Correcting Unwanted Highlights on Faces

The Shadow/Highlight adjustments command is a great feature for rescuing burned out highlights and blocked shadows. However, it works globally and cannot always do as good a job as some of the other tools. For example, the portrait in Figure 11-21 received an unplanned kick from a low-angle three-quarter backlight. Otherwise, the portrait is good and worth rescuing. Using Shadow/Highlight brings out some unflattering detail, but painting over the burned out cheek solves the problem in one go and does away with the need to mask a global move.


wildly off,

Figure 11-21: Left—The light has caught the cheek at an unflattering angle and resulted in burned-out detail. Right—Using the Healing Brush tool on a layer set to Darken mode and painting the burned-out areas has added detail where there was none or very little.

1. Create a new layer above the image layer and change its blend mode from Normal to Darken.

2. Select the Healing Brush tool and an appropriate soft brush tip. Make sure that the blend mode is set to Normal, Source to Sampled, offset to Aligned, and sampling to Sample All Layers.

3. Alt-click (Windows), Opt-click (Mac OS) a suitable skin area to set the sampling point.

4. Paint over the burned-out areas. Depending on the size of the area being repaired, you might need to define different sample points. Reduce or enlarge brush tip as needed by using the square bracket keys: press [ to reduce or ] to enlarge.

If you need to remove a dark blemish, such as a mole or a tattoo, create another layer and then change its blend mode to Lighten. Of course, you don't need to heal on a separate layer, but doing so does give you more flexibility. For example, you can turn the layer visibility off/on, lower its opacity, erase the healing in part or completely, and start all over again.

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