- How To Choose a Monitor for Photo Editing
- Productivity Tips to Jumpstart Your Success
- Why You Need a Curved Monitor for Photo Editing
photo by FG Trade via iStock
The portrait job isn’t done until the portrait post-processing is finished. Generally speaking, when I talk about how to process a portrait, I like to emphasize remaining as true as possible to the original subject. But there’s nothing wrong with enhancing aspects of the portrait image.
A portrait subject will be happy with minimal tweaks or enhancements. We’re changing how the person looks, we’re making sure we’re showing the subject in the best possible way. Lighting, posing, and composition are part of our work, portrait post-processing is another important part.
Let’s examine some tips for how to process a portrait to give our subjects and clients the best natural looking images. We’re shooting for naturalism with these portrait photography processing tips. If you want to radically alter the images, that’s fine, check out some of our other photo processing articles.
photo by Ridofranz via iStock
For these portrait post-processing tips and techniques, we prefer an image editing program that uses non-destructive editing.
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, to use its full name, is an example of this type of program that many portrait and wedding photographers have adopted as the program to beat. There are other fine programs that also use non-destructive editing, but we’ll mostly be referring to Lightroom in this article.
In order to take full advantage of these Photoshop tips for portraits, we really need to be able to see clearly what we’re doing to our images. That means our monitor should be the best we can fit and afford.
High-resolution curved-screen monitors in a wide aspect ratio are made for this type of work. A curved and very wide screen in a large monitor gives what is called an immersive editing experience.
The 34 inch and 38 inch monitors from ViewSonic, the VP3481 and VP3881, are excellent choices for type of work. Though we may deliver images that we softened somewhat for our portrait clients, in order to get that image to be the best example possible, we need an ultra high-resolution monitor during processing so we can clearly see all aspects of the portrait post-processing workflow.
The ViewSonic monitors have superb color accuracy, are extremely sharp, and have features that can make our portrait post-processing workflow more effective.
An important advantage of non-destructive image editing is that we can quickly apply batch processing to numerous images at the same time. Some of the tools commonly used as batch processes are color balance, lens corrections, and exposure adjustments.
photo by kupicoo via iStock
Since we mostly shot our images in RAW, we can now assign a color balance to the entire batch of image files. Even if we shot in JPEG, we can use the color balance controls to adjust or correct the white balance.
One of the more important photoshop tips for portraits is that if we shoot with a color checker, we can virtually automate this process.
One of the advantages of digital photography is that post-processing can take care of a huge variety of small problems such as the lens we used for our portraits tends towards barrel distortion or has color fringing issues.
With programs such as Lightroom, we can use the built in profiles to take core of those corrections in batch editing.
photo by damircudic via iStock
Minor exposure corrections or adjustments for portrait post-processing can also be taken care of with batch processing. Take one representative image and edit the exposure sliders, which can be overall exposure or separate highlight, midtone, and shadow. Then, apply that to other files through batch editing.
Touch Up Tools
This is one of the portrait post-processing tools that should be done to individual images. There is always some minor glitch that shows up in a portrait that if left unfixed will bug the subject every time they see it. It could be a skin blemish, a wrinkle or spot on their clothes, or an unwanted shadow or bright spot somewhere in the image.
This tool might be labeled clone, heal, spot removal, or something like that. This is one of the steps that you’ll be glad to be using a large high-resolution monitor so that you can clearly see exactly what you are changing.
Worth the Effort
photo by kupicoo via iStock
Portrait post-processing may take some time after the photoshoot, in fact it may take as long to process as it did to shoot the portrait in the first place. But the results are definitely worth it. Give your portrait photography clients the best images and prints you can deliver.