Posts Tagged ‘photo tip’
I’ve had the following conversation with three different teachers—a guitar teacher, a piano teacher, and a photography teacher. We were talking about books that begin with words like The 100 Best…you fill in the blank. (I own a guitar book called The 100 Best Songs of the 60s, a piano book called My 100 favorite Rock Classics, and 100 Great Photoshop Tips.) All three of these teachers said something like this:
Those 100 Best books are generally full of fluff, but if you get one song or one tip that you actually use it’s worth the price of admission. So here’s the one tip that I’ve been using for years from the 100 Great Photoshop Tips book.
You can brighten yellow teeth by selecting them and desaturating the yellow.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s deceitful, dishonest, manipulative and people love it. It’s really simple and it really works. And the people in the picture who are tired of looking at their yellow teeth will tell you you’re a darn good photographer.
You use it in one of those situations where you’re “polishing” a portrait. Polishing is a polite word for softening wrinkles, removing blemishes, giving some stray hairs a trim, and brightening teeth. It’s for when you want to flatter someone and make them look like the person they want to see in the mirror. The trick with all portrait retouching is to make it look like you did nothing. You want the person in the picture to think that’s what they actually look like. It’s a big mistake to get into a conversation with the portrait subject about retouching—trust me. Do it subtly, smile and walk away.
The biggest mistake you can make when you lighten and brighten teeth is to do it too much. Human teeth are NOT white; they’re a little bit yellow. So don’t go crazy making the teeth look like something in a toothpaste ad—it’s a huge mistake. It puts everything else in the photograph into question. A photograph of somebody with a glowing set of piano keys in their mouth has no credibility.
IF some of you are using programs that won’t allow you to individually saturate or desaturate individual colors you can actually get some pretty good results by selecting the teeth and desaturating the whole area of teeth. It’s more subtle when you can just do the yellows, but overall desaturation works, too.
Admittedly, finding photo subjects to use as examples for this tip was a challenge. I didn’t want to embarrass someone I know, so I’ve decided to embarrass people we all know—people who seem to be immune to embarrassment.