Awesome Video On How To Retouch Shiny Skin

Have you ever taken a great portrait, but the subject's skin was distractingly shiny? I think this has been an issue faced by every portrait photographer that doesn't travel with a makeup artist in tow for every shoot. Lee Varis takes you through an extensive detailed process on how to realistically remove oily skin shine on your portrait subject's face. Check out the post below to learn more:

"This is a more complete version of a retouch I did for my X-rite webinar on retouching. The basic approach is Frequency Separation to place texture and color/tone in separate layers. This allows you to re-shade the image while leaving the texture intact. I have to thank Doug Pizac for this wonderful portrait!" - Lee Varis

Lee is a Hollywood-based photo illustrator and commercial photographer with a website filled will loads of post-production and shooting tutorials. Make sure to check it out!


Douglas Sonders's picture

Commercial Photographer (mainly Phase One medium format digital) and filmmaker based out of NYC. Started a site called to spread stories about well-behaved and positive pitbulls. Love cars, 80s movies, dogs, and adventure. Free time is spent traveling, sleeping, adventuring, or working on my baby, a 1969 Mustang Mach 1.

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looks great

nice work :)

Looks like avatar for a moment :D

Holy crap this is a seriously amazing edit! Great work! Thanks :).

Great tutorial. Please post more!


Mr. Varis neglected to mention that the particular numbers he showed us for the apply image layer only work for 8 bit images. 16 bit requires different settings.

Mr. Varis neglected to mention that the particular numbers he showed us
for the apply image layer only work for 8 bit images. 16 bit requires
different settings.

so it´s two numbers that need to be changed and a blendmode.. why don´t you post them instead of playing a smartarse?

Obviously I don't need to. Google is your friend, smart arse.

great technic! The before/after shows how amazing it works. thanks for sharing

this is some crazy photoshop voodoo out there :)

for the clueless it may look like that.... old stuff for those who work in the biz.

I've started this video four times now, but every time I want to pause, rewind, or fast-forward, I just get "Oops! There was a problem with this video." The only solution I've found is to reload the page and start again—which is getting pretty damn annoying. Anyone know what's going on here?

This seems like a general frequency separation of sorts. The only part I didn't quite get was why he chose to use Apply Image versus just making a straight-up high-pass filter to be put on overlay mode?

Is there a real difference there or is it more or less the same thing? In any event, I've been doing this stuff for a while now with great success...quite remarkable how you can polish turds with this workflow :)

this is awesome. thank you so much! I take a lot of pictuers of my mixed kids and skin retouching and coloring has been a big issue. this is def putting me in the right direction.

Great video tutorial.

Great tutorial and technique. Been looking for a technique to reduce hot spots effectively. Your style of explaining is superior, best I've experience to date (and I have sat through hours of online PS tutorials). On a scale of 10 this is a +15! Thanks for sharing.

I've always loved how Lee Varis deals with skin issues while maintaining the character of the portrait. I've devoured his original book "Skin" a few times, always pulling new tips from it. This however is one of the best videos I've seen that explains frequency separation. I've understood the concept of frequency separation, but this lays it out very clearly and shows the benifits of using it. I also love how he uses the apply image technique. It makes more sense to me to remove the Colour information from the texture that's there than to arbitrarily choose a level of texture to create with high pass.