Hack # 3: Use the dodge and burn tool to get sparkling eyes.
Hack #4: Mattify shiny skin.
Hack #5: Use the Spot Healing Brush to remove blemishes.
A few weeks ago, I found this article and started doing some lessons with my high school kids at school from it. If you missed my last post on combining personal pictures with famous artwork to create different “filters”, check it out here. Super fun. My intention is to give those of you that do use Photoshop some tips and tricks, also to maybe inspire those of you who don’t to check it out (if you have access to it).
Today’s post is somewhat a controversial one. As long as you can remember that it’s all in good fun, well, it’s fun. I am not trying to offend anyone or encourage people to Photoshop themselves to “look better”. I think natural beauty is way more appealing than faking it. However, it is fun to pretend to be a model and play with some pictures in this powerful program. Also, please note that I’m certainly not a Photoshop (I’m self taught) genius by any standards – so yes, real graphic designers could blow my tips and tricks out of the water.
My husband is one of 10 brothers and sisters and every year my mother-in-law collects pictures of each of her kids to use for a Christmas card. I recently had to select a picture that I took over the past year of me and the hubs. I knew which one I wanted, but I found myself wishing it looked just a little more…fresh. This picture is going to be shrunk down to the size of a postage stamp. No one will notice any digital enhancements in the grand scheme of things, so really this was all in good fun. I also sort of used hack #20 in this picture for a cool lighting effect but I’m going to save that for another post because it’s a cool technique in itself (and much less controversial).
It’s controversial because I did what the magazines and photographers do that make people feel self-conscious and inadequate when they look at pictures of models. I did the opposite of what we all post about – instead of embracing our imperfections, I perfected them. Hack #3 gives you sparkley eyes. Follow the tutorial in the article and set the dodge and burn brushes to the suggested specs and VOILA. You look as fresh as Sleeping Beauty after her 100 year nap. In hack #4, grab a feathered brush, hold down ALT on your keyboard and sample a nice, non-shiny part of the skin. Change the brush opacity to 15%-ish (you can play with that) and “paint” over the shiny areas. Works wonders on oily or uneven skin. Or my personal favorite is the spot healing tool in hack #5. Gets rid of blemishes, but also things like crows feet and wrinkles.
It also makes me a liar, but whatever. It was fun to make us look glamorous…and we will look damn good on that postage stamp sized picture on our Fiorini Christmas card this year. Even if it is fake.
After: Sparkling eyes, flawless skin and punched up colors. I kept my husbands reddish face because that’s just him and he would look really fake if I brushed that away. He asked why I didn’t Photoshop more hair on his head, ha! Maybe he’s more self conscious than I am!
I haven’t taught this as a lesson to my high school students…yet. I actually think I might do it because it is such a hot topic and it’s a perfect place to talk about self image and being happy with the way you look in real life. Maybe you guys can give me your feedback/your opinion on this assignment:
- Have the kids read an article and respond to a writing prompt to help understand how magazines/graphic designers use Photoshop to digitally alter images…I’d need to locate something more current but an article like this from ABC. Follow it up with a little classroom discussion/debate on whether or not graphics should be digitally enhanced.
- Have the kids take a selfie, and then digitally enhance the selfie using the hacks in my post. I’d even give them my before and after that I have in this post as an example.
- If they want to present their pictures to the class and talk about their final opinion on this hot topic, they can. I don’t want anyone to feel pressured to put their pictures up on the big screen if it makes them feel uncomfortable. To make sure I hear what everyone’s opinion is on this topic, I’d probably assign another quick writing prompt so if they don’t feel comfortable stating their opinion in front of the class, they can write it and submit to me.
What’s your opinion on Photoshopped pictures? I love me a little Instagram filter…Photoshop takes Instagram to new levels.
My idea for my lesson for the high school kiddos…yay or nay? I think if I present it in a way that they get to talk about self image and being real, it could be a good lesson and help them realize that what they see in pictures is not always reality. Am I wrong?