Photo Story: Calm Look

I was amazed by the calm look of this gorgeous lady, so I’ve decided to retouch this picture to enhance my portfolio. Here’s my workflow how I approach high end beauty retouching.

1/ RAW File and Essential Adjustments

Even the original image in RAW file was great having good light, decent look, make-up, etc. Just take a look.

Calm Look - RAW file

I did basic tweaks in Capture One to produce neutral picture with a lot of data. I’ve darkened highlights, slighly lightened shadows and did some basic adjustments of noise reduction and sharpening. Then, I’ve exported the result in TIFF and followed up in Photoshop.

Calm Look - TIFF file

2/ Shape Adjustments

Now, I’ve started with other retouching phases already in my favorite Photoshop. The first thing, I always do with portraits, is to correct shapes of the figure and face to deliver the smooth and simplified overall look. In this case, I’ve corrected left eye and collarbones mostly.

Calm Look - Liquify

3/ Skin Retouching

If you take a closer look you’ll find that model’s skin needs some retouching care to get rid of pimples, freckles, ugly shadows, etc. I use frequency separation technique to make my workflow smooth and fast, but even though it takes a while and a lof of patience 🙂

Calm Look - Skin Retouching

4/ Hair Retouching

Now, it’s time to simplify model’s hair. I’ve reshaped the silhouette slightly, removed the outlaying hair, corrected crossing hair, and unified and smoothened highlights.

Calm Look - Hair Retouching

5/ Eyes, Lips, and Skin Color

At the end of the basic retouching part, I’ve corrected eye brows, eyes lashes, and lips a bit and highlighted pupils. Finally, I’ve unified the skin color to get rid of different skin tones on different body parts.

Calm Look - Eyes, Lips, Skin Color

6/ Dodge & Burn

Once the basic retouching is done, it’s time for local contrast adjustments to emphasize the key aspects of model’s face and body. I use dodge and burn technique to deliver visually appealing contrast on important body parts such as nose, cheeks, lips, chin, below eye brows, and on body itself.

Calm Look - Dodge and Burn

7/ Mastering

The last phase is short but with dramatic results. On top of the whole picture, I’ve tweaked the overall contrast and color grading, cooled down shadows and warmed up highlights. I’ve also added a slight vignette to set the focus point on the face itself and added film look to smoothen the picture.

Calm look by Kate Miller retouched by Lukas Burkon