Simple Image Retouching in Photoshop

By Rashad Nsouli | Photoshop CS3 | Beginner

This tutorial will teach you a simple technique to enhance the colors of your image making it more vivid and alive. The image is going to be retouched using Layer Blending Modes and a slightly visible Gaussian Blur. After applying the retouch method, your image will look like the example shown below

Sample Result

Start off by opening the image you want to retouch in Photoshop. I used this raw image directly from my camera, you are free to practice this tutorial using if you want to get exactly similar results as the ones shown here.

Raw Original Image

Once you have the image opened, go through to Image>Adjustments>Curves. The curves window will open, as you can see in the screenshot below, there are two square markers on the field, each marker is created by clicking on a spot on the grid, these marks can even be dragged across the grid. Create two markers in the same position shown below.


After applying the curves, your image will look like this.

Applied Curves Image

Go through Layer>Duplicate Layer, a small window will pop up for you to choose a new name for your duplicated layer, click OK to proceed.

Duplicate Layer

From your Layers Panel, choose the recently duplicated layer and change its Blending Mode into Soft Light.

Soft Light Blending Mode

Your image will now look like the this

Applied Soft Light Image

Go through Layer>Duplicate Layer once again and this time give the recently duplicated layer a Gaussian Blur by going through Filters>Blur>Gaussian Blur of 10 px.

Gaussian Blur

From the Layers Panel, give the blurred layer an Overlay blending Mode and change its Opacity to 20%.

Overlay Blending Mode

Your image will now look like the this

Applied Overlay Image

Go through Layer>Duplicate Layer one more time and change the recently duplicated layer's Blending Mode into Color Dodge.

Color Dodge Blending Mode

Your final image is going to look like the sample below, you can rollover it to see the original raw image for comparison.

Final Sample

This concludes our tutorial, you can check my source PSD here. Make sure you show off your work in the Graphics Showcase forum. I hope that you've learnt something new from my tutorial, feel free to email me on if you have any comments or questions or alternatively post in the Republic of Code Forum to get instant feedback.

- End of Tutorial