It's every photographer's dream to take beautiful portraits. The idea of capturing seamless beauty of a best friend or beloved one often ransack the brain of college going students, who wants to establish himself as a renowned snapper, at least before his girlfriend. But capturing seamless beauty is not easy as you think, because in reality there is nothing absolute. There must be some flaws on face like hairline, blemish, dark spot or wrinkle. You must remove all these to impress your beloved one. In this article I will tell you the easiest way to edit a portrait, keeping focus on the face.
When I was pursuing my bachelor degree I felt in love with a girl. After two years of sweet and sour romance, we decided to marry. My parents were not aware of my secret affair, because I never exposed my love letters before them. I was so afraid of showing my girlfriend's photo to my parents, because she had a face full of pimples. After reading some articles on how to edit portrait in Adobe Photoshop CS 6, I decided to apply it on my girlfriend's photo. Believe it or not I succeeded to make my parents impressed and get married. The method I used is called frequency separation.
Before getting into the process let me give you a clear idea the term. You heard about mega pixel and you know that digital image is made of pixels, which is considered as the unit of digital photography, but have you ever heard of frequency? There are many frequencies in an image. We can easily divide them in two parts, namely higher and lower frequency to retouch our image flawlessly. In fact using frequency separation technique is very easy. Follow the simple steps below to apply this special effect.
Open Your Portrait
After opening your portrait on Photoshop make a duplicate of the image twice by pressing Ctrl + J two times, because we don't want to affect the original image.
Naming the layers
Edit the upper layer name to 'High Frequency' and lower layer to 'Low Frequency'. Hide the upper layer by clicking on the eyeball icon.
Applying Gaussian Blur Effect
Select the lower layer and go to the Filter and click on Blur then select Gaussian Blur and drag the slider to right to get a slightly blurry effect so that wrinkles and pimples disappear. Now bring back the visibility of the upper layer and select it.
Selecting the upper layer, in our case 'High Frequency' go to Image and click on apply image from the drop down menu. When the dialog box appears, select 'Low frequency' and for blending mode select 'Subtract'. The Scale should be 1 or 2 and offset 128. After altering all the values properly, click on OK. You will notice the upper layer turns to grey embossed type. Now change the blending mode of the upper layer to 'Linear Light'. As soon as you change it your photo gets back to its original appearance.
Selecting Lasso Tool
Now select the 'Lower Frequency' layer and the select Lasso tool, change the value of Feather of Lasso tool to 25 or 27. Cover the forehead of your portrait by drawing with the lasso tool. Now go to Filter again and select Blur then Gaussian Blur. Drag the slider to vanish all the spots and pimples over the forehead. When you feel happy with the result, click OK. Now you can cover the areas on chin and cheek by drawing with lasso tool, apply the preset Gaussian effect by pressing Ctrl + F. If you can do it properly, you will get a spotless beauty at the end.
Editing pimples and dark spots
Select the upper layer and pick the Spot Healing Brush tool from tool menu, make the size of brush slightly bigger than the pimple or spot and holding the Alt key click on a spotless area near to the pimple and then release the Alt key and click on the pimple. In this process you will get rid of all the pimples and spots on the face.
Isn't it a simple process to glorify the seamless beauty of your beloved one? If you don't have Photoshop then you can try other application too. I hope every famous image editing software have some kind of tool to retouch a portrait with ease.