AB Friday. Enhancing a Portrait.

For this week’s After Before Friday Forum, I wanted to edit a portrait. So at first glance, there is not a lot of major changes but they are typical edits that people requested before getting their prints made.

If you look closely at the After and Before shots above, you can see there is a change in the coloring of the girl’s face. There is also a small piece of skin showing above her finger in front of her lip. And in front of her right eye (left side of the picture), there is a distracting hair. These are the items I focused on to fix.

To adjust the coloring, I went into the Hue/Saturation tool and adjusted the yellows. (See the screen shot below.)

Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 6.23.06 AM

After that, I wanted to enhance her eyes since I remember how they stood out in person. To just saturate the eyes, I needed to select them with the oval tool. Once I highlighted the eyes, individually, I could increase the saturation of just that area. Obviously, you want to increase both eyes to the same level of saturation.

Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 6.24.03 AM

After doing all that, I still didn’t love the color and lighting. So, I decided to play with the levels to see what that would do. When I opened the level tab, I opened the options button. I really can’t say I had a plan here as I haven’t really used this before. So, I just tried a few options. I hit the Enhance Monochromatic Contrast and that seemed to get me to a level I liked. Though, I suppose this is all subjective and could depend a lot on the differences in the calibration of screens. (A very important factor if you are making prints from your screen’s output.)

Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 6.26.34 AM

After that, I increased the overall saturation and contrast by 10. That is when I noticed the hair going across her right eye. (See below.) To fix this, I had to use the clone tool and stamp the parts of her eye that did not have hair on it over the parts where the hair wass. It is a slow and tedious job. The key is to blend and use a low opacity to avoid a pattern in the cloned part.

Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 6.30.38 AM

This is the result. Nothing major but less distracting nonetheless. Having fixed countless hair-in-face pictures, I try really hard to look for these things while shooting, but, I was not officially “working” when I took these and just doing some quick shots for my friend’s daughter. Oops. Plus, I am not sure I would have noticed that small of a hair anyway!

Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 6.35.39 AM

If you are not familiar with the Friday Forum, make sure you search it in the reader. But make sure you go to Aperture64 to check out the host page. Benjamin Rowe always has some great edits to show up and just recently took over the challenge from Stacy at Visual Venturing. Just click on the badge to see Ben’s post this week, which will show all the contributors submissions. after-before-friday-2015



4 thoughts on “AB Friday. Enhancing a Portrait.

  1. Subtle but effective edits. Cloning out that tiny hair was probably time consuming but the print will look great because of it. I like that you didn’t try to change her with your edits, magazine covers have convinced some photographers that we need to all look plastic without freckles and laugh lines – so glad you kept it natural. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. It’s hard to gauge which way go sometimes with tone-too yellow-too blue when light reflects on people. So you just play around until you think you got iy


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