I'm looking for a way to achieve effect as in this example for my other photos.

Left is the original, right - desired effect (mouse over to see, marginally NSFW)

enter image description here

Just to be clear, I know the edited photo was retouched, I'm more interested in achieving the skin-tone and contrast like in the example.

  • 1
    What is the desired effect you are looking for? I see just a bit of color mapping (curves), contrast enhance and sharpen...
    – TFuto
    Jul 7, 2014 at 11:55

3 Answers 3


What seems to have been done is to enhance the contrast while the skin of the woman has been treated with "digital makeup". There are specialized G'MIC tools that you can use to make a person look younger.The problem with doing this by hand is that you need selectively blur the skin to remove the unwanted small scale features while making sure you hide the signs of blurring (so, the edges must remain sharp). You can try this online here. Upload the picture, from the menu select "repair" and then you select "smooth[skin]" and then you enter the parameters for skin detection, smoothing and enhancement.

I just found this video that explains all the details of how to use this tool


I agree with the comment. Your camera probably came with software to do this. Look for contrast and more broadly, curves adjustments. The background may have been handled by selecting that color to change it, or by using a dodging tool to lighten it.

If you don't have software for that, check out your local retail store that sells software. They'll have a variety of low cost programs (under $50) for photo editing.

  • 2
    Could you expand this answer to explain how you would achieve this effect using contrast / curves adjustments? What are you going to do with the curves?
    – Philip Kendall
    Jul 9, 2014 at 13:59

Besides the retouching it appears to only have gotten a treatment with some contrast tool (like levels or curves) and a saturation adjustment. Nothing fancy!
user342626 might be right with the dodge and burn tools; they are used to "paint" onto the image, making it darker or brighter. That way the editor can paint with "light" and give form and depth to the subject.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.