Tutorial: Fixing discolouration – sweat on the shirt and suntanned bikini tan lines

Level: Intermediate

[singlepic id=27 float=none]

One day a friend of mine in Taiwan sent me this photographs to me and crying for help. The story of this photograph starts with his sister was getting married and they had some pre wedding photos taken, my friend was one of his sister’s photographers and he got this nice shot of the happy couple. The problem was the weather was hot and humid and the groom couldn’t stop sweating. The sweat cause the discolouration on the groom’s shirt as the photo showed. My friend told me that the couple were going to have this photograph printed and framed as large as 50 inches, the stain on the shirt would look quite nasty. So he sent me this photo and ask for help.
It only took 5 minutes for me to fix this problem.

First,examining the photo to find out the problem of the discolouration. The groom is wearing a striped shirt with all the creases, so the first thing is forget about healing and clone stamp tool, they wouldn’t work well in this situation. Looking at the colour of stain and compare to the correct shirt colour surrounding it, the stain is darker and purplish, that means too much red. All we have to do is brighten it up and take off the redness.
Because it’s the “colour” differences causing the problem, so I use “color range” to select the area. It makes sense, isn’t it?

[singlepic id=28 float=none]

Step 1) Select the stain area
Go to Select->Color Range, a window would pop up. Click on the stain area on the photo, you will see the area has been selected in the small window. For getting more accurate selection, you can hold on the Shift key and click a few more times to sample the stain area, especially the edges. Be careful not to add the “correct” colour of the shirt in. I set the fuzziness about 14, it depends on the image, higher number will select bigger area.
Then click o.k. You’ll see the selection on the photo.


[singlepic id=29 float=none]

Step 2) Use Curve adjustment layer.
Add and new adjustment layer “Curve” to correct the colour.
In the RGB channel, pull the brightness up.
In the Red channel, bring the red down by dragging the curve down.
In the Blue channel, it’s too much blue so I drag the curve down to bring down the bluish colour.
In the Green channel, I pull a bit green in it, drag the curve slightly up.

[singlepic id=30 float=none]

What I am doing in this step is actually tweet the colour tone to match the shirt colour which “surrounding by the stain”, so the stain blend in and become less noticeable.


Step 3) Grab the good old brush tool, work on the layer mask, use soft brush 0% hardness to blend the colour in. Presumably you are familiar with the layer mask method, so you know what to do. (Maybe I make a tutorial video to demonstrate this?!!)  :shawming:

Because we use colour range to select the stain area, so you can see not only the stain on the chest is corrected, also with the underarm and the sleeve.

There you are. Correcting colour just as easy as that. See the before and the after.

[singlepic id=26 float=none]


Another sample of fixing discolouration, the suntanned bikini lines.
We girls all experience that when we had our new and nice triangle bikini showing off on the beach, the next day it tends to leave some lines and suntanned mark on our skin. We are girls, we like to change, play with different outfit. The next day we would change to a strapless top or a bandeau bikini, so the different colour of tan lines show as the photo I showed you below. Actually with this particular photograph, we used triangle bikini for the bikini shoot earlier on, so when we change to bandeau bikini the model had the tan lines. (The model was good and professional, she didn’t come with a suntan like that originally.)

[singlepic id=25 float=none]

The method is similar to the sweat stain and there is a couple of ways doing it. Here I’ll show you what I think it’s most efficient.
Examining the discolouration problem: The colour is brighter and less saturated then the surrounding area. So what I’m going to do is darken and bring more redness to the area.

[singlepic id=20 float=none]

Step 1) Use the Lasso tool to select the discolouration area and select the area slightly bigger.


[singlepic id=21 float=none]

Step 2) Add a new adjustment layer “Curve”.
Bring the brightness down in the RGB channel, add a bit of redness by drag the curve up a little of the curve in the Red channel. Tweet around these two curves until the discolouration area match the correct skin tone.


[singlepic id=22 float=none]

Step 3) Use the brush tool, hardness 0%, on the layer mask, blend the area in. I used 90% opacity of the brush for blending the sharp edges, then change to 10% ~ 20% opacity for blending the rest of the area.


[singlepic id=23 float=none]

Step 4) Use the patch tool to even out the skin tone.


Then it’s done!

Let’s see the before and after.

[singlepic id=24 float=none]


This example is slightly more tricky than the one above, it requires more blending technique. All you have to do is keep practicing then you’re get better.

Hope you learn something from this tutorial. If you have any question, please don’t hesitate to leave it in the comment.
Happy Photoshopping!!

Preparing Yourself For a Photo Shoot

There are things you can prepare for yourself before the photo shoot in order to get the best result.

There are don’ts: 

1) Do not tan yourself 3 days before the shoot, your skin will be red. Any redness or even slightly sunburn will affect the photo quality. If you don’t have time to get sun tan, I can make you look tanned in the post editing easily.

2) Do not scrub your face the day before the shoot to avoid skin look red and irritating.

3) Do nothing about the pimples or blemish, they are easy to clean out in the digital editing post process.

4) Do not try a new hairstyle, you can never sure about the result, go safe is the best.

5) Do not stay up late the night before the shoot, come to the studio sober.

6) Do not drink alcohol the night before the shoot because you can drink during the shoot. (Just kidding, but a glass of wine won’t hurt. 🙂 )

7) (Not for pregnancy photo session) Avoid drinking too much water the night before the photo shoot. Retaining too much water in the body can cause puffiness. So drink plenty of water during the day. If you get really thirsty during the evening, drink a small amount of water.

There are Do’s:

1) Two or three days before the shoot, apply facial scrub to massage and wash your face to exfoliate your skin. (Guys: Please do the same)

2) Remember to shave where is appropriate. Girls: Legs, under arms, forearms and bikini lines for bikini or boudoir shoots.  Guys: Be shaved nicely if you are not growing a particular beard style..

3) Clean your nails and toe nails.

4) Go to bed early the night before the shoot, at least get 3 hours more sleep than usual.

5) Remove unwanted hair on your eyebrows, guys please do the same. If you are not sure what to do, please go to a specialist or “Google” more information.

6) Packing your clothing and accessories the night before, so you will be more relaxed for next day’s shoot.

Tutorial: Using ISSUU to make and publish your photography magazine

I use ISSUU to make a collection of my work to become a photo magazine. ISSUU is very simple to use, just sign up and upload your file, the website will convert your pdf file to have the magazine flipping effect, it’s really cool!

At first, I don’t know how to design a magazine cover or edit the magazine content. I searched on google see if there is tutorial about making an online magazine or a free template to use. But the source is not much, although there are good softwares that you can purchase for making an professional looking online magazine. But if you are like me, just want to try out this new cool thing then purchasing an $400 software is no a good idea.

Guess what is my solution?! I have a few magazine lay on my shelf, I had a glance of them. I thought it wouldn’t be difficult to “manual” making one. I’m good at Photoshop, so why not do in photoshop? There is an function to convert the images to a PDF file, so I make every page of the magazine in Photoshop and then convert them to PDF files. You can use illustrator or any other software you feel easy and comfortable with to edit your magazine content. There are also some professional software like Adobe Indesign for this purpose.

Then I use a very cool free and open source “pdfSam” (For MacOS, Linus and Windows) to merge all the pages of pdf to one single pdf file. After that, you’re ready to upload the pdf file to ISSUU.

It’s just a simple way to make a photography magazine, as you see my sample, I’m very “new” to the magazine layout. And I’m sure you can do it better than me. 🙂

Note:If you can’t open my online magazine APHRODITE, you can download the pdf file here.

Classic Portrait shoot set in outdoor – easy and simple set up!

This is a simple outdoor shoot set up for a classic black and white portrait shoot with a black background.

How simple?
You only need 3 things for the studio set up.
1 light stand
1 flash
1 softbox

Location: Anywhere without strong wind. (So the softbox will stay put!) I set the studio by a small fishing port. The street lamp can help with the camera focusing.

[singlepic id=15 float=none]

Behind the scene with the classic look B&W portrait set up


Lighting by the flash, no ambient light.

When the day is getting dark, in the late afternoon, choose a place where is in the shade.
Set your camera at the highest shutter speed sync with the flash, adjust you aperture until the exposure goes right down, lower than Ev -2. So you won’t pull any street light into the shot.

My camera setting:

[singlepic id=16 float=none]

With this shot, I added another flash to lit up the back of her hair.


Any thought or question you can leave it in the comment. 🙂

Portrait Session with Pam

[singlepic id=13 h=800 float=none]

The portrait session with Pam was very nice. She’s lovely, beautiful and in perfect good shape. She told me that she goes to the gym often. Pam is in her 60s, it’s amazing how she keeps her body in good shape.
Here is some questions I asked her during the shoot, a short interview with Pam.

Amanda:Why do you want to have your portrait done?

Pam:It’s for my family.

A:What is your experience of the portrait with Amanda?

P: Brilliant, very relaxing.

A:How do your feel when you see the photos?


A:Do you like the photos?
P:Very much.

A:How do you look after yourself so well?

P:I use serum by L’oreal and boots No7.

A:What pass time activity make you fee relaxing?
P:Go to the gym and sailing.

A:You look very fit, do you go on special diet?
P:Not really, just no smoking, moderate alcohol  and an a health diet.

More photo of Pam.

[singlepic id=14 h=800 float=none]