BEFORE YOU BEGIN
100 Zoom In and Out with the Zoom Tool
101 Zoom In and Out with the Navigator Palette
117 Whiten Teeth
118 Awaken Tired Eyes
Almost everyone has certain ‚ er ‚ cosmetic distinctions that help identify and even glamorize a person. However, if they're the temporary kind, you might not want a permanent record of them. Sometimes a perfectly good photograph is marred by minor distractions such as a few blemishes, a mole, a cold sore, or a few wrinkles just beginning to show. Is it vain to want to fix nature? Perhaps, but don't let that stop youespecially when it's so easy to eliminate them.
116. Remove Wrinkles, Freckles, and Minor Blemishes
You can use the Clone Stamp tool to paint away minor defects in a photograph by copying good pixels from some other area. For some very minor problem areas, you might try the Spot Healing Brush discussed in 111 Remove Scratches and an upcoming Tip. But in either case, the process is tedious and often easily detectable unless the tools are used sparingly. In this task, you'll use a quicker method that involves one of the blur filters.
Duplicate Background Layer
Open an image in the Editor in Standard Edit mode, and save it in Photoshop ( *.psd ) format. Then drag the Background Layer onto the Create a New Layer button on the Layers palette (to create a copy of it), or select Layer, Duplicate Layer . Name the new layer Unblurred .
Blur Background Layer
Change to the Background layer and select Filter, Blur, Blur More from the menu or double-click the Blur More icon on the Filters list of the Styles and Effects palette. The Background layer is blurred just a bit.
To see the blurred Background layer, hide the top layer temporarily by clicking its eye button on the Layers palette.
Erase Freckles and Blemishes
On the Layers palette, change to the Unblurred layer. Click the Eraser tool on the Toolbox . On the Options bar, select a soft round brush. Adjust the Size value so that the eraser is slightly bigger than the blemish you want to remove. Click the freckle or blemish with the eraser, which erases that spot, revealing the blurred layer beneath .
Another way you can remove blemishes and freckles quickly is to blend them away with the Spot Healing Brush tool. Set the Size so that the brush includes the clean area of skin around the blemish or freckle, set Type to Proximity Match , position the pointer over the blemish or freckle, and click to blend it away.
Change the Size value on the Options bar to resize the Eraser tool so that it's just wider than the wrinkles you want to remove. Then drag the Eraser over any wrinkles to erase the wrinkle, revealing the blurred wrinkle on the Background layer.
View the Result
After you're satisfied with the image, save it in its PSD format. Merge the layers together by selecting Layer, Flatten Image and save the result in JPEG or TIFF format, leaving your PSD image unflattened so that you can return at a later time and make different adjustments if you want.
This photo of me and my daughter is just wonderful, but the small blemish and the wrinkles just beginning to show on my face made the photo less than perfect for me. A bit of blur and a few minutes with the Eraser , and I'm the person I see when I look in the mirror. Add a bit of judicious cropping and some work at removing the reflections from my daughter's glasses , and I have a portrait worthy of my living room wall.