Step 3 – Photoshop Tools

STEP 3: Photoshop Tools

When you open the file though photoshop, it will come out a tad bit different than you saw it five minutes ago. The tools in the actual program can be a little extensive, but the most important ones will get you where you need to go. Note the green highlights. These tools are vital to the portrait work done in this style. The tools to use are highlighted in green.

A glossary of some of the favorite common tools used: 

The Brush Tool – To add color or paint. This tool is helpful to photographers with monocromatic watermarks. You can create a Brush Preset using the CTRL+A function on a design with black text and a white background, and then use EDIT -> Define Brush Preset to establish a shape to stamp on your photos. 

The Clone Stamp Tool – This photo will be helpful when you have blemishes on a subject. In this particular photo, the subject does not have this problem, but how you use it is ALT+Click on an area that you want to copy, and then just clicking on the subject where you are trying to modify. Another tool to do this is using the Healing Brush Tool, but a good reason why photographers will use the Clone Stamp over the Healing Brush is because you can change the Opacity of the Clone Stamp so you can more accurately control your color that you are administering. 

The Paint Bucket Tool – Not needed for this module, but can create a plain background with whichever color you want to fill the layer with. 

The Blur Tool – Using this tool, you can smooth out the skin and create more depth of field. You have already done a decent amount of modification using the Luminance function in RAW, so this is just to fine tune the smoothness, whether it be just right to the face, or after the Clone Stamp tool has been used. 

The Dodge Tool – Using the old name from Darkroom Photography, using the Dodge Tool on an image will lighten the image in a certain spot that you can touch with the brush. It also gives you three options to choose from, dodging the Highlights, Midtones, or Shadows. 

The Burn Tool – The exact opposite of the Dodge Tool, the Burn Tool uses the dark portions of the photo and enhances the richness of the dark parts. It also has the option to work with the Highlights, Midtones, or Shadows. 

For this particular image, what can be done is using the Blur, Dodge, and Burn tools. Blur to smooth the skin and background to create depth of field, dodge the shadow on the right of her face, and burn to darken her clothes and the shadows on the outside of the photograph. 

See the modified difference?