1. Technology

Improve Your Image

Touch-up facial features step-by-step with your favorite software

By

Reduce wrinkles, conceal blemishes, erase scars, clear up red eyes, and even whiten teeth! No, it's not a late night infomercial for the newest beauty product. It's just a few of the simple ways you can correct and retouch digital images with your computer and photo-editing software... all in 15 steps or less! (Send no money now. We'll bill you in 3 easy installments!)

Remove Red Eye

Nothing can ruin the perfect picture like those horrible, glowing red eyes resulting from camera flash. It's happened to us all; fortunately, it's fairly easy to correct. Many software programs have special tools and automatic quick fixes for removing red-eye, but the one-click solutions aren't always the best approach. Here's step-by-step instructions for the solutions I've found to be the most effective either because they do a better job or are more forgiving than other techniques.

Whiten & Brighten Teeth

Who needs special toothpaste when you've got graphics software? In most cases, the Dodge tool works best for quickly brightening teeth because it brightens the midtones without destroying the highlights and shadows. Some of the entry-level programs don't have a dodge tool, so you'll have to use the brightness/contrast control in a pinch. However, you should only use brightness/contrast as a last resort and take care not to lighten so much that you lose the highlights and shadows. Select a program below to "brush-up" on this technique:

Smooth Skin, Conceal Blemishes & Erase Wrinkles

Now who would pass up an opportunity to take a few years off their face? With today's software you can literally reduce the signs of aging in minutes! If you're one of the fortunate ones that doesn't have to worry about that problem... I have one word for you: pimples. Oh sure, we can be politically correct and call them blemishes... but no matter what you call them, no one has to know about them. Just fire up your photo editor and work some digital makeover magic.

Enhance A Portrait with a Soft Focus or Diffusion Filter Effect

Soft focus or diffusion filters have been used in photography for years to, well... make people look better! These two software techniques mimic these photography tricks. Although they are ideal for portraits, don't hesitate to try them on other images. Both methods produce a soft glow, intensifying color, diminishing harsh lines, and reducing wrinkles, noise, and artifacts. The second method gives a bit more of a dreamy quality to the portrait. Who needs "Glamour Shots" anyway?

Method One

Method Two

And now, a word from our sponsor...

If you really want to improve your image, be sure to visit About's Style Channel where you'll find sites with tips on beauty, fashion, entertaining, decorating, and lots more. [ Ed. note: this sponsorship has been brought to you with tongue firmly planted in cheek. ;-)]

Questions? Comments? Post to the Forum!

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.