How to Use Photoshop to ‘Improve’ Beach Snaps

For some the summer months bring nothing but joyful posing in front of every camera in sight in order that the world may see the subject’s flawless physique and bronzed skin. For the rest…that being about 99% of the population…it’s more a case of diving for cover every time anyone even glances their way. Summer is the season in which winter beer bellies and pasty white skin once again see the light of day, which doesn’t exactly breed confidence and joy in those affected.

Needless to say, the sight of a camera can be more than enough to see a fair few diving for cover – do you really want that gut being plastered all over Facebook?      how-to-use-photoshop-to-improve-beach-snaps

Of course not, and the good news is you don’t have to. After all, what good is a world where Photoshop is so readily available if you aren’t able to do a little ‘corrective’ surgery on your own photographs?

You might think that changing body shapes and the like is something that’s reserved only for graphic design pros and magazine big-shots. But it’s not, in fact if you’ve got even the slightest level of experience with Photoshop and a few minutes to spare, you can rid yourself of that unsightly gut and even add a sun-kissed glow to your skin.

Not convinced? Here’s a quick guide on making this year’s beach snaps much less traumatic to look at:

The Photoshop Tummy Tuck

There’s one specific tool in Photoshop that’s already being used by millions in order to fake it on their photos – and it’s called ‘Liquify’. The long and short of it is that it’s a tool that turns you into something of a virtual plastic surgeon, allowing you to make all kinds of corrections. From double chins to saggy jowls and right through to lumpy legs, there’s really nothing you can’t do. But in this instance, it’s the beach belly we’re trying to rid you of.

So, the first step is of course to find the offending photo and make sure you’ve got a nice close-up look. Next comes the selection of the magic liquify tool, which in order to use in this instance must be used in Advanced Mode. Before getting to grips with the tummy tuck, you need to use the Freeze Mask tool in order to select all the areas of the photo that do not need to be edited.

After this, it’s a case of selecting the Forward Warp Tool which enables you to play around with the size and shape of the offending area, which can be quite amusing to say the least. It might take some time before you find the exact size and shape you like…and that is also believable…but you’ll get there in the end. Using a fairly large brush…not 100% necessary but it does make the job easier to carry out…just go for a bit of trial and error experimentation and see what works.

And once this is done, all that’s left to do is play around with the Healing or Clone tools to even out any textures that have ended up looking a bit weird in the process. Zoom in close to make fine corrections and when you zoom out again you’ll be amazed at how great you look…or at least are pretending to look.

A Touch of Tanning

While you’re at it with the belly, why not add a touch of fake-tan Photoshop style? After all, it’s cheaper and safer than using a sunbed and much more pleasant than slapping on body paint from a bottle.

The good news is it’s also easy as pie to do – all starting with the selection of the areas you’d like to darken a little. You need to be as precise as you can be, which means zooming in if necessary and making use of all available selection tools.

Next, it’s as simple as hitting CTRL + L to begin playing around with the “levels” of the photo in the area you selected, which basically means adjusting its colour properties and the like. And you don’t need to know what you’re doing here either, as you’ll be present with a few sliders you can just play around with until things look right.

Add a tiniest touch of tan, make yourself look well and truly baked or feel free to give your skin a hue that’s never been seen before on planet Earth – the choice is yours!



About Tait Pollack

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