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Video Training Review: Photoshop CS3 Portrait Retouching Essentials With Chris Orwig From Lynda.com.

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Because photographs of people are so common whether done as portraits or candid shots, for advertisements, or one of the many other uses, the ability to neutralize problems due to bad lighting, skin flaws or other problems is necessary. One needs to have skills to retouch images. Photoshop CS3 Portrait Retouching Essentials gives you hands-on instruction on all aspects of the correction techniques that are used by the pros.

Your trainer for this library is Chris Orwig, a faculty member of the Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara. He has an infectious teaching method that works well to get the point across. This library is divided into 15 lessons and runs 10.25 hours.

The introduction starts off by showing you how to use this training video, a sneak peek at the art of retouching, how to use a Wacom tablet, and how to use the exercise files. Lesson 1, "Retouching Road Map" provides an outline of what you need to consider when getting ready to retouch an image. You really need to plan what you are going to do and to this end you need to put together a plan.

Lesson 2, "Correcting Color and Tone" is the first step in retouching. Here you will see how to work with white balance, brighten dark tones, darken bright tones, and color correct skin tones. Lesson 3, "Cleaning Up Images in Camera Raw" will show you how to perform healing, cloning, and dust removal while in Adobe Camera Raw.

Lesson 4, "Cleaning Up Images in Photoshop" focuses on removing background distractions, simplifying backgrounds, improving studio backdrops, cleaning up flyaway hairs, and in general cleaning up the image. Lesson 5, "Structural Image Enhancement" is all about making enhancements to the physical body structure. This will have you fixing the jaw line, changing the shapes of ears, eyes, noses, and faces. You will tailor a wedding dress, reduce the stomach size, thin the waist and legs, as well as combine multiple images.

Lesson 6, "Reducing and Removing Winkles" gives you techniques for removing wrinkles from both faces and clothing. Lesson 7, "Enhancing Eyes" is all about the eyes. Here you will change color, brighten, add catch light, sharpen, increase size, darken the edges, and whiten the eyes.

Lesson 8, "Enhancing Eyelashes and Eyebrows" shows you how to clean up eyebrows, increase eyelash density, and add eyelashes. Lesson 9, "Improving Hair" describes how to patch a gap in the hair, improve the tone, darken roots, remove stray hairs, and remove flyaway hairs over a background.

Lesson 10, "Improving Faces and Bodies" focuses on seeing an image as how it should be. Here you will enhance muscles, enhance faces, gloss lips, manipulate facial expressions, and body sculpt. Lesson 11, "Fixing Teeth" does just this; whitens teeth and fixes gaps in them.

Lesson 12, "Improving Makeup" gives you additional makeup resources by adding color to cheeks, changing the shape of lips, modifying the color of makeup, and making color enhancements. Lesson 13, "Enhancing Skin" will show you how to reduce skin variations, reduce freckles, and add texture. Lesson 14, "Softening Skin" finishes up with more techniques to soften skin and improve color and tone.

I really like the way that Chris Orwig presents his information on Adobe Photoshop portrait retouching. He comes at it from a professional photographer's perspective, it is well organized, and you get a lot of great tips throughout. He has an exciting teaching style and a wonderful presentation.

You can get Photoshop CS3 Portrait Retouching Essentials two ways. One is as a DVD training package Photoshop CS3 Prepress Essentials and the other is part of the online training experience at Lynda.com. The DVD Training Package is $99 USD and contains everything you need.

The other is through online training. Photoshop CS3 Portrait Retouching Essentials comes in three flavors. Monthly at $25 USD/month gets you all of the videos that are available online (approximately 21,811 videos on 318 topics at this time). Annually at $250 USD per year or Premium at $375 USD per year gives you all the videos as well as all of the exercise files. Take note that the exercise files are not included with the monthly or annual subscriptions. They are included on the DVD and Premium subscriptions.

You can use Photoshop CS3 Portrait Retouching Essentials as a training program for the individual student, but it's also useful for the college or vocational teacher looking to supplement their educational materials. It is of benefit to anyone who needs help understanding the Lightroom workflow. You can also try out the most of first three lessons for free at Lynda.com.

Photoshop CS3 Portrait Retouching Essentials lesson listing:

  • Introduction
  • Retouching Road Map
  • Correcting Color and Tone
  • Cleaning Up Images in Camera Raw
  • Cleaning Up Images in Photoshop
  • Structural Image Enhancement
  • Reducing and Removing Winkles
  • Enhancing Eyes
  • Enhancing Eyelashes and Eyebrows
  • Improving Hair
  • Improving Faces and Bodies
  • Fixing Teeth
  • Improving Makeup
  • Enhancing Skin
  • Softening Skin
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About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.