Portrait photography and editing or doing digital touch ups is a funny one. Obviously at one end you have super specialists who touch up skin in highly technial ways to give air brushed cover looks. And then you have people who believe you shouldn’t change anything – the portrait is an accurate capture of someone as they are.
The middle ground seems to be IT IS OK TO REMOVE IT IF IT IS NOT PERMENANT. For example, you can remove spots and reduce under eye cicles, soften lines and take out stray hairs, but don’t remove moles, or take out deep lines completely.
I knew learning digital photography was about image processing and have been SCARED to open photoshop to be honest. So far I have been using Lightroom for adjustments (mostly contrast / shadows / highlights) and been working on the whole image because I didn’t really know how to apply masks and act only locally.
I have been learning Lightroom with some very simple and clear instructional walk through videos on the school of photography’s website, and can now remove spots using the SPOT and CLONE tool. However skin shine was something I did not know how to fix and nothing complecated with colour.
Below is the image out of camera and then editing in Lightroom to remove some small spots and I also decreased the under eye circles through using the clone tool with an opastity of around 40% and I applied a mask to the eyes and increased the exposure about 0.8 of stop so they appear brighter.
I just did an excellent short course with Andrew of 36exp Photography who kindly sent through a walk through of how to use Photoshop for a very quick edit for portraits. The main thing I wanted to learn was reducing shine which I did by painting over the skin with a colour taken from that part of the face so there was a match. Results below, and you can watch the video of how to use Photoshop to do this here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrOrR8wW274