Chapter 10. Changing Reality: Removing and Repositioning

It’s no secret that the beautiful models gracing the covers of magazines have been Photoshopped to within an inch of their lives. They’ve had the digital equivalent of every plastic surgery you can imagine, and then some: skin smoothing, blemish banishing, tummy tucking—they get it all.

This chapter shows you all those tricks and more, but that doesn’t mean you should use every technique on every photo. It’s easy to get carried away with this kind of stuff, and with great editing skills comes great responsibility. The challenge is to retouch your subjects enough to enhance their appearance without making them look fake. For example, if you’re tempted to remove a wrinkle completely, soften it instead. If you’d like to hack off 30 pounds, be content with 5 or 10.

All that aside, there’s nothing wrong with a little vanity, and it’s darn comforting to know you can zap a zit, whiten teeth, and fix red-eye whenever you need to (and you’ll never want to let photos of yourself out into the wild until you’ve spent some quality time with them). When you’re finished with this chapter, you’ll be able to fix shiny spots, remove unsightly bulges, and enhance eyes with the best of ’em. In other words, you’re about to become the most popular picture-fixer-upper in your entire social network.


For a fascinating profile of one of today’s leading Photoshop-using, model-enhancing gurus, check out this New Yorker article: ...

Get Photoshop CS6: The Missing Manual now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.