3 Tips to Touch Up Photos

Last Updated on Mar. 8, 2024 – by David Morgan
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3 Tips to Touch Up Photos

While all photographers want their subjects' natural beauty to shine through, sometimes the lighting, bystanders, or a bad sunburn can get in the way. With a selfie, you can always take another one tomorrow—but when it comes to a once-in-a-lifetime memorable event, you can't go back and try again.

What do you do?

You soften face lines, adjust the lighting, and erase the distracting guy in the background of an otherwise stunning image. But to do this you'll need a photo editor.

There are many free mobile apps and simplified Photoshop editing software alternatives that give you the option to fix or enhance photos and apply retouching techniques with a few clicks.

Our favorite photo editing app PhotoDirector has all the tools you need to ensure that the subjects of your photos look their best without overly modifying the natural look of your original photo. Whether you've photographed family members at a wedding or your adorable dog playing, you can remove unwanted objects, smooth out flaws, and apply custom color presets that don't take the time and hassle of typical photo retouching.

Get started by downloading PhotoDirector for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android today.

3 Tips for Picture Touch Ups

1. Content Aware Removal

Every photographer has experienced the frustration of snapping a perfect photo and finding it's been photobombed or realizing that it features a distracting innocent bystander, a fluorescent traffic sign, or another unwanted element.

Rather than selecting the eraser tool and using various tactics to manually rebuild the scene—or scrapping the photo entirely—PhotoDirector's Content Aware Removal Tool will analyze your image and determine the best way to replace a distracting element with a detailed patch for a quick photo touch up.

To get started:

  1. Drag-and-drop your photograph into the PhotoDirector desktop editing software.
  2. Navigate to the “Guided” menu and select “Content Aware Removal.”
  3. Choose the brush and adjust its size.
  4. Use your mouse to highlight the object you would like to remove.
  5. Click “Apply” to automatically fill in the area with a Content Aware patch.

Away from your computer? You're in luck. You don't need your laptop or desktop computer to remove unwanted objects from photos when you have the PhotoDirector mobile app.

  1. Select the “Edit” option from the main menu and choose a photo from your library.
  2. Scroll through the options at the bottom of the screen to find “Remove/Clone.”
  3. Zoom in to locate the object, adjusting the size of the brush based on your photo.
  4. Use your finger to highlight the area you plan to remove.
  5. Select “Apply” to erase the element.
  6. Repeat as needed or save and share through the app's built-in social media interface.

2. Skin Smoothing

Have you ever snapped a beautiful photo or a fun selfie only to look at it and immediately delete it? For many people, sunburns, breakouts, and brow creases can ruin an image. Luckily, PhotoDirector makes it easy to soften and smooth skin, resulting in a subtle but flawless finish.

  1. With your photo open in PhotoDirector navigate to the “Guided” tab and select “People Beautifier” to access the drop-down menu.
  2. Click “Skin Tools” to open the skin smoothing panel.
  3. Select the brush and customize the size, feather, and strength before highlighting the areas you would like to smooth.
  4. After smoothing out any lines or breakouts, tick the box next to “Fine-tune detail” to adjust the smoothness and detail of your edits.
  5. If needed, navigate to the “Skin Tone” editing tool at the top of the panel and use the selector for a precise skin tone match. Choose a subtle foundation color, adjust the strength, warmth, and tint of the mask.

If you prefer to work on your phone, you can smooth out lines and even your skin tone in seconds.

  1. Open your photo in the editor and select “Tools” from the bottom menu.
  2. Scroll until you find the “Skin Tool” option and use your finger to select the face you want to touch up.
  3. Next, drag the sliding scale to adjust the intensity of the skin-smoothing tool's coverage.
  4. Finally, click the checkmark at the top right of your screen to save.

3. Color Presets

Adjusting color settings can feel incredibly tedious or confusing, especially if you don't have much experience editing photos. Rather than sliding scales and changing settings to see what happens, you can apply an impactful color preset with a single touch.

With countless options to choose from, PhotoDirector has a preset to suit every photo.

  1. Navigate to the “Adjustments” menu.

You'll immediately see a detailed color histogram, regional adjustment tools, and a lineup of other advanced color adjustment options perfect for manual edits by experienced editors.

  1. Instead of feeling intimidated or overwhelmed by the options, choose “Presets” to reveal a second panel with a wide selection of color presets.
  2. Select “Default Presets” to browse PhotoDirector's presets.
  3. Depending on your photo, you may choose “Scenery,” “Portrait,” or “Style” presets or opt for an “Essential” option for one-click adjustments.
  4. You may even venture away from subtle edits to choose an HDR preset, resulting in dramatic, colorful images with pink, black, turquoise, or gray tones.
  5. Compare the different options in each stylized set or select the “Compare Before/After” option at the bottom of your screen to see the original and altered colors side-by-side.
  6. Once you're satisfied with the final results, save and export to share with your friends, family, and followers.

Get Started with Easy Photo Touch Ups

You don't need the most expensive, complicated software to touch up photos. Anyone can take advantage of a streamlined, user-optimized software like PhotoDirector to learn how to touch up photos, apply easy editing tricks, and create advanced visual effects that result in shareable, frame-able images.

PhotoDirector's guided modules and simple interface will make it easy to jump in and begin editing. Rather than watching hours of video tutorials online, you can drag-and-drop your photo into the editing software and get to work.

Running short on time or just running around? Seamlessly transition to the PhotoDirector app and enjoy a simplified collection of retouching tools that will provide you with everything you need to upload, edit, and share photos on the go.

Get started creating professional-quality photos in minutes by downloading PhotoDirector for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.

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