Thursday, December 29, 2011

Before and After: Portrait

It has been a while since I've posted two times in row, but I'm currently sick as a dog, confined to a couch surrounded by Kleenexes and cough drops so I've had some free time. ;) In between huddling under a blanket and taking as much prescription drugs that my doctor would let me, I've been messing around on Photoshop. It seems like forever ago, but it's been less than a year, I started to get into Photoshop 'makeovers'. I knew that advertising companies did these to the extreme to create the finish products that now grace the covers of magazines and billboards everywhere. Most people have at least heard that models are airbrushed, and their beauty in debt to Photoshop. Still, hearing this, and seeing the drastic before and after are two very different things. So, I started to learn how to completely change a person in Photoshop, aiming to show that the misleading advertisements rested solely on the magic of Photoshop.

Recently, though, I've been interested in editing portraits. I've only ever done drastic changes, so I set out to edit a portrait with the aim to only enhance the natural beauty. It was hard to resist the urge to go back to what I know-- to change the facial structure, to add makeup, to change the hair color, to make the eyes larger, ect, ect. All this I was used to doing, but this time I tried to scale it back. I wanted a finished product that was just an enhancement, not a completely different person.


Now, the start out, the picture is way too dark. The main problem is the face area-- the rest of the picture is rather light. So, I used the levels function of Photoshop to lighten the picture up and then applied a layer mask to get rid of the areas that didn't need any lightening.

It's hard to explain every little thing I did to enhance to the photo-- but if you have any questions, just ask. I will draw your attention to how I got rid of the brown roots, enhanced the eyes, and lightened the area underneath the eye. Also, I made the teeth whiter, and got rid of some minor blemishes.

*drumroll* and the final result is....


The changes I made weren't overly drastic, just enough to enhance what was already there. I tried to stay true to the original-- it was hard not to turn the eyes green, or blue. ;)

In the next post I'll show you a drastic before and after-- how advertisement companies drastically change a model to fit societal 'ideals'.

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