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Dramatic Sports Portrait Retouching

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Getting edgy with sports images in Photoshop

Portraits of athletes are a great place to experiment with using a contrasty, high energy, dramatic Retouching technique. Here are a couple of our favorite methods to achieve this look.


Lens Flare

Photoshop has a built in Lens Flare but the options for using it are pretty slim. There are workarounds that will get you a much better result and we go over them in this episode. We start by applying the Lens Flare to a black layer and changing the layer Blend Mode to Screen. This makes the black invisible and just lets the flare through. From here you can change the Color of the flare using Curves to better fit your image.

Dodge and Burn

There are many ways to Dodge and Burn an image, in this episode we cover a very quick method. We start by creating a Stamp Visible Layer and desaturating it. Then we change the Blend Mode to Overlay which will accentuate the Lights and darks. Next we apply a High Pass Filter to the layer bringing detail to the Highlights and Shadows. From here all you need to do is use a Layer Mask to paint in the areas you want to be visible.

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