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Hour 6. Improving Photos > Photo Retouching Techniques

Photo Retouching Techniques

There are a number of tools that can be used for fine photo retouching. Retouching is the process of editing out blemishes, such as dust, scratches, creases, light leaks, and any other small details that detract from the quality of the final image.

Taking Advantage of the Exposure and Focus Tools

Another way to correct an image’s exposure and detail is with the Dodge, Burn, Blur, and Sharpen tools. Located in the Tools panel, as shown in Figure 6.10, these tools are similar to the Brush tool except that instead of blending color in, they simply adjust the values of the pixels. Dodging and burning are done in the darkroom by using masks to reduce or increase the amount of light that hits the photosensitive emulsion on the paper. Blurring and sharpening don’t really have a darkroom equivalent; you can adjust the focus of the enlarger but only for the whole image, and when critical focus is reached, it certainly can’t be exceeded (this holds true for digital images, as well). That’s when the important part of your composition is sharp and has the right degree of contrast.


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