By SYMONE SEVEN
Frequency separation is a retouching technique that allows the user to pinpoint issues with skin tone and skin texture separately. Skin tone issues like hyperpigmentation have little to do with texture and with FS it allows you to correct that problem without disturbing the skin texture. This method is centered around precision so it’s best for spot treating than all over retouching. Keep reading to learn one way of how I use Frequency Separation.
HOW TO SET UP FREQUENCY SEPARATION TO RETOUCH
Create two background layers by hitting the keyboard shortcut COMMAND J twice
Label your layers by double clicking them. Label the bottom one “TONE” and the top layer “TEXTURE”
Turn off the top “TEXTURE” visibility by clicking the EYE ICON next to the layer name
Select the TONE layer then go to FILTER tab and select BLUR, and then click GUSSIAN BLUR from the drop down menu
Set your radius between 5-9.0 and hit OK
Turn back on the TEXTURE layer visibility by hitting the space where the EYE ICON was
Select that layer then go to IMAGE TAB and click APPLY IMAGE
Fill this information into the respected slots in the dialogue box- Layer: tone , Blending: Subtract , Scale: 2 , Offset: 128
Then hit ok to accept these changes. Your layer should turn gray but you should still see a faint outline of your photo.
Change the blend mode of the TEXTURE LAYER to LINEAR LIGHT
HOW TO CORRECT SKIN TONE WITH DODGE AND BURN
Create two curves adjustment layers
Label them separately, DODGE and the other BURN
Dodge is the layer of the highlights we are adding to the photo so change the layer blend mode to SCREEN then invert the layer mask with keyboard shortcut COMMAND I.
Burn is the layer of the shadows we are adding to the photo so change the layer blend mode to MULTIPLY then invert it with keyboard shortcut COMMAND I
Paint with white on the BRUSH TOOL on the DODGE LAYER on the areas of the face that are too light to darken them
Paint with white on the BRUSH TOOL on the DODGE LAYER on the dark marks to lighten them
Paint with black on the layer masks to take away the effect if you go too far
My tips are to create your own photoshop action by recording when you set up FS so you don’t have to go through those steps every time you edit. For dodging and burning, I sugguest using the BRUSH TOOL on 22% fill and 3% flow. I also suggest using the MIXER BRUSH to paint over areas that are difficult to dodge/burn.
Want more retouching advice like this? Check out my other posts on symoneseven.com, my instagram @symoneseven or my self titled youtube channel. Check below to find the link of the long form video I have on this subject.
Sony a7 camera with Sony 85mm f/1.8 lens
Neewer RT-16 trigger
Neweeer monolight on a c stand
46” octabox at 2 o'clock above her
gold reflector under her bust