Short Workshop on basic Photoshop techniques- Cloning

We firstly looked at some basic techniques in Photoshop and in particular the way in which we can use cloning. Cloning is when you take one part of an image and clone it onto a new part. For example you could clone a hair or an eye in order to cover up a blemish or make a person have more symmetry. This is what I came up with during the workshop on cloning.

Reese - one eye on forehead Reese mouth and eye on face - clone tool

I learnt how to clone Reese’s eye and put it on her forehead and also use the cloning tool to put a mouth on her forehead too. This workshop showed me ways in which I could use cloning to retouch the photo and make it higher quality rather than distorting it. This workshop was useful in starting off my basic skills in Photoshop and it is also an essential part of the retouching process.

Retouching Reese Witherspoon

Everywhere we look, we are confronted with retouched celebrities whose looks are enhanced in order to create a better more beautiful image of themselves. The task for this project was to make Reese Witherspoon ready to be on the cover of Vogue or another similar magazine. We got given a picture of Reese that hadn’t been retouched.

Here is the untouched photo.


There was a lot of things that needed to be changed on her portrait so I started by highlighting what these were on a paper copy of the photo.

IMG_7354 edit

After doing this I set to work using Photoshop. Photoshop is not a program I can say that I am really confident in, I have recently only learnt the basics so this project was an opportunity for me not only learn how to retouch an image but to improve on my Photoshop skills.

I firstly started to work on her skin. I could see that she did have some blemishes that needed fixing and also some wrinkles that needed to be blending in order to give her skin a flawless effect. This is how I started as a “base” for when I would enhance her other facial features.

After using both the healing tool and the smudge and blending tools I managed to create a much more flawless base for her skin. I looked smoother and was a much brighter colour.

Next I concentrated on her eyes. The white of her eyes were a little dull in colour and I wanted to make the blue of her eyes a lot brighter too. To do this I firstly concentrated on the blue part of the eyes, I highlighted them with the magic wand and changed the contrast and exposure to make them pop. I used the paintbrush tool to make the whites of her eyes look whiter however I toned it down with the opacity setting so it didn’t come off as too strikingly white. I also added in a bit of a grey tone to show shadow.

Her eyebrows are well shaped in this picture but I wanted them to stand out a bit more. Again using the paintbrush and the opacity setting I shaped and constructed some bold but clean shaped eyebrows.

Just as I did the eye whites, I done her teeth. Using the opacity setting gave me the opportunity to whiten her teeth without making it look really fake, I took her natural tooth colour when I used the paintbrush tool and that gave it a more natural feel.

For the lips I added a little shading with another shade of redish pink to make her lips look a little fuller. I would love to know how to do this in a different way or even how to “reconstruct” facial features. This is something I hope to learn in the future.

The hardest part of the whole editing process for me was in fact the hair, as you can see in my last outcome I had a lot of trouble with her hair and how to go about making it look glossy and elegant. I firstly took care of the flyaways using layers and the cloning tool. I then smudged some areas of her hair to disguise where I cut out and moved sections. On the right side of her hair there was a long strand of hair that I was not entirely sure how to remove. I decided the best option would be to use the smudge tool in darken mode and the clone tool to add hair to this section. This worked surprisingly well, although I would really like to work on the smoothness of the transition I now understand how to “create” hair.

Lastly I looked at creating earings that captured the light more. Although the right earing was covered by hair the left one was not. I decided to add dots of similar colours that I took from the original earling to create a kind of bokah effect that made the earing sparkle and stand out.

The one thing that remains quite dominant in the photo is her chin, I could have made it look more smooth and fit in better with her facial shape however when I blended and fixed her skin in the first place it did help her chin become more part of her face and reduced the pores.

This my latest version of my Reese Witherspoon retouched image. I am really happy with what I have created however there is a lot more I need to learn in Photoshop. With the skills I am learning I think I can create a much sharper and good looking image that looks a lot more professional.

RW edit

A few weeks after doing this I decided that maybe I needed to relook at some parts of my image. Although Reese’s face was at a good standard, her hair for me just did not have to edge it needed too. It in fact looked too fake. I started again with her hair, taking out most of what I had done to see if I could create something smoother and more natural. I kept what I had done with the background and also where I had blurred the edges but the strand on her right side was still attracting attention because it looked so out of place. I knew this was the part that if I could fix it, it would be closer to my main aim. I went about this by using the clone tool. Before Christmas I was definitely not as confident with this tool in any way, I did not know how to use it in a way that would enhance my work it only seemed to make it look more out of place. However slowly I have become a lot more confident with this tool and felt that this is what I needed to use in order to make a smoother transition between hair and neck.

As you will be able to see in my final image below, I still had a few problems but I am very happy with my work on Reese Witherspoon. I feel I have taken a leap with Photoshop and learnt a lot of new skills in order to improve. I know in the future I would like to look a lot more at photo retouching because I think it is a thriving business that can be very well paid and I would really love to learn more about this industry.Especially when I have managed to conquer Photoshop and grasped all of the tools that Photoshop has to offer.

Here is my final image of Reese Witherspoon before my feedback session:


After our feedback session, there had been certain aspects of my Reese Witherspoon that had been highlighted. These were her neck and her flyaway at the front of her hair. I took time to correct these blemishes in order that my retouched portrait was as strong as possible.

Here is my final image of Reese Witherspoon:

RW jpeg



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