Within my degree, I participate in digital skills sessions to improve my abilities in retouching and editing images.As part of a recent session, we were taught how to use the clone stamp and spot healing tools. These are incredibly important in the retouching of skin as they help to smooth and blend out imperfections. The spot healing tool selects pixels and automatically fills the chosen area. This is best for small areas, for spots and other imperfections as it can look very unnatural on a large area. The clone stamp tool samples pixels from a self selected area like the clone stamp and copies them to a new area, they are ‘painted’ in with a brush tool. If the ‘Aligned’ option is selected, the sample area remains the same distance from the brush tool, whereas if it is not selected, wherever the brush ‘paints,’ it will be from the same place.
To ensure editing is non-destructive, copying the background layer is essential. An empty layer should then be placed on top (rename it to eliminate confusion while editing.) This makes editing and fixing mistakes easier as you can use the eraser tool instantly. I edited my particular image from a folder of images chosen for me.
The skin has some discolouration and there are some quite deep wrinkles. To edit this image, I chose to select the area next to each individual wrinkle that was the brightest. Using a small brush and turning the opacity and flow down allowed me to create a very natural edit that I could build up, rather than making it look unnatural. I also used the spot healing tool to get rid of some small freckles. I chose to leave some of the wrinkles as the image is more of a documentary shot rather than a fashion image that requires perfect skin.