Retouching Monday - Submit Your Image to be Retouched for Free!

Retouching Monday - Submit Your Image to be Retouched for Free!

This week we get to look at yet another style of retouch, a sports styled image. Each genre, weather it be fashion, beauty, landscape, or sports is going to have different parameters to follow and slightly different goals to achieve. With a female athlete it can be particularly tricky, because it can be challenging to find the line between doing to much or not enough especially as it come to skin retouching. In this post we will look at some of the steps and tricks used in this particular image that can be applied to your own sport retouch. We will also take a look at what else can be done to this image.

Lets start as usual with parameters for submitting your image to be selected for the next Retouching Monday!

• Any genre of image is acceptable: Fashion, Beauty, Landscape, Art, Portrait, Etc.

• Post your image in the comments below and tell me a little bit about it.

• Submit by midnight on Wednesday of this week.

• If your image is not selected, you MAY submit it again.

• Check back on Fstoppers to see if you were selected on Thursday and Friday.

• It helps if you leave an email.

I will leave a comment with my email address on your image on Fstoppers if you are selected, so you can email the raw file. If you are able to leave your email address in the comments, please do, but if no,t please check back on the article to see if you have been selected.

Above is the original straight out of camera shot. I decided to use an old Joel Grimes trick to start off the editing process, which involves creating two copies of the original image.

The first copy is a very flat version of the original image. For this layer, I used camera RAW to open up the shadows and decrease the contrast a little bit as well.

The second copy is a black and white version of the image, also converted in Adobe Camera RAW. When converting you can adjust the values in Camera RAW based on your personal taste. This black and white image is then set to "Soft Light" and I recommend decreasing the opacity as well.

I set the black and white layer to 40% opacity in this image. Above is the combined images. By combining the flat image with the black and white, we are able to control the contrast. The black and white layer can be tweaked by going back into Camera RAW and adjusting the values. 


I then continued with some fairly standard steps, using the healing brush and clone stamp and using dodge and burn for basic clean-up of skin.

The image above has another pass of dodge and burn that is more focused on a global level rather than working more zoomed in. I was starting to run out of time on my one-hour time limit that I set for these, so I used a little trick on the background. Instead of using dodge and burn or frequency separation to smooth out the background, I used a layer set to Luminosity. By setting the blending mode to luminosity we are assured that the layer will only affect the lightness and darkness of the layer. I then painted and sampled from the background to smooth out the backdrop.

So after an hour of work here is where we are, so.....

What's Next ?

Actually there's quite a bit left for this one. The skin retouching and dodging and burning could use much more work. There are still transitions on the subject that need to be smoothed out using dodge and burn to bring those values closer to one another. The eyes can be lightened just a bit as well. There is some color work with color matching skin tone that can be done too. You will see that the hair behind the neck has a red cast that isn't seen on other parts of the hair. Also the shadow under the neck has different qualities and color to it from the other shadows in the image.

The background fix that I used is a neat trick to save time, but my preference is to do it the long way to ensure optimum results, so I would recommend going back and  using dodge and burn. In my start to finish editorial retouch video, I go through the process of correcting backgrounds in Photoshop.

Being this is a sports image, you have the decision to make on weather or not to use positive dodging and burning. I personally don't think it would need it but that is a stylistic choice. Also, there is no color toning done to this image, so another stylistic choice on what type of color toning, if any, to do.

I highly encourage you guys to submit your images. Can wait to see what you guys post this week!

Lance Nicoll's picture

owner of Lance Nicoll Wedding Photography - Fine Art Wedding Photography Studio

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From a test shoot a couple of weeks ago! If there's not enough to retouch in the first one, you can do the second one.

From a corporate portrait session. This is the mostly untouched version except for some sharpening and contrast.
Final version had a bit more done to it.

This was my first test shoot. Can't wait to see what you did.

I know this one is really not a masterpiece and i'm not really proud of it. But it's just the one left from a woman that's really special for me. I don't know if it' possible to do something with it but i hope so.

A picture of my daughter iso 200 1/640 F2.8 shot with 5Dmark 3 and the 70-200 lens. I used a strobe outdoors to get rid of some of the shadows on her face. I edited in Photoshop.

I recently made an extra bedroom into a little studio and had my friend over to let me do a quick shoot with her. I used a ring light i made for my key and a few other PCB Einstein modeling lights to light her hair and background.

ISO 400

Really, really poorly constructed English throughout this article. For someone with a Masters degree, this is unacceptable. Consider consulting your peers to review your article before publishing. You have lost credibility. I think I'm going back to petapixel.