This chapter was a bit tough. Don't stop here, though. Retouching photographs is an art form that requires a lot of time and practice to get right. As you can see from the results, it's worth the time and effort.
As with any other art form, you'll get better with practice. I've shown you a couple of tricks and a shortcut or two. The rest is up to you. If you have images that need work, get them out and start playing around with the techniques I've described. You'll be amazed at the results.
Before getting back into more of the fun stuff, I'll tackle one more difficult subject in the next chapter: coloring and color correction.