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Kelly Clarkson Needs Help

Jan 04

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How to Fix an Image Gone Wrong

I am not sure how this happened, but this photo was way over processed. It does not really surprise me to to see a portrait horribly edited, what is surprising is that it is of Kelly Clarkson on iTunes. Apple usually does a very good job at quality control.

Today’s Episode Timeline

  • 0:30 – iTunes publishes horrible photo of Kelly Clarkson
  • 1:30 – Painting away her arm with the brush tool
  • 3:00 – Kristen Stewart loans her hair to Kelly
  • 5:00 – Adjusting the hair to make it blend
  • 6:20 – Shading Hair
  • 8:40 – Retouching her skin
  • 9:30 – The most common dodge and burn mistake
  • 11:30 – Fixing the brightness in her eyes
  • 13:30 – Fixing the shadows on her face
  • 15:00 – Adding Saturation back into her hair
  • 16:30 – Fixing the highlight colors in Photoshop
  • 18:30 – Fixing Lens Flare
  • 20:00 – Adding Flyaway Hair

Fixing Kelly’s Photo

This photo was edited a bit too much, and came out looking very over processed. It is our job to help her out. By showing everything that is bad about this photo, it will help you make your photos even better.

  • Sebastian Ortiz

    Awesome!!! Now this is what Phlearn is all about!!! You Rock, Aaron!!!

  • Mark ODonnell

    I think you just proposed to Kelly Clarkson somewhere in this video.  lol

  • http://phlearn.com Aaron Nace

    Thanks man!

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/45780335@N07/ Cindy

    Kelly would def come sing for you after that fix!  Great watch :)

  • http://twitter.com/guardsofnick Nick Bedford

    I still find it amazing that throughout the entire process, no one said, “Oh God, this looks awful!”, including Kelly herself and refuse to have it released. That’s why I’m glad I’m basically the photography/art director in my band.

  • http://jpetronephotography.carbonmade.com/ Jenna Petrone

    I agree with Nick, throughout the whole video I was wondering who allowed the photo to be released if it didn’t look as best as it could?  Anyway, this is an entertaining episode.  You made Kelly look 10x better! haha.

  • http://www.ipbrian.com/ IPBrian

    I totally thought the same thing when I saw this image.

  • buddy burke

    Great job Aron I will call Kelly Clarkson tonight  and make sure she will singe to you

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Aaron, really nice tutorial! If the people at iTunes are paid to produce that shoddy work, then maybe there’s hope for me yet! (Also looking forward to you maybe doing a tutorial or phlearn pro on the one where you’re eating McDonalds with the panda!)

  • Tavis Glover

    At 13:29, I think they were in a hurry AND they hate Kelly Clarkson! lol, you are hilarious! I like how you notice all of the horrible photo jobs out there, because I know there are a lot. Great points in this and awesome photoshop tips!

  • Rich Soublet

    Thoroughly entertaining! Kelly would appreciate it :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/greggardner73 GregGardner

    Wow, I don’t believe they would let a photo like that get published! Jammed full of cool little tricks too, thanks man!

  • Anonymous

    I missed you Phlearn, so much practical advice. Adding color to the shadows to remove the “dirty look” was a fantastic tip.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/jeniholland02 Jeni

    You never cease to amaze me.  You did better in 20 minutes than they did in, probably, hours.

    I can’t believe they thought that looked good.  Her face looked splotchy. 

    Maybe they should watch this episode or better yet, by a phlearn pro on retouching. haha!

  • James Bennett

    Loved the unicorn. 

  • Mark boucher

    great editing!

  • Guest

    That is amazing! Great job Aaron! I just shake my head at the original. Oh, and here’s the actual original photo Itunes used. http://www.kellyclarkson.com/sites/kclarkson/files/stronger_5.jpg

  • http://www.flexiblevision.com Roman

    Awesome!
    What is the difference between opacity and flow??? 

  • Reem

    OMG!! its really good! but I don’t know what the hell was wrong with the guy that did the edit :s

  • Reem

    this is a great episode Aaron!! I was just editing a photo lastnight and was thinking about the best way to change the background and still make it look good!
    I think this episode is really great to re-edit photos that gone wrong even by me :)
    I’m sure Kelly would be happy to see what you’ve done with her pic!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Peter-Cornelisse/100003126462475 Peter Cornelisse

    Apart from the in your lens/face elbow I like the original photo a lot better. Even got less lens flare then the processed photo.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Peter-Cornelisse/100003126462475 Peter Cornelisse

    You probably don’t use Photoshop otherwise you could have found the answer in the help-file:
    Opacity Sets the transparency of color you apply. As you paint over an area, the opacity will not exceed the set level no matter how many times you move the pointer over the area, until you release the mouse button. If you stroke over the area again, you will apply additional color, equivalent to the set opacity. Opacity of 100 percent is opaque.
    Flow Sets the rate at which color is applied as you move the pointer over an area. As you paint over an area, keeping the mouse button down, the amount of color will build up based on the flow rate, up to the opacity setting. For example, if you set the opacity to 33% and the flow to 33%, each time you move over an area, its color moves 33% towards the brush color. The total will not exceed 33% opacity unless you release the mouse button and stroke over the area again.

  • David Clumpner

    Aaron, while you are working I am seeing your brush size jumping up and down very quickly – too quickly to be using the bracket keys.  I also don’t think that you are using the Control-Alt-drag method – can you enlighten me to your brush-resizing shortcut?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Peter-Cornelisse/100003126462475 Peter Cornelisse

    Great job Aaron. Looks a lot better and more pleasing to the eye. Makes you question if the retouching was done by a photographer in the first place. Curious what you had done to the original pre-processed photo posted here somewhere.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dctuck Daniel Tuck

    Completely agree Aaron – it IS awesome! Great techniques there – look forward to trying them all out on badly Photoshopped photos of celebrities in the future :)

  • Paul Browse

    HiFi geek alert: You’ve got a pair of Kef Coda 70s! So do I! That is all…

  • http://phlearn.com Aaron Nace

    Woah! My  final almost looks like the original haha

  • http://phlearn.com Aaron Nace

    Hell yeah Paul, you have good taste

  • http://phlearn.com Aaron Nace

    I am holding down control optn and dragging left and right, I just leave my left hand on the shortcuts :)

  • http://phlearn.com Aaron Nace

    Thanks, I know we would be good together :)

  • http://www.ivorypomegranate.com/photography/ Kirstin

    This is probably one of the best episodes I’ve seen, tons of useful information, delivered in a really concise manner. Thanks!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jfinite Justin Bonaparte

    Awesome edit!

  • http://www.facebook.com/priscilla.lf Priscilla Lumbreras Fernández

    Great job Aaron!

    You just kick the ass of the big companies that make this quick, cheap
    and amateur jobs to save a few dollars… I know how they works,
    maybe the photographer didn’t charge even!

  • http://www.facebook.com/priscilla.lf Priscilla Lumbreras Fernández

    Oh my…!

    This is the first time that I see this singer face, and I just see the
    video… this photo is horrible! she is much much much beautiful! the
    picture is a piece of *%&+^”!!!

  • http://twitter.com/adamsnaps adambreaks

    ok… this is PHroper awesome! really liked the bit about dodge and burn mistakes. Thanks Aaron. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mark-Behrens/1040106847 Mark Behrens

    I avoided this episode yesterday, it looked not very interesting to me… Boy was I wrong, great instruction, awesome tips. I’ll never make that mistake again, keep up the great work!

  • http://www.flexiblevision.com Roman

    I apologize for asking question on Photoshop community forum. You are right, I should study PS manual and don’t ask stupid questions.
    Thank you for taking your time for copy and paste part from the manual.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sztyui Gábor Lénárt

    Aaron, I often use this technique to change my brush size,but I have a red paint,in my brush’s center,while I’m doing this. The red color shows my brush’s shape,but I don’t want this red color there. I saw,you haven’t got this red color,so I just want to ask,how can I set this, and switch off?
    Hope you understand what I ask,sorry for my english:)
    Ohh,and also wanted to ask,how can I do this on windows? I’m a mac user,but sometimes you have to work with a PC,and you never know…:)
    So I don’t know,how I get this on windows. Whats the keyboard shortcut on there?

  • http://www.artripoli.com/ Artripoli

    Hahaha I love your response. I was wondering the same thing too, and googled it… I knew if I asked the question somewhere public someone would rise up to look down their nose at me.

  • http://www.artripoli.com/ Artripoli

    For those who are amazed that Kelly Clarkson approved the original image, Kelly probably doesn’t even know the photo exists. She’s under contracts
    with her label which handles all these things for her. She probably has
    say or creative input in things like album covers and stuff like that,
    but it would be almost overwhelming for her to oversee every bit of
    digital media that is produced for her. Unfortunately for things like
    images that are just for the web, or even just for iTunes, people don’t
    take it as seriously as printed things, so they will bill out to the
    lowest bidder. In a time and era when most people find things like music
    and movies online, you would think that the people in charge of this
    stuff would budget a little more and take things a little more
    seriously.

    Great job Aaron, this was my favorite episode you have done recently, I passed it on to some friends on some other message boards I talk photos with.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sztyui Gábor Lénárt

    Wait…I just found the windows shorcut, it should be alt+right mouse button drag. But I’m still curious about the red color:)

  • David Clumpner

    Aaron, thanks for the reply!  Gabor, I am with you as I speculated against him using the control-option method because I don’t see the red color on his screen.  Interested in how he has eliminated that, but it’s not so important – just happy to know his not-so-secret-after-all shortcut.  :)

  • Kim Akrigg

    One of my favorite episodes! Awesome job!

  • http://carlrevellphotography.com/ Carl Revell

    Really enjoyed this episode Aaron. Lots of useful tips, tricks, methods and techniques presented quick–fire.

  • Gerko van Kampen

    Holy wow!

    You know what u are doing! Great to see and so fast..
    Your humor is great haha.. i’m falling of my chair over here.. :o )
    Techniqs are great, but what you say.. fast.. for a customer would be different i think.
    I understand the message!

    My compliments.

    Grtz  Gerko van Kampen from the Netherlands

  • Gerko van Kampen

    good stuff from Sweden Europe.. but the best retoucher is in the other side of the world..

  • Mark

    Wow, I just learned some great tips, thanks Aaron! Hey have you ever done a tut on brush settings. the whole opacity vrs flow is kinda confusing. 

  • http://twitter.com/SonOfVin Michael Vinson

    Very cool tutorial. Thanks.

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