Just about anyone who has played with Photoshop a bit can learn about portrait retouching from YouTube, as there are tens of thousands of videos on there covering the many and varied methods involved in the process. But what about tutorials for photographers who are legitimately brand new to Photoshop, and have never used it?
Articles written by Nino Batista
Photography has been around for almost 200 years, believe it or not, and with every generation the art form evolves and changes. Everything from styles and fads to technology and world events have affected how photography has advanced over the decades, but what's going on today in 2019?
There are a myriad of video tutorials online that show you how to use Photoshop to perfect skin, clean up unwanted elements, composite images together, color grading, how to create countless special effects, and more. But what if you've literally never used Photoshop and want to learn?
Just about every photographer at some point has found themselves in a situation on set where the disparity between light temperature sources causes significant color casting in ways they don't want. In my experience, the most common problem is when you have to contend with traditional incandescent light bulbs in frame, but you're using strobes that are (mostly) balanced to average daylight light temperatures. What's the best way to fix this in Photoshop?
There is simply no secret, instant fix to attaining truly great skin tone in postproduction. Using Photoshop, you can accomplish many a miracle in portrait retouching, but the many variables in any one image will dictate the direction you will end up going in your workflow when you want rich, deep, vibrant skin tones. I made an Action that starts the process for you in a click using my favorite approaches to deepening skin tone.
If there is one seemingly simple and wildly popular process in postproduction, it's boosting color saturation. I totally understand why — it's appealing to see your image sort of come to life with all the vibrancy and "pop" that color saturation enhancement brings. However, there is a smarter, more refined way to boost color saturation that I often employ, and I've also created a Photoshop Action for you to download for free that streamlines the process into one click.
If you've ever used luminosity masks, you know how perfect they can be for creating specific looks, effects and styles, and are also hugely purposeful for specific utility processes in your workflow. There are many ways to go about creating luminosity masks, but have you considered simply using the Gradient Map adjustment layer for this?
Let's face the facts and admit that frequency separation is quite likely the most misunderstood and misused retouching techniques, plain and simple. If you've never heard of frequency separation, then do yourself a favor and browse YouTube on the subject before reading on.
If there is a question I get asked the most about my retouching approach in Photoshop, it's: "how do you achieve your skin tone?" While I, of course, appreciate the acknowledgement, I also wondered how I could create an action in Photoshop that would help me streamline my usual skin tone workflow. After a while, I came up with something I thought worked well and decided to give it away to you. Check it out!
Internationally known for his fine art portraiture with his signature color palettes, artist Jaime Ibarra has been respected and loved for this photography and post production work for several years. However, a devastating diagnosis recently has him reluctantly reaching out for help, as full-time artists unfortunately have to do when tragedy strikes.
One of the best educators in the realm of Photoshop and post-production for beginners is Unmesh Dinda of PiXimperfect, who is widely regarded for his easy-to-understand video tutorials on YouTube. He's back at it again, taking viewers through about an hour of simplified and well-explained approaches to high-end beauty retouching.
Whether you believe the approaches are passé, amazing, or just reasonably useful, frequency separation persists in the photography industry still, and has for years. Here's how to use a new method I created that expands control over all three main ranges: highs, mids, and lows.
Full disclosure: I am about to tell you about my new Photohop plug-in, and yes it's a product of mine, via the new brand NBP Plug-ins. It's called Freqsep Control, and I intend to show you why I think it's so amazing, and a little bit about the history behind its development which began at the start of 2017.
When you are especially particular about your adjustments and want your dodging and burning to utilize the maximum amount of image data possible, nothing beats Raw Smart Objects for the task. This is also ideal when you're making significant changes to exposure, whether it's for dodging and burning or other adjustments. In the end, more data almost always amounts to smoother, better looking changes.
If you're one of the countless photographers seeking out the best way to perfect skin on your portraits, then you've certainly been on YouTube tracking down video tutorials in hopes of unlocking the secrets behind the process. And if you're just starting out, invariably you've run into some hurdles. For most experienced retouchers, the tried and true technique for proper skin retouching in portrait work is, of course, the seminal "dodge and burn" method, and for good reason: it works. But perhaps you are brand new to the concept of dodging and burning for skin retouching and still haven't found much success with it? If so, read on.
Back in 2015, I produced some home-grown lighting and shooting video lessons for my very first subscription-based photography tutorial channel on YouTube. The first wave of feedback I received was various forms of "YouTube offers a paid subscription service?", and the second wave of feedback was more or less "Rad!" After almost a year idle, I am relaunching this channel under a slightly modified premise. As such, a few of the tutorials from the original channel are now available at no charge.
Whether you're just getting started on portrait retouching or have been at it for a little while, there comes a time when you will realize you're doing it all wrong (I know I did). The list of things that can go potentially awry in the beginning is massive, so I've narrowed it down to 10 amateur mistakes I've seen most often in this video.
Recently, while on a speaking engagement in St. Louis, I had some time to chat up several glass manufacturer reps at the conference and ended up testing several lenses, including a side-by-side comparison of the new Sigma 135 f/1.8 Art and the manually focusing Zeiss 135 f/2 Milvus (read that here if you missed it). I also snagged a new 85mm option from Tamron, the 85 f/1.8 Di VC USD, and spent a couple of hours with it. How did it go? Well, let's just see.