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Whitening Teeth

This really should be called “Removing Yellowing, Then Whitening Teeth” because almost everyone has some yellowing, so we remove that first before we move on to the whitening process. This is a simple technique, but the results have a big impact on the overall look of the portrait, and that’s why I do this to every single portrait where the subject is smiling.

Step One.
Open the photo you need to retouch.


Step Two.
Switch to the Lasso tool, and carefully draw a selection around the teeth, being careful not to select any of the gums (as shown here).

Step Three.
Go under the Select menu and choose Feather. When the Feather Selection dialog appears, enter 1 pixel and click OK to smooth the edges of your selection. That way, you won’t see a hard edge along the area you selected after you’ve whitened the teeth.

Step Four.
Go under the Image menu, under Adjustments, and choose Hue/Saturation. When the dialog appears, choose Yellows from the Edit pop-up menu at the top. Then, drag the Saturation slider to the left to remove the yellowing from the teeth.

Step Five.
Now that the yellowing is removed, switch the Edit pop-up menu back to Master, and drag the Lightness slider to the right to whiten and brighten the teeth. Be careful not to drag it too far, or the retouch will be obvious. Click OK in the Hue/Saturation dialog, and your enhancements will be applied. Last, press Command-D (PC: Control-D) to deselect and see your finished retouch (shown below).





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