Enhance Portraits in Photoshop CC

By Peter Bauer

Enhancing details like de-glaring your subject’s glasses in Photoshop CC can help your photos and portraits look that much better. Whitening teeth is another good trick to brighten up your photos.

De-glaring glasses in Photoshop

Eyeglasses can be a photographer’s nightmare! The reflections off glass are usually specular highlights — that is, areas of pure white with absolutely no detail in them. To properly evaluate flash reflections in eyeglasses, open the Info panel and move the cursor through the area. If you see a noticeable variation among the RGB values in the Info panel, you might be able to restore the area with the Burn tool.

If the Info panel shows RGB values of 255/255/255 or close to it, the area has no detail. Zoom in close and use the Clone Stamp tool to copy over the area from another part of the image. In severe cases of glare, you might need to copy from another photo of the same person. When possible (say, in a portrait sitting), try to take one shot of the subject without eyeglasses, just in case.

Whitening teeth in Photoshop

Teeth generally aren’t truly white (unless somebody has spent a lot of time and money getting ready for a portfolio shoot). Instead, you see shades of ivory and yellow in teeth, but they don’t necessarily have to be unattractive or distracting shades of yellow.

The Sponge tool is great for desaturating teeth, moving them from yellow to gray. Use the Dodge tool to lighten teeth. From the Options bar, set the tool to Midtones (not Highlights) and an Exposure of perhaps 30% for front teeth.

Paint over each tooth individually, making sure that you don’t eliminate the shadows that differentiate the individual teeth. Then switch to Shadows and lighten those molars visible in back. Don’t overdo it — remember that folks who don’t make their living in Hollywood or on TV generally don’t have snow-white teeth. This figure shows normal people teeth, “improved” normal people teeth, and Hollywood teeth. Balance your judgment with the client’s needs.

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