Category Archives: Photo Editing

Editing Portraits in Photoshop

I love retouching portraits. It’s my favourite kind of image to work on in Photoshop.

However, in portrait photography, my two biggest pet peeves are dark circles and sharpness. Take a look at this untouched picture by Nazm Photography.


Original Image by Nazm Photography

I really like this portrait and couldn’t resist working on it. This is what I settled on:


The End Result.

Here’s what I did:

  1. Added a cream coloured filter to the highlights in the picture. 
  2. Put another filter (any kind) in soft light to increase the contrast of shadows.
  3. Dodged her cheekbones to enhance them.
  4. Burnt the hollow on the cheek to add depth.
  5. Brightened up the eyes with the dodge tool.
  6. Cloned stamped some of the dark circles (removing them completely would have made the picture look fake).
  7. Added a little bit of colour to her lips.
  8. Sharpened the image.

Before and After

These tweaks make the image more striking. What you guys think?


4 quick steps to improve an image in Photoshop

A little tweaking in Photoshop can drastically improve a picture. Here’s one example I especially like:

Beer Glass on a Bar Counter

Original Image

When I first saw it, I loved how the colours came out in this picture. The colours counter top and the beer glass complimented each other. The patterned wall in the background created a great contrast. Any hint of monotony was broken by shades on light on the counter and the frames on the wall.

Yet I felt I would be happier with the picture if it popped out more. A few experiments in Photoshop and this is what I settled on:

Edited Image of Beer Glass on Bar's Counter

Edited Image

I’m really happy with the result. It makes the photo more striking and makes the eyes linger on it. I did lose some pattern on the wall, but just the hint of pattern works really well for me.

Here’s what I did:

  1. Cropped the image to get rid of the annoying white light on the top left corner making the object more prominent. 
  2. Created a vignette around the edges to highlight the glass and the light’s pattern on the counter.
  3. Increased the brightness of the image, added a new layer with black, and changed the layer’s mode to “hue”. I then adjusted the layer’s opacity till I was happy with the colours.
  4. Sharpened the image.


P.S. I read about this technique online but unfortunately can’t find the page now. If anyone knows where this comes from, please drop me a line in the comments below so I can link the website.

Photoshopping Threats — North Korea’s Doctored Image

Following recent attempts to escalate tensions with the US and South Korea, possibly to strengthen Kim Jong Un’s position in domestic politics, North Korea released a photo of a marine military exercise in late March. The photo shows eight hovercrafts landing on the North Korean shore.

Soon enough reports started surfacing of a possible doctoring of the photos to increase the number of the hovercrafts.

North Korea Military Exercise Hovercraft

Eight hovercrafts do a formidable foe make.

This picture was posted and analysed by Alan Taylor on The Atlantic‘s website. According to him the two hovercrafts about to land on shore near the photographer and the two most distant ones are actually replicas of each other.

Guardian enhanced the images and resized the hovercrafts to demonstrate the similarities:

North Korea doctored HovercraftsNorth Korea photoedited Hover crafts

How embarrassing for them.

This is not the first time North Korea has been caught doctoring photos. But, as Agence France-Press admits, the editors over there are improving in their Photoshopping skills. I think this calls for another post of the previous image doctoring blunders coming out of the country.