• Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint
Share this Page URL

Chapter 4. Editing Photos > Retouching Photos

Retouching Photos

Cindy Crawford’s famous mole notwithstanding, there are many great photos marred by small blemishes. Perhaps it’s a smear of jelly on your toddler’s face, or someone’s chapped lips. Either way, iPhoto’s Retouch tool can help.

To retouch a photo:

Click the Retouch button, or -click the image and choose Retouch from the contextual menu.

iPhoto puts a white halo around the Retouch wand to indicate that it’s active (Figure 4.35).

Figure 4.35. The Retouch wand has a white halo when it’s active. That’s useful to know, because you must click the Retouch button again to turn it off and be able to make selection rectangles again.

Click and scrub over the blemish you want to remove, using short strokes.

iPhoto blurs the area under the Retouch tool’s pointer, blending it with the surrounding colors and textures.

Press and release to toggle between the “before” (Figure 4.36) and “after” (Figure 4.37) views of your photo.

Figure 4.36. The original photo. Note the smudge on the left side of Tristan’s lips.

Figure 4.37. Much better!


  • For additional accuracy, zoom in first.

  • Retouch is not a panacea. It can fix small blemishes but will make large ones look like dust bunnies. It works best on skin.

  • You can’t click the Retouch tool when editing in a separate window. It’s a bug. Use the contextual menu instead.

  • Avoid sharp color edges with the Retouch tool, such as between Tristan’s hands and his blue shirt. When the Retouch tool hits edges, it smears the sharp lines. Luckily, you can always undo mistakes.

  • Retouch can be good for taking the flash shine off eyes or other reflective surfaces, and is worth a try if the Red-Eye tool fails.

  • Creative Edge
  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint