Adobe Photoshop Backgrounds

Retouching a portrait for social media using Adobe Photoshop CC

Start with good raw material

First you need a decent head shot. A professional photo shoot isn't necessary: It can be as simple as asking a friend to take your picture using a real camera. Camera phones and webcams don't count (see Figure 1).

If you plan on replacing the background, make it easier on yourself by standing in front of a contrasting wall (see Figure 2). A simple contrast rule is to use a light background for dark hair and a darker background for light hair. Don't use a complex or distracting background unless you want that background to be in the final image.

Figure 1. Don't make the wrong first impression with a bad image.

Figure 2. Keeping the background simple and contrasted from your hair color will help if you choose to replace it later.

Bring the headshot file into Photoshop. First duplicate the background layer (Command+J for Mac OS or Control+J for Windows). If things go wrong, you can delete the edited layer and start over with the original background layer.

Next evaluate areas that require retouching. Think like a plastic surgeon and create a blank layer on which you can mark up the portrait to help identify what you want to touch up. I want to adjust the color of my skin, reduce the bags under and above my eyes, remove the sunburn from my cheeks, and darken my hair a little (see Figure 3). Of course, your image may not need the same corrections. Once you have a plan, you can hide or delete the marked-up layer.

Figure 3. Marking up your image on a new layer can help you plan what to retouch.

The lighting in the room where the photo was shot was a little too yellow, making me look jaundiced. To fix this, I adjust the image's color cast.

To experiment without permanently losing any image data, I add an adjustment layer (Layer > New Adjustment Layer). I start with Color Balance for a subtle adjustment. This lets me adjust the color for the shadows, midtones, and highlight areas separately. n the image (see Figure 4).

This technique works well with all skin types. Adjusting the tonal ranges using Color Balance lets you neutralize any color cast caused by environment or lighting.

Figure 4. Before (left) and after (right) adjusting the image using Color Balance

Remove blemishes with the Spot Healing Brush

For acne, facial blemishes, and other small areas of correction, I like the Spot Healing Brush (see Video 1).

Video 1. See the Spot Healing Brush in action (no sound)

For best results, don't rely on the default settings. I set my brush hardness to 50%, which gives me the proper amount of blending using the Spot Healing Brush and Healing Brush tools.

To change the brush size, use the left or right bracket keys. If you have CS5 or later, you can hold Command+Option while you click (Mac OS) or Control+Alt while you right-click (Windows) and drag left or right to change the size.

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More about Adobe Photoshop Backgrounds

Does anyone know anything about photoshop?

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Is the Corel version about the same as the Adobe version?
What do you have?
i am looking at Photoshop Adobe 7.0 on ebay.. Didnt know if there was something more affordable but almost the same..
i need to be able to edit, drool, boogers backgrounds etc out of photos.

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