As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I felt I could perhaps find a better original to work with while learning skin smoothing techniques for portraits – one that’s a head and shoulders shot instead of my face smushed up against the camera, and one where I’d applied more careful makeup and used better lighting. In the end I chose this one, which was one of my makeup test shots from back in March:
My makeup was funky (the big splotches of blush were intentional) and glittery here, and I was using a softbox so the lighting was dramatic and high-fashion instead of traditional portrait light, but I liked the effect and also how there was no hair in my face to contend with and no fluttery costume to add distraction.
I started by lightening and brightening things in Paint Shop Pro, which helped but definitely still needed work:
So then I used the advanced smoothing technique I described in yesterday’s post, the one that leaves a lot of texture when smoothing:
When working with a portrait at a realistic distance from the lens, and with better makeup and lighting, I can see how much more effective these techniques are. You gotta be a serious Photoshop master, I guess, to get good results from a super close-up shot with no makeup on. Or something. But I like the dramatic results I can see in the photo above when I compare it to the originals.
I then pulled this photo over into Snapseed to edit the color and add some sharpening:
But I still wasn’t done; I wanted to pull it back into Photoshop to finish it up with the other smoothing technique; the one I learned Saturday and that I felt on its own wasn’t good enough:
If I knew Photoshop better, I could do all these steps in that program without shuttling a photo back and forth into different ones, but for now I’m just glad to have learned how to do something useful with it that I’ve wanted to try for a long time. I still don’t think I have it down to perfection, but I’m pretty pleased with what I managed to pull off.
To finish off, let’s add a collage, shall we? Because you know how I love before and after collages: