Male portrait retouching from start to finish in Lightroom and Photoshop


posted Monday, January 30, 2017 at 12:14 PM EDT


Photographer, retoucher and educator Glyn Dewis has an excellent new video for portrait photographers. This tutorial covers portrait retouching from the original RAW image file all the way to a print-ready file. Now this tutorial is specifically about retouching a male portrait, although there are tips and tricks for portrait retouching that are universal. If you’re curious to learn how Glyn lit and captured the portrait he retouches in the video below, see his blog post about the photo here.

While Dewis typically uses a gray card when working, he was in a bit of a rush and didn’t have one handy during this portrait session, so his first step will be to correct white balance. In Lightroom, he corrects white balance using the gray background as his target. Next is cropping. He wants to keep the same aspect ratio, which can be achieved by holding shift while dragging the crop tool across the image. The next steps are tweaking shadows and highlights, where necessary. After adjusting shadows to taste, Dewis sharpens the image. This is an area where his workflow varies for male and female portraits. When working on a male portrait, he generally uses an amount of sharpening around “40” before using masking to selectively sharpen only around the model and not the background.

Dewis performs a few more adjustments in Lightroom before bringing the image into Photoshop. While he utilizes Lightroom for a lot of adjustments, as we’ve seen, he prefers Photoshop’s spot removal tool so he uses the Spot Removal tool to get rid of a couple blemishes. When editing male portraits, Glyn likes to keep some blemishes and marks, as he finds that they look better with a bit of “grunge in there, not totally perfect.”

Glyn has a special technique for retouching eyes. Rather than discuss that, watch the video he made on eyes below.

To see more of Dewis’ work, visit his website and YouTube channel. He publishes new videos frequently, so subscribe to his channel to stay up to date with his tutorials.

(Seen via ISO 1200)