Chapter 20. Solving Special Portrait Retouching Problems


  • Improving a portrait by moving someone's head from one photo to another

  • Fixing eyes that are missing or obstructed by glass-glares

  • Using Photoshop to digitally remove braces

  • Quickly fixing wrinkled clothing with copy and paste

  • Softening and smoothing skin without making it look fake

Even though the kinds of problems solved by retouching run the gamut, much of the focus in the retouching world today is in portrait retouching. Photographers and retouchers often ask me about how to handle these special kinds of challenges, so I decided to devote a chapter to the most common issues, such as swapping heads, replacing missing eyes, and smoothing wrinkled clothing. Keep in mind that the techniques discussed in this chapter can be used on a wide range of subject matter beyond portraits.

Because the goal of this chapter is to share my overall strategies for dealing with these issues, I don't focus closely on the details of every step. Instead, I show you how a group of similar concepts are used to solve a variety of common portrait retouching problems. We begin with a technique that sounds extreme, but is often one of the easiest—swapping heads.

Swapping Heads

Not long ago, when photographers were shooting film, the option of switching someone's head from one image to another was a daunting task, even under the best of circumstances. Because of this, it was rarely an option for the average portrait photographer.

With digital ...

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