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5 practical Photoshop tips for retouching images

Posted in:
Tips & Tutorials, by The Photoshop Creative Team
January 24, 2014

We could all do with some handy ideas for retouching images and making them look better. Here are our 5 most vital tips when it comes to retouching and editing

Duplicate objects with selection and transform tools

Duplicate objects in a photo by selecting them with the Quick Selection tool and pressing Cmd/Ctrl+J. This places the object on its own layer, which can be moved and repositioned using the Free Transform command, or Cmd/Ctrl+T for its shortcut.

New layers in Photoshop for retouching

For retouching, be sure to always add new layers to the composition so you can easily delete mistakes by simply removing one. Never make changes to the Background layer in the image.

Smudge hair after selecting with tools

Once hair has been selected and masked, there can still be areas that need fine-tuning. Use the Smudge tool, with Strength set to 50%, to smooth and refine any broken strands for a better cutout.

Brighter faces for better photos in Photoshop

To brighten up the faces of people, select the Brush tool and set its Mode in the Options bar to Color Dodge. Also set its Opacity to 10% and duplicate the Background layer. Press Opt/Alt to sample a skin tone, and then paint over the faces and skin areas to lighten them and improve general exposure.

Dramatic sky

To quickly intensify sky, use the Burn tool set to Midtones and 50% Exposure. Paint over the shadow areas and then switch to the Dodge tool, changing its settings to Highlights at 10% Exposure. Paint over the highlights in the sky with a large brush to boost overall contrast.

  • David Kooper

    Now I understand why my retouching outcomes don’t look like professional work. Thanks for this useful checklist. Will surely follow this checklist from now and let you know my improvements.
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  • Witsel Carry

    Awesome post! Good work my friend! Thanks a lot for sharing.
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  • this photo retouching idea is very good and more helpful for graphics designer

  • Really Awesome article! I found here too many amazing ways to retouch photo in photoshop . Thanks for providing this information!

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