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Digital Photography Hacks by Derrick Story

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Brighten Teeth

It seems like everyone wants whiter teeth these days. You might not have the time for peroxide-based solutions, but there’s no need for such drastic measures anyway. This Photoshop hack takes only a few seconds and instantly removes years of stains.

Most teeth, by design, have a slight yellow cast. Add coffee, wine, tobacco, and a host of staining foods, and the smile isn’t quite as bright as it could be. In everyday life, this isn’t a major issue. But for special portraits, a warm, inviting smile is important. This Photoshop hack is so easy, you’ll wonder why you never figured it out before. As long as you show a little restraint with the technique, the results look quite natural.

First, open your portrait in any version of Photoshop. I’ll use Photoshop Elements for this illuminating exercise. Use your favorite tool to select the teeth. I usually start with the Magic Wand. Click on a middle-toned tooth with the wand and see what it selects. By holding down the Shift key, you can make another selection to add to the first one. At this point, I switch to the Lasso tool to clean things up. You can add to the existing selection by holding down the Shift key and lassoing more areas. Or, by holding down the Option key, you can deselect areas that you don’t want affected by the upcoming adjustments.

Now it’s time to remove some of that natural yellow tint. In Photoshop Elements, open the Hue/Saturation dialog box (EnhanceAdjust ColorHue/Saturation). The path is a little ...

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