Those glossy photos you see on the covers of magazines have likely been edited in any of several available photo-editing programs. Adobe Photoshop is one such program that offers photographers a number of editing tools. Free versions of the programs called “GIMP” and “Paint.NET” offer the same type of tools as Photoshop.
Click “File” and select “Get photos" from the drop-down menu located in the navigation bar of the program. Open a portrait photo you want to edit so it looks like the front of a magazine cover.
Click “Enhance” in the navigation bar and select “Levels” from the drop-down menu. This will allow you to manually adjust the exposure of the picture by adjusting the sliders across the bottom the graph. When the picture is at the exposure you want, click the “OK” box to save the adjustments.
Select the “Blur tool” located in the left margin of the programs window. Change the “Opacity” setting across the top of the screen to “25”; this will give you a reduced amount of effect. Also adjust the size of the tool, if you are working on larger or smaller areas of the picture.
Position your mouse cursor over the portion of the picture you want to work on first. Click and hold the left button on your mouse and slowly move the mouse over the picture. You will start to see the area you are working on become a little softer. This is an effective tool for creating that smooth skin look that appears on the front of magazines. Work across the picture until you are satisfied with the results.
Click “File” and select “Save as”; give your picture a name and save it to your computer’s hard drive.
Since 2002 Mark Spowart has been working as a freelance writer and photographer in London, Canada. He has publication credits for writing and/or photography in Canada, The United States, Europe and Norway, with such titles as "The Globe & Mail," "The National Post," Canada News Wire, Sun Media and "Business Edge" magazine.