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Portrait Retouching Tip: Fix Shiny Skin in Photoshop & Lightroom

August 7, 2019

it’s summertime you shoot a wedding or an outdoor portrait and because of the heat your subject has shiny skin or you’re new to lighting and you haven’t quite perfected things yet and you have a great shot but your subject skin is shiny it’s actually really easy to fix in post-production a few quick reminders fix it in post is never the best solution so as you’re practicing and you’re learning your craft always strive to get it right in camera and also if you’re doing portraits or headshots or modeling shots and you really want up your game lighting is just a piece of the puzzle you need to find a really great makeup artist to get really great images and move your work to the pro level okay the retouching tip here is a great portrait that was posted in my facebook group by Stig Holman from Norway we have a very pretty young subject with lots of personality but no makeup artist and the image is just slightly overexposed so we wind up with shiny skin on the forehead the nose and the tops of the cheeks so do we scrap this image heck no it’s a great shot and it’s easily repaired so let’s start with Photoshop I’ve already taken care of exposure contrast color etc in the camera RAW panel all I need to do now is create a blank layer if you’re a little OCD and like to label your layers we’ll call this one shine now I’m going to use the eyedropper to sample the skin color right next to this large area of shine on the subjects forehead then I’ll select my brush tool I’m going to keep it a very soft brush with 0% hardness I’ll also change the blending mode of the brush to darken and set the opacity down around 15% adjust your brush size to cover the area you’re working on and simply brush over the shine and there it goes this also works just as effectively on dark skin as you can see in this shot taken with direct flash from my recent video about light modifiers now I know that some of you have not made the jump to Photoshop yet and you’re working strictly in Lightroom that’s okay there is a fix for shiny skin that works very well in Lightroom it just takes a little more effort in Lightroom we’re going to use the Spot Healing tool to eliminate the shine but we need to finesse it just a little bit so as I bring Stig’s portrait up in the develop panel of Lightroom I’ll select the Spot Healing tool and the first thing I’ll do is set the feathering to somewhere between 70 and 90 just like with Photoshop we want a very soft brush I’ll leave the opacity at 100 for now and adjust my brush size to match the area that I want to work on now I’ll go ahead and I’ll brush over the shine that I want to remove and you can see that Lightroom auto magically selects the similar area to sample now this may be too much so all you need to do to finesse this is adjust the opacity until you get the desired look it takes a little more effort it’s not quite as fast as in Photoshop but it works very well and yes it works equally as well on darker skin so there you have it a quick and easy solution to remove unwanted shine in both Photoshop and Lightroom so go practice and until next time remember your best shot is your next shot so keep learning keep thinking and keep shooting adios thanks for watching if you find these videos helpful please give them a thumbs up and subscribe so that you don’t miss a single episode and if you’ve got a question that you’d like answered post it in the comments section below your question could be my next video


  • Reply Nicholas Fox July 22, 2016 at 11:42 pm

    Good tip. I've gradually been moving away from Lightroom towards Capture One and for me it's been a positive change. I just felt that there was just something lacking in Lightroom's feature set and Capture One filled it. Lightroom certainly works well but I'd encourage everybody to download the trial version and give it a go. I don't have any association with the people at Capture One and just think it's a far superior product to Lightroom.

  • Reply Stuart Symington July 22, 2016 at 11:51 pm

    Once again Joe a fantastic tutorial! Thanks for sharing your passion and knowledge.

  • Reply Lomelí DJ July 22, 2016 at 11:55 pm

    Thank you

  • Reply marty themole July 23, 2016 at 12:43 am

    Joe, as a current LR only user who wants to learn PS….can you recommend the best tutorial for a novice to start learning it?

  • Reply Dawin Welch July 23, 2016 at 1:08 am

    Always giving great tips that assists in advancing your photography. Thank you Sir

  • Reply Sly Stone July 23, 2016 at 3:12 am

    Great PS Tuto! 🙂

  • Reply Joe A7Rii July 23, 2016 at 3:29 am

    Great tips as per usual. Thanks. What is the cursor highlighter/magnifier you are using?

  • Reply Mark R Coons July 23, 2016 at 9:58 am

    Thanks Joe! This will be a big help for me very soon. I have to shoot 125 head shots in under 2 hours (hopefully) and sometimes my subjects get a little hot while waiting their turn!

  • Reply S Fayers July 23, 2016 at 11:23 am

    Brilliant, very helpful, thank you, keep up these useful videos, they are much appreciated.

  • Reply Richard Wintle July 23, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    Thanks, Joe. I appreciate you pointing out the simple details like using darken mode and zero hardness – it seems like obvious common sense once you say it, but I would never have thought to have tried it this way! 🙂

  • Reply Ian C July 23, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    Thank you very much for the neat trick!

  • Reply myozbubble July 24, 2016 at 2:24 am

    I have been a makeup artist for photographers in the past. I know how to remove that shine using makeup. If there isn't a makeup artist on the shoot, would it be professional for me to touch up the shine, provided that I have sanitary methods to do so and, have the model's consent?

  • Reply Francesco Barbati July 24, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    Great tutorial as always Joe, thank a lot! I have a question: as you said before, get it right (or try to at least) in camera; how do you do that in difficult situations? For instance I shoot weddings and event, I put a diffuser on my speedlite, bounce it when possible, but still, many time I get shiny skin… do you have a video about that? If not, might be an interesting topic for many users I believe.
    Thanks again for the great content!

  • Reply James Angrave July 25, 2016 at 1:57 am

    Only recently found your channel. Really well presented and informative videos Joe. Love the DIY hacks and Photoshop tips. Some of the techniques you use I'm not so familiar with, any chance of a video giving a little more in depth explanation on some of the more commonly used techniques? Anyway keep up the great work.

  • Reply Nghia Bui Nhan July 25, 2016 at 4:26 pm


  • Reply Danny B. July 26, 2016 at 1:06 am

    How are you able to get the particular area you are working on to be magnified in Photoshop, as in this video?

  • Reply Joy Swatsworth July 26, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    Wow. So easy. Thank you for sharing this!

  • Reply Robert Lee July 26, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    GREAT tutorial Joe! Cheers for this mate! 😀

  • Reply Jeffrey Dansby July 27, 2016 at 12:25 am

    Worked like a charm. You're the man Joe. Where were you like 300 pictures ago?

  • Reply Michael White July 27, 2016 at 6:26 pm

    GREAT tutorial. Many thanks.

  • Reply Gustavo Tobares July 28, 2016 at 11:59 am

    Amazing! Thanks Joe.

  • Reply Naman Kishore July 31, 2016 at 6:25 am

    hello sir thanx for a great video 🙂
    I just wanted to know what kind of display is better to process the images. . i mean. . a while ago i was processing some images on my lappy(DELL) connected to my LED tv . . and those were looking really nice on TV but when i plugged it out and saw those processed images on my lappy's screen they were not looking that good . . . so i'm just kinda confused which display to prefer. :/

  • Reply Georg Haberfellner August 4, 2016 at 6:34 am

    EASY and I kept the method splitting the Photo in Color and Structure (frequency separation) also for only shiny skin.

  • Reply cecilia hung August 8, 2016 at 11:18 pm

    Hi Joe, I followed the steps in photoshop and, somehow, it didn't work.  I wonder what went wrong?

  • Reply cecilia hung August 9, 2016 at 2:32 am

    Yes, its working. Thank you for the great tips.

  • Reply Tom Kaszuba August 31, 2016 at 5:38 am

    Excellent tip. Thank you.

  • Reply lim2001burger September 24, 2016 at 11:03 pm

    Great video and well presented 🙂 thank you!

  • Reply xnosaertx October 15, 2016 at 6:25 am

    Every day I learn something new from your channel. Thx! Great Job !!!

  • Reply Tereza Brabcová October 23, 2016 at 9:16 pm

    Thank you very much for this tip. I was trying to figure it out and came with different methods but none of them was looking natural like this one 🙂

  • Reply carlos arce narvaez November 1, 2016 at 11:44 pm

    nice joe! a great shortcut to fix shinny skin!
    thanks a lot!

  • Reply Norman Perkel December 7, 2016 at 7:57 pm

    Thank you!

  • Reply Dex Pyran December 19, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    Quick and easy. Thx.

  • Reply Darren Malone December 28, 2016 at 10:00 pm

    I shun photoshop, pretty much mastered LR – but did this in PS with awesome control & results. Thanks so much 🙂

  • Reply Pedro Madeira January 5, 2017 at 9:16 am

    "Digging up" some "older" vids Joe, this is great! 😀

  • Reply lissastube January 7, 2017 at 7:49 am

    Fantastic instructional video. Easy to follow and understand. One of the best I've seen. Yes, I liked and subscribed. Thank you!

  • Reply John Lai January 11, 2017 at 2:51 am

    Thanks Joe. Your step by step instruction is very easy to follow.

  • Reply Veronica McCoy March 19, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    Awesome thank you!

  • Reply Max C. April 28, 2017 at 3:56 am

    this is so much win! I had ran into this issue, maybe 10 minutes ago? and here comes youtube to save the day by recommending a video that would help me fix the extra bright spots on my subject's face. Thanks again for the super informative videos! you rock!

  • Reply Pie Toner May 22, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    Damn, even if one knows the tools, doesn't mean he can use it creatively.
    Neat trick!
    Thank you)

  • Reply Victoria Ward June 8, 2017 at 8:21 am

    Thank you – so helpful! Sorted out one of my photos in seconds.

  • Reply Stephen Lewis June 19, 2017 at 11:13 pm

    amazing thanks!!!

  • Reply Brett Olsen July 10, 2017 at 3:33 am

    Your just wonderful Joe 😀

  • Reply Harsh Vardhan Saboo July 31, 2017 at 8:47 pm

    Your videos and way of talking is fab.. Your in-depth knowledge depicts your hard work over the time … Really a fan of your work and dedication. … I wish I could become even 1 % of what you're.

    God bless some day may be …

  • Reply Aron Sch August 4, 2017 at 5:13 pm

    You are by far the best!

  • Reply David Centifanto August 9, 2017 at 7:20 pm

    All I can say is simple steps that worked great. Thank you.

  • Reply BeardedGamer August 21, 2017 at 11:39 am

    Amazing. Thank you for this.

  • Reply elvee55 August 28, 2017 at 4:50 am

    Thanks Joe, Your Tutorial is the best by far, very easy to follow

  • Reply Paul Reader September 16, 2017 at 2:07 pm

    Equally manageable in Affinity Photo or, even better, GIMP for those without the budget or inclination to pay a subscription.

  • Reply Epi King September 17, 2017 at 3:49 am

    Another very useful tip…thank you!

  • Reply Rozely Lindim October 10, 2017 at 3:13 am

    great tips..PS much faster tho

  • Reply Javier Ramirez November 23, 2017 at 9:44 pm

    Excelent¡¡ Thanks

  • Reply digifotocluj DML December 18, 2017 at 8:31 pm

    Mr.Edelman,thank you,you are a legend🙌👍💯🤩

  • Reply meister bohne January 6, 2018 at 10:34 pm

    Very helpful and effective. Thank you.

  • Reply Mark Soriano January 14, 2018 at 8:17 pm

    Thanks so much for this! This was very very helpful.

  • Reply LensPassions Photography February 21, 2018 at 7:12 am

    You Always says thanks for watching, but I say thanks for teaching us

  • Reply ARbull March 13, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    Quite easy

  • Reply Amimmika May 31, 2018 at 2:55 pm


  • Reply Felipe Santander June 10, 2018 at 2:01 pm

    I was waiting for this video Adios buddy

  • Reply Tom Almeida June 19, 2018 at 6:28 pm

    Man of shirts

  • Reply Steve Jurkovic July 1, 2018 at 2:00 pm

    Thanks Joe! One question – you mentioned "new to lighting" and getting it right in camera. Do you have a video that talks about how to avoid these shiny spots when using lighting? YouTube really needs to improve how to find videos as the volume grows!

  • Reply Mohd Tanveer July 17, 2018 at 5:31 pm

    Osmm video

  • Reply Armando Conde November 1, 2018 at 8:12 pm

    Wow this was dope. I love this tutorial!

  • Reply Graeme Weston November 30, 2018 at 8:58 pm

    Neat trick. Works really well. Thank you.

  • Reply Greg Sardjoe May 4, 2019 at 5:16 pm

    Thank you! This was exactly what I was searching for!

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