- How to Do Skin Retouching in Photoshop (Videos)
- Tips For Photographing Portraits Outside the Studio On Location
- Buying Or Cleaning a Used Camera Lens? Things to Check
Posted: 01 Feb 2014 06:23 PM PST
One of the most highly requested and simple photo touch ups requested is for blemish removal on the skin. Whether this is acne, freckles, or just random spots on a person’s skin, there is a powerful and simple tool that removes imperfections, blending them into the skin perfectly, in a jiffy.
This tool is called the Healing Brush, and it can be found in most versions of Adobe Photoshop. Today we will discuss the options available in the healing brush toolbox and how to use each of them.
To get to the healing brush, click the little bandage icon in your tool box. Or you can access it via shortcut by pressing the “J” key on your keyboard. When you click and hold down on this bandage, you will see some different healing brush tool options: Spot Healing Brush Tool, Healing Brush Tool, and Patch Tool. Well, what exactly do these tools do, and how do you apply them?
Spot Healing Brush
This is the simplest of the three options. It is used on small imperfections where there is an even area to sample around the blemish. This tool actually takes a sample from the pixels around the blemish and matches it in the lighting, texture, and tone. After selecting this tool, choose a brush size that is slightly larger than the blemish and just click on the blemish. For slightly larger marks and scratches, the brush may be dragged across the area. The blemish should be gone! Presto! For areas with fine detail, you might want to consider the next tool (for those of you reading this by email, the video tutorials can be seen here).
The healing brush allows you to select your own sample (known as the source) or a preset pattern to blend the imperfection with the rest of the image. Say you have an image where there is very fine detail in the imperfection. Select the healing brush tool and alt+click (option+click for Mac) to select your source sample. When selecting the source, you are looking for a part of the image that closely matches what you would like the blemished area to look like afterward. Consider tone, texture, and highlights/shadows when selecting the source. After choosing your source sample, click on the blemish as you would with the spot healing brush to blend the imperfection. It may take some trial and error plus sampling from multiple parts of the image find the perfect blend to the imperfection.
The patch tool is a combination of the healing brush and the lasso tool. It’s great for correcting larger areas. As with the healing brush, you can correct the imperfection with a source or a pre-set pattern. There are several options for using the patch tool. The most common is to select the area of imperfection as you would with the lasso tool (dragging around it). On the option bar, make sure you select Source Mode. Drag your selection to an area that you’d like Photoshop to use to blend the imperfection and release.
As with all photo retouching, correcting blemishes requires a lot of patience, attention to detail, and trial and error. Things may not look right the first time, but don’t be discouraged. Simply undo and try again!
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Posted: 01 Feb 2014 04:05 PM PST
Shooting on location can be exciting and fresh, but it can also be a tremendous challenge. Not that studio work is any less tedious, but there is always a heightened element of the unknown when working on location. You have to be prepared to roll with the punches and adapt and improvise in order to get the shot. In this hour and half long seminar by renowned photographer, Brian Smith, you can learn some tips and insights to help you master the art of location shooting. Take a look (for those of you reading this by email, the seminar video can be seen here):
What You Should Know
There are a lot of other helpful tips on the video as well, it’s definitely worth a watch. Smith is sponsored by Sony, so you may hear him mention it frequently throughout the video, but it doesn’t come off as a sales pitch and there’s still plenty of useful information to be found.
Go to full article: Tips For Photographing Portraits Outside the Studio On Location
Posted: 01 Feb 2014 11:52 AM PST
There are useful checks you can make before you lay out your hard earned cash on a lemon, or to use on your own lens before shooting. Lens faults will degrade the image you are so carefully trying to make. No matter how much you spend on a camera, if the lens is deficient or inferior there is nothing you can do to rescue the shot once it is made. Eyeballing these pointers is a good way to keep the technical quality up.
Fingerprints are killers
Greasy finger marks contain acids which can make permanent etch marks on a lens if left there. They also degrade the contrast of the image, often as much as 25%. In the center they’re a real killer. Inspect your lenses frequently and clean them immediately you find one. Examine a used lens carefully for possible finger mark damage.
A microfiber cloth, the slightly shiny one, wiped gently in a circular motion, not rubbed, will usually remove the mark. If you have to go to a chemical based one, use an alcohol based lens cleaning fluid. Wipe very gently with a circular motion, and as little as possible.
The effect of these depends where they are, and whether they are fine or coarse. Fine scratches, such as those caused by cleaning with unsuitable materials like the end of a shirt or whatever else is handy are usually the worst, because they scatter the light over the receptor. Contrast is reduced, and often the lens coating is destroyed. It is cheaper to buy a new lens than have the deficient one re-coated.
Deep scratches, especially near the middle of an element, would be too much of a problem. Leave the lens, or get a big discount. Often these marks are evidence of lens abuse, and may be an alert for other defects, such as out of alignment lens elements. One way to minimize this scratch is to use a fine permanent black ink marker and carefully fill the scratch, wiping off the excess. Black will reduce glare.
A scratch on the rear element is worse than one on the front, as the rear element directs the light straight onto the receptor. A front element imprint is modified by the rest of the elements before it leaves the lens barrel, and will be out of the depth of field anyway.
External dust can be removed with a soft lens brush. Be careful not to use a tissue or cloth which might cause the particles to mark the lens. I tend to avoid canned air as sometimes I’ve seen a sticky substance leave the can and plaster itself on the lens., making it far worse than before.
Internal dust usually come from flaked off black non-reflective coating that occupies the inside walls of the lens. Modern techniques avoid this, but it’s worth checking older lenses. As black doesn’t scatter light, it’s not really a problem unless there’s a lot of it.
Humid conditions can bring this on and it creates real problems. It spreads on elements in ever expanding threads which if not removed will etch patterns into the glass. Like fingerprints, it does major damage to contrast. The only cure is to have the lens disassembled by a repair specialist and cleaned. Left too late, forget the clean and buy a new lens. It’s cheaper.
Too much rubbing can remove the surface coatings which are there to prevent flare and ghosting. This can also cause flat spots in the carefully designed curvature of the lens, degrading refraction, focus and affecting blowups.
A good lens test is to take your camera, mount it on a firm support (read my tripod article), and photograph a page from a newspaper. Examine it carefully for any distortions or out of focus areas. This can tell you a lot about the lens without expensive testing equipment or charts. The best advice for lens care, don’t get it dirty. Always replace the lens cap when not shooting, and consider a UV filter as a protection in dusty, wet or windy conditions. A well cared for lens will give you great service for many years. Happy shooting.
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Go to full article: Buying Or Cleaning a Used Camera Lens? Things to Check
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