Oct 18, 2005

Editing your digital images without the mystery, Part II: Retouching techniques 101

Source: ars technica
Written By Dave Girard


Welcome back to the Digital Imaging Without the Mystery workshop and thank you for not commenting on my lack of a shirt. We can’t stop the dissemination of knowledge just because it’s laundry day so let’s just STOP STARING AT MY TATTOO OF A BUTTERFLY and move right along. If you’re here for the first time, you might want to read the first workshop since this builds on some fundamentals established there.

As I mentioned before, this is intended to be platform- and application-agnostic, but there are certain workflow things that might be specific to Photoshop since I’m more acquainted with it. The major things like masks and quick masks apply to most editors. Since the last workshop, forum member tipped me off to a
for Adobe Photoshop Elements that adds the essential curves adjustment and resolves the major gripe I have with PS Elements as a decent image editor. I recommend checking it out if you want a lot more power when it comes to handling many balance and contrast adjustments. These final two guides get into some advanced techniques and tools like quick masks that Photoshop Elements doesn’t have, but for the most part there are workarounds. Ditto for The GIMP.

Where the first workshop focused more on a basic understanding and tweaking of image color, contrast and adjusting a single image, this second workshop gets into the foundation of retouching and compositing: convincing cloning. Whether it’s for removing an element, extending backgrounds to rework compositions or adding an eye to the forehead of an ex, the clone tool is the tool for the job and learning how to use it well is important to getting convincing end results. So let’s put on our magical Photoshop hats (a Kleenex box will do) and get started.

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