How to Retouch Blemishes in Your Digital Photos

5 of 8 in Series: The Essentials of Creating a Digital Vacation Slide Show

If you have a nice digital-photo portrait of someone that needs a little retouching, you can easily retouch minor flaws with the Healing Brush tools in Photoshop Elements (though most image editors have similar tools):

1

Open your image-editing program and choose File→Open, then navigate to your image in the Open dialog box.

When you’ve got it, click OK.

2

Choose Layer→Duplicate Layer.

This command creates a duplicate of the background layer. You want to edit photos on a duplicate layer because if the edits don’t turn out as expected, you can delete the duplicated layer and your original image is untouched.

3

Zoom in on the first area you want to retouch.

Zoom is usually represented by some sort of plus sign in image-editing software.

4

Select the Healing Brush tool.

In Elements, this looks like a Band-Aid. The Healing Brush tool examines pixels from the area you specify and then blends them with the area where you use the tool. The tool defaults are perfect for touching up blemishes on a person’s face.

5

Alt-click an unblemished area of the photo, then click the blemished areas.

The blemishes are magically removed.

6

Zoom in and heal as many areas as need healing.

This figure had a lot of work done.

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