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FULL TUTORIAL IN LIGHTROOM & PHOTOSHOP – Pet Portrait Retouching Tutorial – Dog Photo Editing 101

February 27, 2020


Hello guys, hi everybody, how are you all
doing today? I really hope that you well. I’m so excited to be making this video, I
have wanted to edit a particular picture that I took five years ago, and I
thought it was a dud when I first took it, but I want to walk you through the
edit of the whole thing – Let’s go find the picture, get it open in Lightroom
Classic, and we’ll take it from there… So guys this is the picture this is
Alfie when he was *absolutely adorable* very very cute little puppy…
What on earth did I shoot this on, let me go find out…
ok so I shot this on a Nikon d800 the lens was a 70-200 2.8 Sigma lens, I
don’t really know why I completely discounted it at the time,
I’ve never edited this picture before in my life, I’m gonna take you through this
picture… So this is Alfie, the picture itself is sharp, it’s a little bit noisy
but we will assess that. So the first thing that I’m going to do is I’m just
going to try and regain some of those highlights back – this is a raw
file, always shoot in RAW, I’m going to bring the highlights right back down
there. I’m probably gonna just drop the whole exposure of the image a little bit
anyway, to about there – if in doubt take a look at your histogram and try and get
it, you know, middle of the road, where the ridges are and yeah, I’m happy with where
that is now. White balance wise I like it to be a little bit warmer with a little
bit less less of the green in there about there if you ever want to look
when you’re in Lightroom at the before and after if you use the backward slash,
if you tap that, that will show you’re before and you’re after, so you’ll see me
dip in and out of that quite a bit. Okay… I’m gonna head straight to the detail
tab, now I want to organize and sort out all of this noise. I’m on a big screen so
I’m going to go into 200% so that you guys can see this nice and clearly. I’m
gonna hold down the Alt key and just up the sharpening a little bit which will
add noise but I’m gonna just go ahead with that. I’m gonna increase the radius
just to pick up all those little hairs again I’m holding down my Alt key so I
can see. So you can see what’s happening so that is pretty much just bringing in
the noise. The detail slider is not working well for me on this image.
Brilliant and then I’m just gonna assess the situation with the noise I’m gonna
look at a noisy area like this over here I’m going to just add up the luminance
on that, now, I’m looking at a detail area and a noisy area here, and we need to
strike a balance between the two super. Right okay awesome so I’ve got
nice sharp eyes, softened off the noise in the image, that’s looking pretty good.
I don’t know if I have lost a bit too much detail off of his hair, probably gonna
bring that back, I’m happy with that. I do not like noise in my pictures at all,
like I just really don’t like it, but I also don’t like to overdo the
sharpening and noise reduction because you will just lose so much data from
your image. So I’m gonna crop him, basically, because if you look at the
original image, composition thing, here so this is your rule of thirds so your main
subject needs to be on your points, in this particular situation, you’ve got a
dog with its head down so if his head was up he would be pretty much on the
point there but the if you look at the distance between his the top of the
subject and the top of the frame that’s I mean, that’s a fair distance and then
below him, so from the bottom of the subjects body to the bottom of the frame
that’s a much shorter distance so what we’re gonna try and do is level up so we
want the image to sort of crop off about there, like so, and we want to just move
that a little bit so that Alfie’s eye is ideally on one of the point lines. So I
personally would not stick to complete rule of thirds, I always go to the
outside eyes on that point if the image works so yeah I would go with here
vertically we can level to that pole in the background I mean it could be a pole
it could be a tree, who knows, I’m gonna lock that in there by double clicking. So
I’m really happy with where we are with this at the moment as you can see by
bringing the exposure down what I’ve actually done as well is I’ve dropped
the detail off of this face so I’m going to assess that, but first if I just want
to soften off the background so in Lightroom CC, Lightroom classic within
the CC from Adobe, you have texture clarity and dehaze added to your normal
basic panel so I’m gonna just drop the texture of this image which softens
everything off, oh so nice, if you drop the clarity you also drop some of the
saturation and the contrast so I’m gonna leave the clarity as is, you
could even increase the clarity if that’s your bag
my old editing style did have quite a lot of clarity added in. I’m going to
leave the dehaze, the vibrance, saturation, everything as it is at the moment. I’m
going to just go down to effects the bottom one over here and add a negative
vignette amount so what that does is that darkens my edges of the image. So nice, I’m just going to add a bit of texture back in
because I’ve lost it in his face. Oh beautiful beautiful next thing I’m
going to do is I’m going to go and grab a radial filter over here, the circle one
with a little dot in the middle, and I’m gonna just pop that on to exposure at
the moment because I like to be able to see what my radial filter is doing, so in
this situation we’ve got that slap bang over his face, if we invert that it will
darken what’s inside and then again if you invert it’ll darken what’s outside, just
like that, so we want to strike a balance here realistically between the two I’m
gonna put the exposure back at zero and then I’m going to fine-tune to where I’m
happy with. So what we want to do is we want to dull out essentially distracting
elements from the background and really just focus in on the subjects face okay so I’m happy with that. I’m not
happy with the level of green, so this is just a green reflection from the
greenery there was around him in the forest, so what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna
just alter the colors within that so I’m gonna go ahead and go into HSL which is
over here on the side, there’s also color HSL I’m just going to use this little
dotty thing to assess which color we’re in on this side of his face so if you
click on that and then hover over the image one of them will light up, so if
you look at these numbers on the side one of them will light up when we go
over different parts of the image and different colors so a lot of these
images made up of orange now what I can do with the oranges I can alter the
whole structure essentially off the image I don’t want to do that too much
but what I will do is go into luminance and within the orange itself I’m just
going to bring that down a little bit and then within the saturation I’m also
just going to bring down the orange. The yellow is pulling through from the grass
the most, so I’m quite happy with that but I’m gonna change the hue of the
yellow to be more like like Forest-ey “autumn forest” so you could go way too
far on both of these just be careful. I’m also gonna bring in a brush over here so
we’re going on a brush and again just go on something basic to level it all off
and I’m gonna go with a slightly blue slightly pink brush, bear with me guys,
what I’m going to do is I’m going to brush this onto the areas that are
pretty green really and what that’s gonna do on his face is it’s just gonna
bring those areas down okay so I’m happy with that at the
moment I’m gonna go ahead and just put my bace edits over the eyes, so I do
usually have a brush setup for this, I will add a link above for a particular
video which shows you how to make one of these brushes but essentially what we do
is we just up a few little things and then we just put that brush all over
the eye area, and then we can go in there a little bit again and just fine-tune So this is before this brush work was done,
that is after the brush work is done. I’m gonna go and back out of that, much
better, much much better, the next thing to do is to just take away some of the
distracting elements of the background so I’m going to go back into the brush
I’m gonna go ahead and just drop the contrast drop the highlights and then
I’m gonna just brush over some of these areas so quick look at before and after,
let’s go again before and after. Awesome it’s looking so good.
I just want to darken back this area above his back a little bit more beautiful, it’s looking so good right now
slightly dark, but we’re gonna assess the situation over in Photoshop. So I’m gonna
move it into Photoshop now. I had a really good question
last week from somebody who asked whether every single image is edited in
Photoshop and in Lightroom I always start in Lightroom but then
yeah I will move into Photoshop. So to open it up straight away in Photoshop
you just go into your timeline, right click, Edit in Photoshop, and that will
pop open the image in the other application okey doke so we’re in
Photoshop I’m gonna just go ahead and remove that leaf situation so I’m gonna
zoom right in that using the spot removal tool, I’m gonna make it bigger
and then I’m just gonna take that out. So once I’ve done that I then go through it
again following the lines of the hairs and that makes it far less obvious – go
through take out any bits of dust that could be distracting
remember I’m zoomed in right now to nearly 300% so it’s not going to look
super sharp – anything that is lighter is usually far more distracting than
anything that is darker so I’ve just taken out something out the
corner of his eye and what that’s left us with is a light spot so I’m
gonna go with the burn tool over here I’m gonna go within midtones and we’re
just going to drop some darker spots within the corner of his eye – beautiful –
so what I’m gonna assess as well as this distracting I don’t know if you can, can
you see that, this distracting bokeh spot over here which is nice but
it’s distracting so for that I’m going to use the clone tool – you can get a
brush size that’s similar to kind of what you’re wanting to be working with over
here I’m gonna hold down the Alt key or option if you’re on a Mac and I’m just
gonna change it to 100% opacity which you just click zero on your
keyboard, and that will increase that up to 100% opacity, don’t have to be super
precise but I am definitely gonna have to put that dark post tree thing going
back into the ground. I don’t know what it is, got no idea guys, no idea what it is I’m so going to zoom in a little bit more and just have that going into the
ground and what I can do is I can blend that in a little bit more by dropping
the opacity of the brush maybe 50% and just putting that there, if I want that
pole in, but make it softer, just pull from one side of the object and put the
opacity down however you’re pronouncing that, and just
click and drag, and what that does is that will just soften it off in the
background of the image. Brilliant perfect, I’m going to take out this
little stumpy bit I’m just going to use the spot removal tool and see how that
copes with taking this little twiggy thing out. I’m not going to take it all out
because there’s no need but I will take out anything that is distracting.
I’m gonna go in and I’m gonna do a normal eye edit in Photoshop. So again i
zoomed in a lot, i’m over 200%, i’m just gonna do two dots of the sharpen tool
over his eyes the strength is at 50% so essentially I have just done one stamp at a
hundred percent. I’m gonna go into my Dodge tool, bang it over onto highlights
put the exposure at fifty percent and then I’m gonna just do a couple of
sweeps over the eye area and I’m gonna go smaller still put it into midtones
go over the iris only, very important, the iris only. I’m gonna zoom out and just
see how that’s looking. Oh beautiful a little bit more on this eye… and I’m
gonna go back into highlights because we’ve just made those areas highlights
and just do some little dots, oops too far, on the eye until we get to a stage
where when we zoom out those eyes are just on fire. Let me just go history tool
take a snapshot and show you where I am Just going to zoom in a little bit more so
you guys can see just this face area totally different, so to make this pop
even more, you don’t want to overdo it, I am obviously zoomed in right right up
there, now if you can see the whites of the dog’s eyes brighten them up a little
bit and then you want to go in with the sponge tool on desaturate and just go
over those areas that you’ve just lifted because when you use the Dodge tool it
will protect the tones so what that does is that just drops it down a little bit
more. If you’ve got like one eye that’s slightly brighter so in this case I have,
the other eyes brighter, I’m just gonna try and balance these out just a
touch and then I’m going with the burn tool on midtones, this is true of
every every eye, all eyes, a bit too much on that one, drop the amount and just
darken the outer rim of the iris and then if you make your brush bigger and
darken the pupil area, not too much just darken it a touch and zoom out
let’s look at those eyes now… Much brighter. What you can also do is you can
lift the area around the eye now depending on the breed of the dog this
may or may not help the situation because some breeds have very specific
eye masking so what you don’t want to do is you don’t want to take a picture for
a client and then change the eye masking to something that technically does not
conform to that dog’s breed standard because the owner will not buy that
image because technically it doesn’t do anything for their dog. So if you look at
the difference now Look at the difference in his
eyes, insane, it is just absolutely insane Perfect so I’m happy with that, now on
his face I’m just going to clean up his tongue perfect so next thing I’m going to do on
this particular image because the lighting was so flat I’m gonna just lift
the brightness of the mid-tones on his contours so just like if you’re doing
your makeup and you’re doing your contouring, focus on the natural
contours of the face and just lift those up a bit. in this situation again we’ve
got some different colors going on so I can just go ahead with the desaturate
tool, sponge tool, on a nice large soft brush and just drop the saturation out
of this area like so, I’m gonna just also desaturate up here on his back because
it’s just not necessary to have that. White areas do a gentle desaturate on
those areas, don’t go into them in too much detail and then what we’re going to
do is we’re going to do an overall levels So I use the levels in the first
instance so ctrl L or command L if you’re on a Mac will bring up this panel
here if you hold down the Alt key and drag that back slider in that will show
you any areas that are completely lost in the shadows in this particular image
I’m not too fussed about too much being lost I don’t want to go too far but we
can knock it in a little bit and the most important thing over here however
is this side, again hold down the Alt key this will show you areas that are going
to be lost to highlights – you want to go to the point where a defining area in
this case his nose and his back goes over into the blown highlights region
and what that does is that gives you almost a perfect level of brightness and
contrast on the image so we’re gonna stop where we are there and then what
we’re going to do is we’re going to start working on the background. So I’m
gonna duplicate my background layer so that gives us a safe copy as it were,
like a safe area and then I’m gonna go ahead and start masking. So I’m gonna go
ahead and put a black fill on a blank layer that I’ve just created I’m gonna go in and with a brush tool so I’ve just clicked B on my
keyboard which will bring up the brush Get a big big big brush
and what I want to do is, see I’ve added a mask, what I’m going to do is I’m going
to just drop it to the opposite color of the mask and paint on and what that does
is that will make areas of the image visible that were previously not visible if
that make sense, so what I’m gonna do is I’m just gonna go around him in this
instance and then I’m gonna just drop the opacity of the whole layer and then
I’m gonna put a layer effect on it, so if I were to go to use overlay or
soft light for example, what that does is that just works through the layers so
that’s really nice and we can go in and just add areas of this image as we would
like don’t have to be too precise at this stage. To switch colors you just
press the X key and that will switch your palette so you can paint on and off like so and then when you’re happy
with that layer you can just drop it straight in with merge down and what that
does is that I’ll merge that layer with the previous layer behind it. I mean
we’re a stage right now where I would stop editing I’m quite happy with this
but I’m gonna just go in and assess some of the highlights, as I said earlier the
lightest part of an image is the most distracting, you want to be very careful
with this but if you grab the burn tool go on highlights keep it quite low and
just run over those bright areas that are almost blown, your other option in
this situation is to clone from areas that are less blown
so the area that his tail in this instance meets his body, which is just
this strip here, that’s the brightest part so I’m just going to go and do some
fine touching within that area so we’ve got a slight tone change so I’m
just gonna brush on with a very very very faint brush brilliant I’m gonna move that down now
take a snapshot and we’ll go from where we were before and where we are now…
totally different and then I’m going to add an extra blur to the background so
I’m gonna make another background copy I’m gonna go ahead into filter I’m gonna
go with a gaussian – I mean how do you even pronounce that – I know it as
a Gaussian blur but other people will probably know it as something else
I’m gonna go ahead and not go too far on it, what I’m looking at when I click on
and off is the bits that are already blurred out and I just want to find a
middle ground somewhere about there and then what I’m gonna do is I’m going to
mask it but I’m gonna fill the mask so essentially that layer is null and void
until I paint back over it in a white brush so what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna
start with a hundred percent brush and I’m just gonna bring that Gaussian blur
over the image now remember your focus planes because this is going to be
really important so what you don’t want to do is cross over a focal plane with
this blur brush and remember if your brush is soft you’re not gonna get super
close because that would be bad to our main subject area that’s really
important, so when we get to a point where the focus planes cross, so if you
look at this part of the image here, it is sharp
this part is near halfway and that’s blurred out. What we want to do is we want
to use a 50% brush and just begin to come in to the danger zone
as it were and that includes the subject because he is over there. The edges don’t
worry about too much just yet we’re going to go back and assess those and
then remember your foreground that is important to blur out your foreground so
in this case the foreground was on a slope I’m going to go
in with a negative brush and I’m going to take it from here to here in a
straight line by clicking once holding down shift and clicking again
and what that’s done is it’s just taken out that area so this is our blur –
remember I said we would come back and assess the situation
on the lines so what we want to do is go in nice and close with a brush a smaller
brush and just go ahead and start removing off the edges so you can go in
at 50% 40% around that area and just start looking at the edges what that
does is that’ll just give back the definition in the subject so that it’s
not super obvious you’ve just added a blur and then what I’m also going to do is go
in with a burn tool because adding that blur has lightened up the back. I’m gonna
use it on at mid-tones, use it on highlights as well about 20%
so I’m going to flatten this image now merge it and I’m going to show you again
where we were coming into it do a snapshot. There we go right so we’re
gonna go from coming into Photoshop and we’re up now it’s totally different
completely different this area is distracting me because it’s light so I’m
gonna go in there and just basically cover up so I’m going to use a
nice big brush nice soft brush not a massively high opacity because we don’t want it to be
super obvious that we’ve done anything at all really just like that. I’m also
going to go in and make these areas even less distracting than they already are
nice soft brush It’s looking awesome, say for example we
wanted to add a little bit of space underneath the dog what we’re gonna do
is going to go in the crop tool remember we’re in Adobe CC here I’m
going to keep the ratio at the original ratio and then I’m just going to drag
out a little bit so probably I need to be about there I’m going to use content
aware and then click OK and we’re going to see how Photoshop handles making this
canvas bigger – so it’s not done a super bad job there’s some areas that are
obvious so we’re just going to go in and assess those by cloning up some other
sharp areas awesome then I’m just going to go back
in with a nice big brush and put it on to mid-tones bang it up to about 50% and
then I have a bit of a play with adding an extra vignette and then to just go back a little bit
you can just click your history brush go on the history brush itself make it
bigger and then you want to come on with a really big soft brush and just knock a
little bit back out if you’ve gone too far in certain areas I’m going to make
this area between these legs a bit darker because it does stand out when you’re happy with your image and
where it’s currently at what you just need to do if you’ve opened directly
from Lightroom is just click the X in the corner and what that does is that
will push it right back into Lightroom like so. So we’re back over in here I’m
gonna just add a little bit of exposure to his eye area to really just make that
area pop and we’re just gonna drop the blacks a little bit on the overall image
just a little bit and just increase the shadows and drop the
blacks adds a little bit more contrast his eyes are just insane right now. I’m
just gonna increase the exposure on the whole image a little bit. I’m really
happy with that and that is exactly when you should stop so this is it for this
image. Thanks so much for joining me if you like what you’ve seen please please
please subscribe, click my face which will come up here, or click the little
watermark in the corner, watch my other dog photography editing 101 videos and
please please like this video, leave a comment and subscribe. Join me for this
fun! I’ll see you again soon and yeah have a good week!

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