Don’t spill a drop–retouch the whole glass!

Before…

Last June the fellow in front of me at the Grand Canyon inadvertently provided me a great photo op by placing his wineglass where I wanted to photograph the setting sun. I loved the shot, but it always bothered me that the glass was tilted. (Yes, I am the person who straightens the pictures in the doctor’s office.)

grcanyonwine6085_before_web

After…

grcanyonwine6085_web

I raised the shadows slightly in Lightroom first. In Photoshop, I used the pen tool to make a selection of the wine glass, placed it on its own layer and hid the layer until later, used content-aware fill to fill in the now blank spot on the original (copy of the original). This took several attempts; I’m not great at the pen tool. I touched up the background where content-aware fill tried its best but went a little wonky. Two suns? Only in Star Wars. Then I revealed the isolated wineglass layer, adjusted the angle, blended the edges, and copied a little faux rock foreground to obscure the base so the wineglass did not appear to be floating in space. Oops! The glass was now straight but the liquid inside was still at an angle. That darned gravity! Used the liquify filter to even that out, and also to touch up the rim of the (inexpensive) wineglass. I touched up some but not all of the smudgy fingermarks; this was a real moment and a real person, not a staged commercial shoot. I added an oh-so-suble lens flare because, believe it or not, I thought the sun rays almost looked fake without it, even though it isn’t in the original photo.

So there you have it. With Photoshop, you won’t spill a drop!

(Thank you, Friend, whoever you are, for having the foresight to bring a glass of wine with you to enjoy a spectacular sight.)

 

This is why I keep watching tutorials!

Wow–I thought this was a decent natural light headshot of my friend Craig when I took it a few years ago on a whim. I didn’t do any retouching on it then, other than a spot removal. Didn’t even have Lightroom then. Today I revisited this shot because Craig said he couldn’t find it on his hard drive. I opened it up in Photoshop to see if there was anything more I could do to improve it before sending. Holy cow! So glad I never stop watching tutorials and getting new tools (thank you, Aaron Nace for your excellent teaching and the Phlearn Method bundle!), and I think I was able to clean up this shot a little more with highlight recovery, lightening up the face, smoothing the skin, and a few other minor things. That’s why I (obsessively) keep my RAW and Photoshop files, so I can keep practicing, learning new techniques, and have measurable results of my progress.

Here’s the “before” photo on the left, “revisited” photo on the right.

Craig_b4_6743Craig_6743_after_web