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Using Basic Image Retouching Techniques

Image retouching is used to remove any imperfections that were created when the photo was taken. You can also use retouching to improve the look of a photograph by adding in new elements such as lighting that would enhance the natural elements portrayed in the picture. One of the biggest parts of adjusting an image is learning to see what needs to be changed so you can apply the right elements.

Defining Edges

If a picture appears to be out of focus or an image is not standing out the way it should be, the edges can be better defined to call attention to this area. Edges can be sharpened, a boarder can be added or the edges can be used to determine where other editing elements should begin. A clipping path can also be added so that an object can be defined as a separate part of the photo.

Adjusting Color

One of the focal points of most image retouching projects is adjusting the colors. This can be as basic as enhancing the lighting to eliminate unnecessary shadows to creating beauty elements like teeth whitening. Colors will need to be adjusted for each individual image to avoid the saturation looking artificial. Applying a color setting to the image as a whole can also cause the lighting to become unbalanced.


Unnecessary elements in the background will cause clutter. During image retouching these objects will be removed so that the audience’s attention can focus on the subject rather than all the busy elements around it. If an object is to be removed, a retouching artist may choose to use a cloning tool to create an artificial background that will cover it up. This technique can also be applied to blemishes, wrinkles and other natural features the editor would like to remove from a figure in the photograph.


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