Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Photo Retouching: Digital Dentist

I think that teeth are one of the things that people are most self-conscious about. It's an obsession that I would have to guess originated in the US but is continually spreading, so when I have a client that decides not to smile in pictures because of their teeth, I try to assure them that they can have a beautiful smile post-photoshop.

How It's Done (Click on the images for larger jpegs):
1: Straighten the teeth using the liquify filter.
2: Mask the selection of the teeth (using quick mask or regular mask - use a soft edge).

3: With the teeth selected, go to the Hue/Saturation (Apl U) window. Select the Yellow from the drop down menu and decrease the saturation of the yellow.
4: With the brighten slider bump up the lightness of the teeth a tad to make them look better.
5: De-select the teeth (Apl D).

Please post your comments by clicking the link below. If you've got questions, please pose them in our Retouchers and Retouching Discussion Threads.


David said...


I love your idea for this blog. But, IMO, you are carrying the ball all the way to the one-yard line and then fumbling it. You need to show people the process. Teach them how to retouch.

Then the pageviews and Google Juice will follow. What's in it for you? Being very high up in nearly every Google search for all of the permutations of photo retouching.

You have the machine in place -- but you are not using it. Teach people how to do this. You will get better, and you will become an acknowledged expert in a field where geographic location means nothing.

Case in point: When I first saw this blog (from your comment) I was very excited and planned to tell people about it. About 250,000 people, to be exact.

But that excitement evaporated when I realized that this was not so much an informational blog as an adjunct portfolio.

You are so close to being a strong player in this niche that you can smell it. But to succeed in a big way, you have to be completely open and share your knowledge for free.

David Hobby

RIP said...

I have to agree with David. He shares all his professional knowledge on the Strobist site as you know. I came to your site from there and got excited when I read your *pay it forward* statement. When I see photos on Flickr where post processing was used, I hunger for the *HOW* and try to reverse engineer it. I know there are a ton of *how-to* sites out there, but I'd like to see your workflow. I was about to bookmark your site until I realized it was a show and not so much tell site... not to take away from your remarkable talent. I hope to be as good as you someday. I know I will never do this commercially, but to enhance my own photos is my ultimate goal... Thanks to David for the lighting improvements... now it's time to hone my post processing skills...


Kristina Sherk said...

Thanks for your feed back! It was never my intention to withhold information from other photographers that are interested in my work, I'm actually flattered that people are interested in it at all!
I will work on learning how to get my information up online as soon as possible. But for the time being, if anyone has any questions on how something is done, all they need to do is email me and I will be more than happy to describe my workflow for whichever image they desire.
I will also try to go back for older posts and add a "How it was done" paragraph to them so that people may understand a little better, simply: "How it's done!"