Today on The Slanted Lens we are introducing our second photo retouching segment! Julene Morgan, a professional retoucher from Los Angeles, will be sharing a QuickTip on adding highlights to hair in photoshop. Check it out!
Camera RAW Adjustments
Whenever I start working on an image, I always start in camera RAW. I think a lot of photographers feel comfortable manipulating images in RAW, but Photoshop is a little less comfortable. Once you’ve made those minor changes in RAW, there is still a lot that needs to be done in order to edit your images well.
Highlighting in Photoshop
The first thing I do after opening photoshop is retouch any blemishes or dark spots on the subject’s face. Once that is done, I usually do what is called an “S-Curve Adjustment.” You do this by going into the layer palate and selecting the half shaded circle until you find the menu for curves. You make an “S-Curve” by making the top left of the image brighter and the bottom right darker. This curve helps to add a little more depth and contrast to any image.
The next thing I would focus on is separating the subject’s hairline from the background of the image. A quick, easy way to do this is to add a layer and go to your paintbrush tool. Then paint in some white where you want to lighten the hair. In choosing which points to brighten, I tend to paint the brightest parts of the subject’s hair. Remember, you don’t need to paint the white perfectly along the hairline. Paint it where you want it!
You can then go into blend mode (I tend to choose either the Overlay or Soft Light filters) and manipulate the highlights from there. For this image, Soft Light doesn’t work so I chose Overlay. You then need to adjust the opacity until the portion of hair you are highlighting looks realistic, believable, and acceptable.
This is a really simple way to separate dark hair from a dark background, and really helps add contrast and depth to your image and your subject’s face! Let us know what you think and what retouching techniques you would like to learn next!
Keep those cameras rollin’ and keep on clickin’!
-Jay P. and Julene