Vintage Pinup and Boudoir Retouching tutorial

Vintage Pinup and Boudoir Retouching

tutorial is sponsored by the generously donated pinup images of Kelly @ Bay Area Pinups

This is some of the fun vintage effects achieved with the Vintage packages, video guide after the jump:

Vintage Pinup and Boudoir Retouching tutorial


Comparitive Retouch – Lighting overlay blue on Flickr – Photo Sharing!

A quick comparative set using LAB color mode and the ONE ACTION set: starting with the original file just out of raw conversion….

Comparitive Retouch original file

First we retouch the skin to taste, consider the light when you do (opensextensive skin retouch tutorial)!

Comparitive Retouch clean skin

After skin retouch we have a richer and more directional feel to the light.

Comparitive Retouch LAB - Black and White

A Black and white conversion using L*A*B* color mode for luminosity.  A very classy B+W conversion.  Once we’ve shown the client the expected results we can easily proof them something more artistic, and unexpected using Beautiful Blurs, or Lighting Overlays.

Comparitive Retouch - Lighting overlay blue

Here a basic texture file from the Bleautiful Blur Overlays – Volume 2 gives the picture a little blue juice which contrasts the warmth of the skin with a Photoshop layer mode of soft light.

Comparitive Retouch - Lighting overlay streaks

the Lighting Overlays Disk 1 streaky image, gives the image a funky modern splash on the left side when I used a Photoshop Layer mode of screen.

There are two answers to why to be creative – one is from your own motivation, the other is to sell more to your clients.  With the ONE ACTION workflow you could complete this whole series in less than 3min simply saving out a JPEG at each stage.

ONE ACTION: workflow and training . Bleautiful Blur Overlays - Volume 2 . Lighting Overlays Disk 1

New York photojournalist signature

Regarding the light and retouching skin

This post in the forums at Model Mayhem caught my eye because it stressed light, even in skin retouching. – Understanding Skin Retouching Regarding LIGHT

First of all, Im only trying to help…. not hinder. Im addressing the small amount of people who want to learn more about the core of retouching, not how quick and easy it is….cause it is NOT.

Countless times this topic arises. Countless techniques. Impatience always prevails.

1) QUALITY skin retouching takes TIME. No quick software filters or 4-step technique applies to everything. Please reread this sentence for as long as it takes to sink in.

2) TEXTURE is about how the LIGHT affects the surface. Understand what that means  and you can understand the techniques behind pros and amateurs alike.

What do I mean about light?

ZOOM in close. For every bump, or pimple….there is DARK side of it and a LIGHT side of it. For every large pore, the same holds true.

The direction of the light determines which side is which. The “softness” of the light we use in photography determines the contrast between the DARK and LIGHT. This is why softboxes placed close to the model produces a more pleasing skin texture. Those of you who shoot with strobes or hard light will see skin texture more pronounced.


The professional retoucher’s technique is to “Lighten” the DARK sides and to “Darken” the LIGHT sides — which produces and more consistent skin texture. Often they work at the pixel level with a 2px brush. VERY Meticulous, VERY time consuming. For most of us, a 4px or 5px brush would suffice.

Continue to MM to read the three great techniques using layer modes and painting the light in

Skin Smoothing Photoshop Actions

Skin smoothing photoshop action for perfect portraits and beauty retouching

Understanding the power of darkness: from high key to low key

Following in the footsteps of my retouching tutorials:

I know these are written to a more abstract level and so today I’d like to provide a more hands-on experience and so I have posted this L*A*B* colorspace photoshop file for you to download.  There are eleven layers in this file, from the starting image, on up through the finished look.

 From Light to dark photoshop tutorial

Let’s dig in


Eye of the muse : retouch deconstructed

If you shot this image – would you find something in it?

Image before Retouch

Photo Courtesy of Shane Snyder photojournalist

Understanding the suggestive power of darkness

Here’s our starter image for this discussion:

How to retouch with textures : original image

here’s our finished image for this discussion:

How to retouch with textures : finished with vignette

Now you’re right that’s not the EXACT same image, but there’s just a moment’s difference – I couldn’t find the un-retouched version.

I did find a smaller resolution version – again the point of contention is the vanishing point in the composition.  You may compose this while you’re shooting – and it may be proper as you’re composing the environmental elements in your image – but what is the compelling ‘moment’ of the image?

professional grade retouching workflow



Texturized photograph : before expressive retouching and after

Retouched with Veritas Vignette Textures: the kiss

Toronto CA wedding photographer

I used textures that I designed to provide a gentle and organic vignette feel to an image to darken the edges and focus the attention on the focal point of my composition. Those textures are available for purchase as the Veritas Vignette texture pack from the create store.  

texturized photographic retouch

I then added a little edge border to fancy it up just a little further….  I work in LAB color mode using my ONE action that allows me better control over burning down unruly highlights, and bringing out the colors with saturation control!

professional grade retouching workflow

The ONE ACTION set is a professional grade retouching workflow for creative expression.