This project was a collaboration between model Jessica Coats-Saenz, photographer Kreston Clark and myself. The photos were taken out in the desert in Southern California in tricky mid-day lighting. My goal for the first photo was to smooth out the look as much as possible to help make the harsh lighting less obvious. Apart from that, I smoothed out the skin tones a bit and touched up the areas around the knees. Other details included fixing one of the swimsuit top straps that was twisted, straightening the shot, removing a piece of re-bar that was showing over the top right corner and adding a subtle vignette.
Looking at the original photo, it looks like the window frame Jessica had to climb up on was quite dirty! I had to clean some dirt of her hands as well. Haha.
The photo on the right has all the improvements. I went for a smoother dreamglow effect as well. Click to view larger.
In the second photo below, I experimented by smoothing out the photo with a dreamglow effect, however I then used an unsharp mask to sharpen it again. I wanted to completely clip her out of the shot in order to be able to use the image over marketing material I was working on for FloatWays.com – I experimented with a couple of logo locations. In the end, I ended up using various versions on the site itself as well as on the site’s Facebook and Twitter profiles.
Take a beautiful face like this and bring it to its fullest potential.
One of the most exciting yet challenging projects in Adobe Photoshop is enhancing photos of a face by using:
Photoshop Face Effects
It sounds like I’m talking about pre-programmed filters. Please let me be clear, that this is most definitely not the case. The best effects are the ones done on a case by case basis where you analyze what the photo actually requires rather than running some sort of prefabricated Photoshop action or filter. It’s takes quite a bit of experience to be able to make those calls, but once you can, the possibilities of enhancing photographs are endless.
This photo is of a friend of mine (I’m not going to reveal who she is). I’m actually not sure who shot it. The thing to notice is that when you start off with a beautiful face, specially that of a girl, it is much easier and exciting. With this kind of photo, getting great results is relatively easy. However, once thing I have to point out is: This photo was shot during a rainy day, with so-so lighting and a cheap digital camera. Yes! My challenge was to improve the quality of the photo so that it would rival those shot with a professional camera. Apart from that, I had to improve the light, color tones of the image and add sharpening.
These are some of the things I did to enhance the photograph:
- Changed the water and sky color tone from a pale gray to a more inviting blue while still maintaining the mood of an overcast rainy day.
- Removed some buildings in the background that were to the left of the model’s head. This was done in order to better balance the photo and to give the impression that she was in deeper waters. I also found the buildings to be a distraction; an eye-sore, if you will.
- Removed a reflection of her eyes in the water in front of her. There was a reflection of one of her eyes in the center, more or less where her mouth would be. I thought it looked a bit weird, almost like a 3rd eye, but below.
- Cleaned some of the specks on the water and her face while brightening up her eyes. I also added a level of sharpening to her face.
- Finally, I added a faint grayish-blue vignette around the edges of the photo to help draw the attention to the center. The tone of the vignette also fits perfectly with the color tone of the photograph.
Like I said earlier, the possibilities and options for Photoshop face effects are endless. You can do as much as you know how. That’s why it’s so important to get as familiar as you can with all aspects of Photoshop. One very common technique, which can be done in multiple ways is changing a color photo to black and white. Here is a great tutorial that explains the most popular techniques: How to Change a Photo to Black and White in Photoshop.
To find out more of what I can do to improve your photos for your website or printed publication, don’t hesitate to click here to contact me.