Glamour Photo Editing in Photoshop Elements

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Glamour Photo Editing in Photoshop Elements

Glamour Photo Editing in Photoshop Elements
Text and screen shots © Liz Masoner, Photo Public Domain via Pixabay

Whether it is for Valentine’s Day or just because you want a really nice portrait, glamour photo editing in Photoshop Elements is easier than you think.  A few simple techniques and you’ll quickly have a fabulous glamour style photo.

This tutorial uses PSE12 but should work with in almost any version of the program.

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Lighten the Photo

Lighten the Photo
Text and screen shots © Liz Masoner, Photo Public Domain via Pixabay

The first thing we need to do is lighten the photo a bit.  The idea is for a bit lower contrast and more of a bright feel to the image.  Use a Levels Adjustment Layer and move the midtone slider to the left a bit to lighten the shadows.

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Soften the Skin

Soften the Skin
Text and screen shots © Liz Masoner, Photo Public Domain via Pixabay

Now we need to smooth and soften the skin.  Create a new layer and mask.  Rough out a mask of the skin by painting the rest of the mask black with your brush tool.  Remember to black out the eyes, lips, the details of the nostrils, eyebrows, and the lines above the lips.

Click back over to the photo icon on the mask layer.  Now go to your filter menu and select Gaussian blur.  You won’t need much blur at all.  Anywhere from 1 to 4 pixels should be more than plenty to get a soft look to the skin without it becoming artificial looking.  For the example photo I’ve used 2 pixels.

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Adjust the Mask

Adjust the Mask
Text and screen shots © Liz Masoner, Photo Public Domain via Pixabay

Now we need to refine the mask for a more pleasing result.  Click on the mask icon to make sure it is the active layer piece.  Use the brush tool to adjust the mask area.  White to show blur, black to erase blur.  I’ve hidden my original layer so you can better see how my final mask looked.  Note that recovering detail around the lips, the eyelashes, and details of the nose are key to keep a realistic result.

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Brighten the Eyes

Brighten the Eyes
Text and screen shots © Liz Masoner, Photo Public Domain via Pixabay

Now we need to brighten the eyes to really make them pop.  We’ll be using a method similar to my previous tutorial on making eyes pop.  Create a new layer filled with 50% grey and set to soft light blend mode.  We’re basically doing some non-destructive burning and dodging now.

Brighten the eyes and then do any other exposure corrections that may be needed.  For example, the front of the hat is too bright so I darkened it a bit.  You can do this with different layers but it isn’t necessary to do each burn/dodge on a different layer.

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Final Exposure Adjustments

Final Exposure Adjustments
Text and screen shots © Liz Masoner, Photo Public Domain via Pixabay

Now we can make our final exposure adjustments.  Double click on the levels adjustment layer you created earlier and make any highlight and shadow adjustments needed.

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Sharpen the Eyes

Sharpen the Eyes
Text and screen shots © Liz Masoner, Photo Public Domain via Pixabay

To sharpen the eyes, click on the original photo layer.  Chose the sharpen tool, adjust your brush size and set the strength to about 50%.  Sharpen the eyes, being careful not to stray into the skin areas.

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Add More Color to the Eyes

Add More Color to the Eyes
Text and screen shots © Liz Masoner, Photo Public Domain via Pixabay

When you lighten the eyes you often lose some of the original color.  Add some color back with the sponge tool.  Set the options to saturate and flow to around 20%.  Add color back to the iris of the eye, not the white of the eye.  This small amount makes a bit visual difference.

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Add More Color to the Whole Photo

Add More Color to the Whole Photo
Text and screen shots © Liz Masoner, Photo Public Domain via Pixabay

Finally, we need to intensify the color of the whole image a little bit to recover a healthy glow we lost when we lightened the photo originally.  Go through the Enhance menu and then Adjust Color – .  You can also use shortcut Ctrl-U.

Use the saturation slider on the Hue/Saturation pop up to slightly increase the saturation.  As you can see, I only needed a small adjustment of +7 with this photo.

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Your Citation
Masoner, Liz. "Glamour Photo Editing in Photoshop Elements." ThoughtCo, Mar. 3, 2017, thoughtco.com/photoshop-elements-glamour-photo-editing-1702650. Masoner, Liz. (2017, March 3). Glamour Photo Editing in Photoshop Elements. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/photoshop-elements-glamour-photo-editing-1702650 Masoner, Liz. "Glamour Photo Editing in Photoshop Elements." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/photoshop-elements-glamour-photo-editing-1702650 (accessed December 12, 2017).