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Professional Portrait Retouching Techniques for Photographers Using Photoshop (Voices That Matter) Paperback – April 3, 2010
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This book is not going to get into the details of every little capability in Adobe Photoshop. This book will give you the ability to retouch the portraits you take with your digital camera - it cuts right to the chase. You can make an untouched photo look presentable in 10-15 minutes using the techniques in this book.
If you want to know how to soften skin, whiten teeth, remove blemishes, add sparkle and life to eyes, add digital "make-up," remove stubble, sculpt eyebrows, etc., this is the book to get. Simply scan through the table of contents to find the retouch topic you need, fire up Photoshop, open your digital photo, and follow the step-by-step instructions. There are tons of pictures and Mr. Kelby's writing style is easy to follow - he manages to make things easy without talking down to his readers.
Scott Kelby makes it super-easy to make your portraits look great. I used Mr. Kelby's books for Photoshop Elements, and when I stepped up to the full-blown Photoshop, there was no doubt that I would be turning to him for assistance with my photos. I have NEVER been stumped by any of his instructions.
Using Mr. Kelby's books I have: whitened teeth, enlarged eyes, adjusted the whites of eyes, removed blemishes, cleaned up eyebrows, changed eye colors, added lip color, softened skin, learned how to add vignette to portraits, added sparkle to eyes, etc. For a bumbling amateur such as myself, Mr. Kelby's books are must-haves, to be sure!
As a bonus, Mr. Kelby's website has all the photos used in the book so his readers can download the photos and follow along in the book while learning all the techniques by actually using Photoshop. This is an awesome feature!
You'll probably pick and choose bits from the different chapters to create your own work flow.
A couple of the processes were a little confusing and didn't seem to work well for me, but it could also be the images I was using. I still have the ideas in my toolbox, even if I only have to use it once and a great while.
Mr. Kelby provides options for the toolkit in the digital darkroom; they are priceless. It doesn't begin and end with the book, there is online bonus swag and photos to help with the learning process.
It is important to remember that there is no mathematical process, photography is still an art form - from the capture to retouching. It's not likely that all of the techniques will be used and the ones that are should be subtle. Mr. Kelby provides a workflow checklist, but two photogs could sit next to each other, follow the same step-by-step list and end with a completely different looking portrait. ...This is a good thing! Mr. Kelby provides the tips, but we can use our artistic intuition to decide how much or if something should be considered. Learn, but be stubborn about the fact that this is your art. For example, I use one skin softening technique for close-up face and another for the body. There are no rules!
I will try to attach a personal "before and after" example photo, somewhere.
Kelby makes clear from the beginning that this book is for PHOTOGRAPHERS that need to do their own retouching and NOT for professional retouchers. So any criticism on this issue is really unfounded. I expect to adapt many of the illustrated procedures and produce a more refined product.
The instructions are clear and easy to follow when you download the practice images and follow along.
Some reviewers seem irritated with Kelby's sense of humor but this is such a minor issue I can't understand that getting in the way of learning. Kelby is a good photographer and a gifted educator really comfortable with thorough explanations.
Be aware that you need to work with selections, layers, and channels in PS so if you are not already grounded in these panels be prepared to learn some new software skills.