit, to make it a little more dramatic since it is a theatrical headshot. And right there, I think that's perfect. And now, I'll move on to the next one. This one, the white balance is way off, because we shot this one with a flash, so we have a totally different color of light source, so we're gonna have to warm this one up quite a bit, probably around 5,600. That's perfect, and let's bring the brightness back up. Right there is great. Now I think I want it just a tiny bit warmer. And right there, that's perfect. All right, now all of my images are done. And all we have to do is go ahead and export them. Lets export them, find a Choose it and export. And once again we are just gonna have to sit and wait while Light Room does it's job. For three files it shouldn't take too long, it should be done in just a few minutes. Okay, so once we're done with Llight Room, we can go ahead and minimize that. And then what we wanna do, is go ahead and open up our files into Photoshop, to do the final retouching. For this lesson I'm only gonna do one of them. So we're gonna drag it over here into Photoshop. Go ahead and close that out. All right. So, there we have it. So the very first thing that we wanna do, is we wanna duplicate our layer. By hitting Cmd+J. And this way we can always go back, we can always delete this, and we always have the original sitting down here. Next we wanna go ahead and select the Healing Brush tool, and it's time to get some Retouching done. My theory when it comes to retouching is, I don't like to take away anything that's permanent. I only like to lessen red spots, and any blemishes that are temporary, and are gonna go away in a few days, anyway. So, let's go ahead and zoom in, and start to do some retouching. I like to get pretty close. I use the healing brush in the way that allows me to select the source, and then heal from there. [SOUND]. Here's some red spots here, we just kinda go all over the face. When you hit the space bar, it gives you this hand so you can move things around. And we just wanna go after any red spots, anything that is not permanent. One of the things you want to be careful of at this point is, if you grab from this blurry area right here, and then you try to do some healing of red spots right here, what you'll end up with is a spot where there's no pores, and that doesn't look natural. So we'll undo that. You want to make sure you are sampling from an area that has a very similar texture to the area that you're going to be trying to cover up. So you just kind of keep doing this all over the face, any little red spots. See these here, they look like permanent spots to me, so I'd probably leave those, unless the actor asked me specifically to take them out. But then this one here looks like it's not permanent. We'll just kind of smooth some of this out. And we just kind of keep going, keep going. I like to zoom out every once in awhile, just to kinda get an overall view of it. And make sure I'm not kinda losing the texture of the skin, and I'm not getting too crazy with it. Back in, this spot here needs a little bit bigger. So we'll kinda lessen that a little bit. I feel like we've got some bigger spots up here. So, the next step is to go ahead and do some dodging and burning. And there's a million ways to do this, but the way I like to do it is to create a curves layer. And then I will duplicate that curves layer. We'll call this one Dodge. And we'll call this one Burn. And on the Dodge layer, I'm gonna take my midtones or just above, and go ahead and bring up the brightness. I wanna bring it up to just the point where the highlights kinda start to. Look a little bit crazy. That looks perfect. And then I'm gonna go ahead and fill this with black, so that we don't see it, and then I'll go to my burn layer, and basically do the opposite. I'm gonna go down here towards the shadows, and bring those down just a little bit, till they start to look kind of bad. Almost. Right there. And then once again, the same thing, we're gonna fill this with black so that you can't see it. And now what we're gonna do, is we're gonna be able to paint over these masks to reveal our dodging and burning. So let's go to our dodge. Dodging is going to lighten our image. So we wanna use the brush with white. We want it to be really soft on the edges. I usually just go with just zero. And we want our flow to be pretty low. We'll go with a flow of around three. And then we just wanna paint over the areas where we want the image to be a little bit brighter. Basically for me, those areas are the center of the image. The eyes especially, definitely want the eyes to be brighter. This is gonna kind of give us a little bit more of a 3D look, when we do it this way. And so as you can see, here's our dodge layer. So we've brought out some of that brightness there. Bring the eyes just a bit more. And I think that looks good. So let's move onto the burn layer. So now we're on the burn layer. Same thing, except now we're going to be painting white over the areas that we want to be a little bit darker. Basically to bring a little bit more drama into this, I'm gonna paint on this entire side of his face. We're just gonna kinda bring this whole side down just a little bit. Down even onto his shirt. And then I also wanna do a little bit of defining of his jaw line, cuz there's some darkness right in here. And this is gonna give us a little bit stronger jaw line. And then lightly just kinda go around the face, to kinda draw our attention towards his eyes. And then finally I'll bring my flow up just a little bit. And I'll do a very wide brush, just for kind of the background, if I want. I think it looks good on this one. All right, and then that's dodged and burned. And so let's take a look at what we've done so far. So this is our finished image, I think, and this is what we had before. As you can see, we have a little bit more dynamic image. It's a cleaner image. And I think it's a lot more of a sellable image. So at this point we're pretty much done. What I would do at this point, is save this image, and open up the next one. And do basically the same thing to that image, and then the next one, and the next one, until I've got all of his photos done. Then we'll put them in a folder, compress them, upload them to Dropbox, and send Shane a link for him to download them. That is pretty much all there is to it, when it comes to retouching actors' headshots.

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