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Photoshop CS3 Retouching: Remove Wrinkles and Blemishes From Digital Photographs

Who wouldn’t want to look younger? Though erasing the effects of time in real life can require expensive treatments or even surgery, you will only need some knowledge and effort to retouch photos digitally. The Healing Brush in Photoshop CS3 can be used to remove those inevitable signs of aging such as wrinkles and blemishes better than makeup in photos.

Open Photoshop, and then open the photo you want to retouch. Always make sure that the image you choose is one you own, have permission to use, or is available in the public domain. In order to avoid saving mistakes on the original, you may decide to save a copy and then close the original photo, or create a duplicate layer on the original by clicking on Layer and then clicking on Duplicate Layer.

Choose the Healing Brush Tool by clicking and holding on the Band-Aid icon located above the Brush Tool. In the fly out menu, click on the Healing Brush icon. Adjust the brush size so that a small area of the photo will be used, set the Mode to Normal and the Source as Sampled. The other settings can be left as their defaults.

Zoom in on the photo and find an area of skin without wrinkles or blemishes that closely matches the color of the skin in an area to be altered. Hold down the Alt key and left click to select the area. Let go of the Alt key to save the selection.

Move the cursor to an area you wish to correct. Left click and drag the cursor over the wrinkled or blemished skin. While you are using the Healing Brush the area will be darkened, but will return to the correct color when you stop. Check the result and continue or undo if necessary. While learning this technique, it is easy to sample too large an area or try to use a selection that is too light or dark.

The main point to remember when using the Healing Brush to erase aging or blemishes is to keep your manipulations natural looking. Maintain the skin tones as closely as possible and do not remove too many wrinkles; otherwise the end effect will look like a caricature of the original photo.

Retouching photos using the Healing Brush tool in Photoshop CS3 can take years off your real age, or remove unexpected skin blemishes from important photos. Experiment with different settings such as Screen Mode instead of Normal to simply minimize aspects rather than removing them completely. You may have to look your age in real life, but your pictures can reflect a more youthful appearance.

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