Mastering the Subtle Art of Photo Retouching with Photoshop [TUTORIAL]

  • BY Emma Davis
  • Jan 2, 2014
  • 932
Mastering the Subtle Art of Photo Retouching with Photoshop [TUTORIAL]

headshot printsPhotoshop is probably the software with the most controversial reputation out there. Photo retouching has been taken to an extreme by some industries, the fashion one in particular. We all remember the famous Dove Transformation where a woman is retouched to an unrecognizable level.

However, photo editing does not need to have a negative connotation. You can apply photo filters to change lighting, focus or placement. Fashion photography involves more than making a model skinny or give her a flawless skin. Improving backgrounds and colors to make them more editorial are also useful effects you can obtain from photoshop.

If you have some experience in photoshop or are eager to get some practice, take a look at these 3 retouching tutorials of what you can do with Photoshop CS6 tools:

1. Retouching a Fashion Photo

The first tutorial shows you how to retouch a fashion photo to give it an artistic feeling. Aaron Nace from goes over an image to fix lighting, make up, skin tone and photo colors with layers.

2. Make the most of the Sharpen Tool

This next tutorial shows you how to use the sharpen tool to make images clearer and what excesses to avoid. It has practical examples for sharpen filters and masks. What’s great about it is that they show you how to use the tool to make images their best without completely changing them. Click on the image below to go to for the full tutorial.

3. Full Headshot Retouching

The last tutorial is great practice for what a headshot retouching might involve. It’s a good example for model headshots and aesthetic improvements they would require. The video shows you how to remove skin blemishes, create a contrast between background and model, work with eye brightness and teeth shape. Basically everything you would need to make great headshot prints, which are the ultimate job hunting tools for actors and models.

The best retouched images are the ones that don’t look obviously worked on. Making unrealistic changes to a photo that is supposed to be real should not be the aim of a great editor.

Use these tutorials to get started and master your techniques of subtle retouching.

Feel free to let us know about other tutorials and share your thoughts on the comment section below. Now go ahead and get photoshopping!