This step-by-step editing walkthrough shows a number of DxO PhotoLab tools in action, principally the Local Adjustment tools, including the Graduated Filter and Control Point tools.
Image retouching can be as simple as removing a couple of sensor spots from a sky or cloning out a few scraps of rubbish in a landscape shot. It can also be a highly-valued professional skill in the fashion and advertising industry.
Plenty of programs offer spot removal and retouching tools, some with 'content aware' object removal that attempts to replace unwanted objects with details from the surroundings. Where these work or not depends on the particular image – you can think of them as no-loss experiments. If they don't work you can simply hit the Undo button and go back to regular cloning tools.
The principles of the Clone Stamp tool in Photoshop and its equivalent in other programs are pretty simple. Getting a good results doesn't need any particular technical understanding – instead, it relies heavily on experience, subtlety, patience and skill. You can read about it as much as you like, but it's only by doing it that you get the 'touch'.
Shooting in available light often gives the most natural and attractive portraits, but it also means you often have to shoot at high ISOs. I took this informal picture while I was working on a feature for N-Photo magazine, and while the light from the window is soft and even, it’s not very bright and […]