Friday, April 25, 2014

Top Tutorials for Switching Faces in Photoshop

In my blogging world, the week began with some chatter about the magic one can create with eyes in Photoshop. It led me on a bit of theme, centred around people and portraits, from how to pose them, to how to take them, to how to play with them.

Continuing on that trend for my Friday post then, I've decided to take a look at what you can do with an entire face in Photoshop. I was reminded of a fun project a colleague at the weekly paper where I worked did as a joke years ago when the newsroom first installed the software. She took to the new program like Clapton to guitar and enjoyed tackling new tasks.  This particular one began with a water cooler discussion regarding my daughters, an amusing friend and my older girl's wedding pictures.

I should first explain, perhaps, that big sister is quite tiny, barely scraping five feet, yet in possession of a 100-wattage smile and gorgeous blue eyes. Her baby sister, by contrast, is long-legged and stands a good head and shoulders over her.  It was my telling the story about the good-natured ribbing of a bridesmaid about putting the head of one on the body of the other to make the perfect woman, (her words, certainly not mine) that the idea unfolded to see how realistically we could achieve this transformation in Photoshop.

The results were astounding, if a little creepy for Mom. To anyone who didn't know my girls, they would never have questioned the photo.

While this was strictly because we could, there are times when it's necessary. We have all taken that fantastic group picture with one person looking the wrong way in one shot, then being the only one looking right in another.  The ability to transfer their good face onto the good picture is a valuable tool.

So... if you're interested in a little switcheroo for fun or purpose, these links will help. There are several options to help you find the one that works best for you, as well as some extras for manipulating faces:

Swap Faces in Photoshop

How to Replace a Face in Photoshop

Video Tutorial for Swapping Faces in Photoshop

Photoshop Training on How to Swap Faces

10 Tutorials for Manipulating Faces in Photoshop

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Enhance Your Portraits With Photoshop

Being rather old-school about some things I've always believed that a talented photographer gets the right picture. When setting up the shot, their creative ability and practical knowledge, their experience and talent all combine to achieve the kind of results the rest of us can only hope for. 

Taking into account the environmental factors, such as lighting, they select the settings that will provide the right exposure and contrast. Their artistic eye sees things differently through a camera lens than the average person,  a vision they share in their picture. Their understanding honed by practise leads them to achieve a positive result, while creativity adds the edge.

And yet, despite all of this, many photographers today know that perfect can be improved upon. With Photoshop a simply beautiful portrait can be transformed to something dramatic. And sometimes too, even the best photographers have a bad day and find themselves with less than stunning results. These informative sites offer some tips on how you might revamp a portrait photo to add some interest or simply improve upon it:

Enhance a Portrait With a Soft Focus Glamour Effect

Simple Steps to Stunning Portraits in Photoshop

50 Portrait Retouching Photoshop Tutorials

Use Brushes to Enhance Portraits

Retouching Bridal Portraits With Photoshop

Enhance Portraits Quickly and Professionally

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Great Ideas for Portrait Posing

Our Easter family gathering was perfect. We had a full house and full deck as everyone made it home and Mother Nature treated us to the perfect blend of sunny skies and warm temperatures. 

As always, I took advantage of having all my babies around me to get some pictures, mostly candid, though I did try for a little bit of portraiture as well. The problem with the latter I find is that I can't seem to combine the elements of artistry in me and patience in my subjects. Working to achieve the perfect pose, while kids fidget and Mom and Dad struggle to hold them still until this amateur shutterbug is ready can be a serious challenge.

It doesn't help I suppose that when it comes to posing I pretty much wing it. Gathering the troop, with no vision of what I'm hoping to achieve, I shift and switch trying to blend them into perfect composition, before working on the finer issues of expressions, blowing hair and squinting eyes.  The best idea really would be to find some that work and stick to them instead of trying to re-invent the wheel each and every time.  And my starting point, I suppose, should probably be with advice from people who have already got it right.

To that end I went in search of a little inspiration and found these very helpful sites on portrait posing:

Classic Portrait Photo Mistakes

54 Portrait Ideas

5 Fail-Proof Portrait Poses

67 Portrait Poses

A Guide to Perfect Portrait Posing

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Improve Your Portrait Photography

One of the most common types of photography is the portrait. Whether it's family or individuals these are the images that decorate scrapbooks, adorn walls and stuff albums. They are memories to be cherished, a proud display for parents, a visual record of life's blessings and achievements. From birth to graduation we capture a person's milestones for posterity in a picture perfect pose.

Granted, there is a trend now to have less formal shots than those taken in great-grandmother's day ...  stiff groupings of unsmiling relatives seated or standing in boring rows. Other than the faces there was little difference from one family portrait to another. 

Thank goodness, things have changed. Today's portraits, even the ones that might still lean towards conventional, are taken with an eye for detail and artistry. Avoiding the pitfall of same old, same old is important. Photographers aim is to express their creativity, to make their work uniquely professional, without stepping too far away from the purpose,  a still image of someone that conveys not just physical appearance, but personality too.

The internet is an excellent source of information from experts and talented amateurs alike on how to make your portrait photography special. Here is  a sampling of some of the great ones I found:

5 Tips for Improving Your Photography

How to Take Portraits

Photography Tips You'll Never Want to Forget

Portrait Photography 101

20 Fast Tips for Portrait Photography

A Simple Exercise to Improve Your Portrait Photography

Portrait Photography Tips

Improve Your Indoor Portrait Photography

Monday, April 21, 2014

Enhance Eyes in Photoshop

I get lost in my granddaughter's eyes. Icy blue they melt the heart.

Though the basic colour runs in the family, this particular shade is a gift from her father whose own icy blues have also received their fair share of compliments over the years.  Our niece, a photographer, likes to tell him how they got her a great mark in one of her courses. 

The challenge was to take a picture that offered a vivid detail without an Photoshop enhancement. In her case the eyes had it.  Having done family shots of my daughter, her husband and their newborn she was quite pleased to see she had managed to capture the true colour of those baby blues in several of the poses.

If it wasn't for her course, however, getting the true colour in her photography isn't really something she needs to worry about these days. With Photoshop we can easily boost the hue of an eye, or even change it. Imagine the opportunity to see what you'd look like with those dazzling violet peepers of the late Liz Taylor. How simply and effectively that can be achieved is the focus of these great tutorials:

Enhancing Eyes Using Photoshop

3 Photoshop Steps for Eyes That Pop

Creating Amazing Eyes in Photoshop

Lighten and Brighten Eyes in Photoshop

Change Eye Colour in Photoshop

Enhancing Eyes in Photoshop