Part two of this three-part series on Portrait retouching with Luminar showed how to smooth skin, sculpture the face and remove blemishes. Read Part one here. The third part of this series shows how to add the finishing touches to the image. To start, I will apply a preset that adds a combination of four filters: Structure, Details Enhancer, Top and Bottom Lighting, and Vignette. This gives the image a modified version of my sports grit look style. Next, I’ll desaturate the image then adjust highlights and shadows to complete the retouching.
Learning From Presets
A preset is a combination of filters as well as the settings used for each of those filters to create a special look or style. Luminar ships with over 60 powerful one-click presets to quickly enhance images. This makes editing images fast and easy plus they can be used as a great learning tool. I used Luminar’s Dramatic Grungy preset from the Dramatic category as a base to my Sports Grit Look that lead me to this preset, The Fencing Prince. After applying the preset, I looked in the filters section to see what combination of filters and settings were used to create the look or style. From there, I made my personal adjustments, added more filters, then saved it as my own. Want to learn what each of the filters do? Check out the many presets by simply clicking on each one in turn.
Enhancing the Uniform
The Fencing Prince preset is made up of four filters: Structure, Details Enhancer, Top and Bottom Lighting, and Vignette. I want to apply this effect only on the uniform, so I’ll use a layer mask—not a filter mask—to selectively paint out or erase the effect. I choose a layer mask because I want to apply the same strength of all the filters. To start, I created a new adjustment layer by clicking the + icon in the Layers Toolbar, then added the four filters along with their values. The effect will be applied to the entire image. To mask out the effect on the subject’s head, I clicked the Layer’s brush and choose Erase at 100%, then erased out the effect on the prince’s head. I clicked on the mask visibility icon to view what was being erased. The four filters will be applied to the red areas.
Control the Intensity of Colors
Create an new adjustment layer and apply the Saturation / Vibrance filter from the Essencial category. Saturation will adjust the intensity of all colors in the photo whereas Vibrance adjusts only the intensity of muted colors, ignoring well-saturated colors. This is useful for finer control when adjusting color. A saturation value of -22 will lower the intensity of all the colors and a +47 Vibrance value will make the muted colors more intense.
Fine Tuning Highlights and Shadows
I can stay on the same adjustment layer and apply the Highlights / Shadows filter. Highlights will adjust the brightness of the brightest areas of the image. Moving the slider to the right causes very bright areas to become brighter, while moving the slider to the left makes them darker. I entered a value of 4 to slightly increase the highlights. Shadows will adjust the brightness level of the darkest areas of the image. Moving the slider to the right will cause such areas to become brighter and additional details will appear. When moving to the left, such areas become darker and the number of shadow areas in the image generally increases. I used a value of 33 to bring out the shadows in the hair.
Portrait Retouching with Luminar is a three part series: Enhancing Eyes and Facial Features; Smoothing Skin, Sculpting the Face and Removing Blemishes; and Adding a Finishing Touch.