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Freckles Be Gone

Friday, July 21st, 2006 by | Filed Under: Digital Photography

Do you have freckles? Do you wish you could take them away sometimes? Or maybe you have a child or grandchild that would like to see what they would look like without freckles. Although freckles are kisses from angels, it’s sometimes nice to change your look, at least in photos. If you’re interested in that, this tip is just for you!

Let’s start with the image above with freckles. (This is where you would open your image that you would like to change in Photoshop). After you open it, duplicate the layer by dragging the layer with the picture on it to the new layer button or with your layer selected, go to Layer, Duplicate Layer. At this point, you should have two layers. One will be the original and the other is a copy.

Now, with the copy layer selected, go to Filter, Blur, Gaussian Blur. Play with the slider until the freckles are cleared. The main point here is to keep a balance between too much blur and too many freckles showing.

Now, we are going to play around with the history brush. Most people don’t use it too much, however, in this job, it’s a very important part of the operation. Go to Window, History to bring up the history palette.

In the history palette that opens up, click on the duplicate layer so that the image returns to the original form it had before we used the Gaussian Blur. Click once in the little box that sits toward the left of the Gaussian Blur state. Now, we need to select the History brush tool from the tools palette.

We are just going to paint over those freckles to remove them. To avoid creating a blurry version of the picture, change the History brush’s mode to “lighten.”

The last step in this exercise is to paint over the freckles in the image with the history brush. Feel free to change the setting of the brush, such as the opacity or the brush size to make the image seem more real. We don’t want the image to look too “clean” either. Zooming into the image for extra finesse is also a good idea. After I went through these steps, this is what I ended up with:

You can remove freckles from almost any kind of image. Some of them might prove challenging, but by tweaking the history brush settings and zooming in, you should be able to get rid of even the most troublesome of freckle marks. So, say hello to freckle freedom. Well, digitally at least!

~ Yogesh Bakshi

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