When it comes to designing in Photoshop, there is a myriad of ways one could use to achieve a certain result, especially when it comes to photo retouching. Designers use technique they are most confident as well as comfortable with, which is great because it’s always useful to peek into the workflow of our colleagues and learn new design approaches. We have had articles on cloning, compositing, masks and obscure Photoshop time-savers in the past. This article is different.
I’ll be covering some of the useful techniques and tricks which I’ve learned from my experience. You may know some of them, but hopefully not all of them. All images used in this article were purchased and are used according to their licenses. The second part of this post will be published in 2 weeks.
Here is a short overview of the techniques we’ll be covering:
- Naturally Increased Light
- Simulate Infrared Images
- Color Look With An Adjustment Layer
- Controlling Mid-Tone Contrasts
- Creating Smiles
- Colorful Water Drops
- Skin Color
- Matching Skin Tones
- Reducing Noise
- Retro Look With Curves
- Identifying Layers
- Conserving Resources
- Classy Sepia Look
- Precise Positioning
- Applying Layer Styles Multiple Times
Naturally Increased Light
The light of the sun creates texture. There are shadowy areas and spots where the sunlight can shine without interference. To control the intensity, you can draw more light onto a separate layer or increase already existing light. Create a new layer by going to Layer → New → Layer, or by pressing
Shift + Control + N on Windows or
Shift + Command + N on a Mac. Set the blending mode to “Color Dodge” and the opacity to about 15%.
Increase light on a separate layer.
Then use the brush tool with a soft brush, and hold the
Alt/Option key to pick up colors from the area that you want to brighten. Continue to brush in some light, picking up appropriate colors if the background changes. This way, you increase not only the light, but the saturation, which makes for more realistic results.
The blending mode “Color Dodge” creates realistic results.