How to Fix a White Face in Photoshop

Written by rochelle connery
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Sometimes you will need to fix a white face in a digital photograph due to too much sun exposure or a maligned white balance calibration on your camera. If the face is the only part of the photo that needs to be fixed, you can do so using a basic standard edit tool without changing the exposure of the whole photograph. This can be useful in a group setting as well, where only one or two people have an exposure problem.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Digital photograph
  • Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Photoshop Elements

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  1. 1

    Open Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Photoshop Elements and navigate to the Standard Edit area. Select "File -> Open" or the "Open" folder in the toolbar to open the photo.

  2. 2

    Select the burn tool. Because there are three tools underneath the same icon---the sponge tool, the dodge tool and the burn tool---the burn tool might not be in view. If the sponge tool is currently selected, it will look like a sponge. If the dodge tool is currently selected, the icon will resemble a stick with a circle on top. If the burn tool is currently the default, you'll see a hand shaped in the letter "O".

    To select the burn tool when one of the other tools is the default, press the tiny arrow button on the bottom right corner of the tool select the "Burn" tool.

  3. 3

    Choose the brush size by clicking on the brush menu at the top of the workspace. Choose a thicker brush for entire facial corrections or a thin line for tiny corrections.

  4. 4

    Change the size and diameter of the tool to match the area of correction on the white face. Click on the "size" menu at the top of the workspace and slide the tool to select the number of pixels. For small corrections, keep it under 10 pixels. For most corrections, choose a 15- to 20-pixel brush.

  5. 5

    Select your range and exposure preferences. The shadows selection will give your subject a heavy suntan, while the midtones selection will give them a more normal skin tone. Start with a low exposure setting, usually between 5 and 10 per cent. You can go back over sections that are still a little bright several times with a low setting as opposed to starting out with a setting that's too deep.

  6. 6

    Press and drag the burn tool all over the white portions of the face and work your way from top to bottom. Be careful not to miss small sections of white skin; you can always resize the brush if you need to make a tiny correction. The whiteness on the face will begin to turn more tan and less shiny. Sometimes you'll need to extend corrections to the neck or other skin areas to even out the skin tone, so you can do so after the face reaches the appropriate tone.

  7. 7

    Select the "File -> Save" command or the save icon to save your changes.

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