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The 12 Minute Photoshop Makeover

Friday, March 17th, 2006 by | Filed Under: Digital Photography

The 12 Minute Photoshop Makeover

Let’s face it, we live in a “total makeover” society. Television is filled with redo programs that never fail to enchant us. We want to see people’s spaces traded, their rides “pimped” and their bodies reworked into swans. Honestly, I’m no different. I absolutely love a transformation. But with change, comes cost.

That’s why I’m crazy about Adobe Photoshop. With it, you can affect great change to your own images and do it in record time. So, in essence, amateur digital photographers (like you and I) can use premier software to make ourselves look great, and do it at a fraction of the cost of the average plastic surgery overhaul.

So, let’s look at an example of what I mean and I’ll show you how to produce amazing results.

In any “good news, bad news” situation, I much prefer to get the bad out of the way first. So, the bad news is: we all have flaws. The good news is that Adobe Photoshop (and a little practice) will help you forget them. You see, one of the best weapons in Photoshop’s toolbox arsenal is the Magic Patch Tool. The patch tool lets you repair any “flawed” portion of a photograph with “cleaner” pixels from another portion of that same photo. Better yet, the patch tool matches the texture, lighting and shading qualities of the portion you sample. And fear not, non technical reader, you’ll be able to use this tool immediately!

The above photo shows a close up shot of Adrian. Now, this is a fine shot without retouching. But there are some “hot” spots from the camera’s flash that could use some smoothing.

The Magic Patch Tool is located in Photoshop’s toolbox. Click on it and move the tool over to your image.

With the Patch Tool selected, left click (Windows) or click (Mac OS) and hold as you freeform draw a selection around an area that you’d like to change. Letting go of the mouse will close the selection and create a marquee. In this case, I’d like to minimize the sharper highlights on Adrian’s face.

Now, here’s the fun part! Along the top of Photoshop’s window, you will see the words “Source” and “Destination.” Make sure that “Source” is checked. We’ll explain “Destination” in another lesson. Now, left click in the center of the selection, keep holding the mouse button and drag over to a “cleaner” portion of the image. (In this case, I’m using another portion of Adrian’s cheek). You’ll see a mirror image in your selection, but only until you let go of the mouse.

When you let go of the mouse, the mirror image that you saw earlier changes to a perfectly smooth, perfectly lit, flawless new portion of cheek! Photoshop has taken the sampled pixels that you dragged over to and corrected the less than perfect portions of your image that you started with.

A few more well placed “alterations” and Adrian goes from model to “super model!”
Super easy, super cool!

Dominic Russo

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