Photoshop Tutorial To Enhance Photos and Still Keeping Skin Pores

Clients that attend bridal studios or professional photographers want to look good in their photos. But they also want to look real. They want to look like themselves (but with a few enhancements).

They did not have the ambition to look like models in magazines but unrealistic when compared to them. Reducing or minimizing (not removing completely) some of their flaws, like wrinkles, dark circles, or moles, and improving their best qualities, like the color of their eyes or hair, is the basic use of Photoshop.

Using too much Photoshopping is not only unnecessary, but what’s worse is that the valuable expressions captured in the moment by the photographer are erased in Photoshop when the smile lines or wrinkles are removed. Some easy to follow tutorials result in blurry (poreless, featureless) skin.

However, some really good tutorials are hard to follow, with many complicated steps. Here is a simplified guide on How to Get Your Photos Enhanced Without Having To Learn All The Tools In Photoshop.

natural photoshop

If you like this tutorial, you might want to check some of our previous articles on Photo Manipulation Tutorials, Photoshop Forum Signature Tutorials, Tutorials for Creating Icons in Photoshop, Moon Tutorial With Photoshop and Photoshop Tricks

1. Open the image in Photoshop.

2. Duplicate

Duplicate the Background layer by dragging the background layer to the small symbol new layer on the bottom right of the Layers palette.

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3. Stamp

Still on the duplicated layer, use the Stamp tool to reduce the most visible flaws. Use the alt key to pick the sample (use the closest color of the skin), then stamp on the skin we want to improve. For dark circles combined with wrinkles, stamp only at the edges to smooth the difference. The less you use the stamp the better. Usually I use a relatively big brush, but with low opacity. For an unwanted spot, use the right size, just enough to cover the spot with a higher opacity.

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4. Duplicate the Background Copy Layer

5. Blur Current Layer with Gaussian Blur

Radius 1.5 Pixels

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6. Add Noise To It

2.45% Gaussian

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7. Move

Move current layer (Background copy 3) below Background copy 2.

8. Click On The Mask Tool

And use the black brush (in mask mode) to reveal the layer underneath, which is the smoothed version. Leave the eye brows, eye lashes, eyes, and lips, outlines untouched.

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9. If The Dark Circles Are Too Dark

Use the square tool to select the eyes, copy and paste to a new layer. Use the Levels option (Ctrl+L) to lighten the skin around the eyes.

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10. Apply A Mask On The Eyes Layer

And use a brush to remove the edges and the inside of the eyes. Now you can see that the skin under the eyes is the same brightness as the other part of the face.

11. Repeat (optional)

If the face is not smooth enough, feel free to duplicate Background copy 3, and repeat step 5 with a higher number, followed by step 6. Adjust the opacity of the layer until the result is satisfying. The lower the opacity, the closer it is to the actual picture.

12. Duplicate The Layer For The Hair Enhancement

Use levels to enhance the brightness and contrast of the hair. Pay no attention to the face: it has no effect because we will use this layer for the hair only.

13. Move The Hair Layer One Backwards

Apply mask and brush on the face layer to reveal the enhanced hair.

14. Repeat 12 and 13 With The Eye Color and Brightness

15. That’s it

Now you have a natural-looking photoshopped picture.

Conclusion

People in the ‘real world’ (particularly women) want to look natural. The above techniques will help you achieve this whether its your own photo or someone else’s. Noise is a good tool to replace skin pores in a small to medium size images.

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  • http://newevolutiondesigns.com Tom, NewEvolution

    That was pretty cool. Nice job! I’m going to feature in next weeks.

  • http://picmip.com Timonster

    instead of using grain/noise, copy the layer before and use the emboss filter on it. then use layer style soft light. get this layer above the layer with Gaussian Blur and you have a nice soft skin, but with original skin pores…

  • http://www.17ps8.com/ white

    good tips.thank u.

  • mel b

    these tips are so helpful.. keep up the good work, God bless.

  • ammar

    good

  • http://viktorphotography.co.uk Viktor

    Nice tutorial!
    Thanks!

    • http://slodive.com/ SloDive

      Glad you like it.

  • ronan

    I always wondered how they did it Thanks for making this!

  • marky

    nice grunge texture. I have some stuff to share with you.
    thanks for this toturial.

  • WNG

    nice info…. ty:) learn a lot

  • http://www.clippingphoto.com Golam Rahaman

    wow! nice tutorial. very helpful.

  • Manuel Garcia

    This is what I am looking for. Nice tutorial indeed. You showed us some of the advanced techniques. Thanks.

  • http://www.geekandblogger.com Pavan Somu

    Excellent topic you covered in this article still i request you to write on how to control High contrast images and better workflow for image editing.

  • Alexander Krupchest

    Dear Sir:

    I am trying to do your tutorial on “Photoshop Tutorial To Enhance Photos and Still Keeping Skin Pores”. I am trying to use the picture that you used. Could you please tell me where I can find this picture and it’s name? On tutorials like this I like to use the pictures that are used so I can better understand how the tutorials works.

    Sincerely,

    Alexander Krupchest

  • Jai

    I know a little about this but it gave me more information on how to do it better. Thanks.

  • http://www.stuffblogged.wordpress.com Ben Stuart

    Very interesting post- I have a feeling a lot of magazines use this technique!

  • Prabha

    With this photoshop tutorial i improved my skill on how to enhance the photo without damaging its skin pores.

  • Kamal

    Great post to know more about Photoshop,All the Tutorial Related to Photoshop from Slodive site is very very useful to us…

  • https://www.facebook.com/nikhil.sharma.982845 Nikhil Sharma

    Nice tutorial indeed. You showed us some of the advanced techniques. Thanks.

  • Bhring NAth Prasad

    Really nice tutorials i love these very much thanks for sharing these tutorials.