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Remove a Tan Line

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2. Correct edge

Select the Brush tool Brush Toolin Photoshop's option bar and use the following settings using a soft, round brush:

Brush options

Make sure that the mask is still active (double border) and that your foreground color is black:

Slowly paint of over the darkest part of the edge with your mouse cursor (zoom in to about 250%). Avoid to paint below the darkest part. Don't be afraid to paint over the area above this dark edge (where we have color sampler 1), since we won't damage anything when we do this; that area is already black in our mask.
Take your time, but it doesn't have to be 100% perfect, because we're going to improve this edge in the next few steps.

When you're done, select the Lasso tool Lasso Toolin the tool bar and create selection around the edge (only include skin!):

Selected edge

Tip: zoom in to about 400% to make an accurate selection. Don't make the selection to small, use the screenshot as your guide.

Note: normally you would feather (Select / Feather ) this selection, but in this case it turned out that there was no real need for it.

Make sure that the mask is active (double border) and that you're zoomed in at 100% (double click on the Zoom Zoom Tooltool)

Select in the menu Filter / Blur / Gaussian Blur...

Gaussian Blur of mask

Move the slider towards a Radius value of 5 pixels and look at the effect it has on the selected edge in your Photoshop document window. Make some fine adjustments with the slider until you're happy with the result. I ended up with a value of 4.8.
When you're satisfied, click OK.

Double click on the thumbnail of the Levels adjustment layer to open the Levels window.

Select the Lightness channel at the top of this window.

Select the Gray slider to make some final adjustments to the Luminosity (brightness) of the corrected skin.
When you're satisfied, click OK.

The result after blurring the edge and the final luminosity correction:

After blurring


Note that there is still a faint edge visible

Select the Healing BrushHealing Brush Tooltool in the tool bar.

Use ALL the following settings and make sure you select the box Use All Layers.

Healing Brush options

Click on the top layer to make it the active layer and then click on the Create a new layerNew Layer icon at the bottom of your layers palette to add a new layer.

We're now going to use the healing brush to make some adjustments to the faint edge and because we're doing this on a new layer with the healing brush option Use All Layers selected, the information that is visible in Photoshop's document window will be corrected and placed on the current layer. So we're not damaging the original photograph in any way. It also allows us to start all over if we're not happy with the result, by erasing everything on the current layer.

First you have to decide which source area you want to use for the Healing Brush, so move your mouse cursor to a useful area and while holding down the Alt key (Option key on the Mac) , click once and release the Alt key again.
Continue by improving the edge with single clicks on the areas that you want to fix. Don't make strokes with the healing brush, because in this example single clicks work much better. Keep an eye on your progress by turning off/on Eye Icon this layer after every click or few clicks. Press Ctrl + Z (Command + Z on the Mac) to undo a single mistake.
At some point (close to the shirt) you might have to zoom in. Also make sure that you select a new source area for your healing brush if necessary.

The Final Result
(before/after image)

Important: Give your browser enough time to download the "after" image or you won't see any difference

Final Image - Before

Final words

As a last step you can consider to tone down the amount of red in the skin. Don't forget that the image is still in Lab mode. You can always return to RGB mode, but then you will have to flatten the image first or you'll lose the Levels adjustment layer.

Note that this Photoshop tutorial can also be used to match skin tones even when you're not dealing with tan lines like photomontages.

I hope that you enjoyed this Photoshop tutorial.

For more help with Photoshop check out ourPhotoshop Trainingsection.

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