Forums > Digital Art and Retouching > Why there are bad retouchers out there?

Retoucher

Rpixretouching

Posts: 355

Perris, California, US

Alejandro Crespo wrote:
solid 5 and im not criticizing, just asking about a fact that I observed around. Have I mentioned names or something? Im talking about a phenomena, not about concrete people.


To get critique from the better ones smile

noooo I was trying no to criticize your work, (is what I meant) , I'n not saying you're criticizing any body.  but I like your honest answer, OOPs din't realize I was using my other account to answer you back.

Feb 21 13 08:44 am Link

Photographer

Leonard Gee Photography

Posts: 16422

Sacramento, California, US

Knowledge and skill is not good taste nor refined judgement

"Good" retouch work is great skill and good taste. A great engineer can design a bad human interface. The combination is important.

The market also affects the product. Uneducated clients, means that bad work gets accepted....

Feb 21 13 09:25 am Link

Photographer

WIP

Posts: 15543

Cheltenham, England, United Kingdom

Alejandro Crespo wrote:
With all the info available these days out there (MM, youtube, workshops, dvds, books, etc), that give a good anchor point to compare ones work with. Why there are still a lot of people doing early 90's like basic retouching, with all kinds of strange effects and stuff?

Wanging sliders as photographer machine gun shooting.

Feb 21 13 09:51 am Link

Photographer

JLC Images

Posts: 11559

Phillipsburg, New Jersey, US

Moderator Warning!
Please do not critique the work of anyone in this thread.  Reply to the topic.

Feb 21 13 10:30 am Link

Digital Artist

Joe Diamond

Posts: 303

Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania

Bad or good can be judged only by a professional.

There are many people who`s work lack in many aspects and they feel they are gods they criticize or dislike good skilled competitive digital work and love beginner work.

Its all about taste, some have good, some have bad. In retouching there are some rules, blending, focal, keeping the right size, texture, color and contrast, if you respect these than its all about concept that leads to different taste.

Feb 21 13 10:47 pm Link

Photographer

Raven Photography

Posts: 2547

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

robert b mitchell wrote:
As soon as some of them think they know something about retouching a number of them become Retouchers.... .

BINGO big_smile

Feb 21 13 10:52 pm Link

Retoucher

Chase Retouching

Posts: 39

Kansas City, Missouri, US

Musicians are the same way. Part of it is because the path to mastering anything involves an awkward phase where you've developed a certain amount of technical skill (playing a fast riff from a song, knowing what buttons do what in Photoshop) without yet developing a critical eye. The Dunning-Kruger effect, as already mentioned, is a huge part of that.

Creative types also tend to be incredibly egotistic and insecure, so a lot of us are trying to brag so loudly that nobody takes the time to see through our insecurity. Eventually we start to believe our own lies and think we really are that good. Self-delusion is a powerful thing.

Besides all of that, some people simply have a higher capacity for intelligence/creativity/perception/taste/etc than others through a mix of both genetic and environmental factors. Some people also work a lot harder and care a lot more about quality than others.

Feb 21 13 11:24 pm Link

Photographer

Maloby

Posts: 7

Aberdeen, Scotland, United Kingdom

descending chain wrote:
Because part of the learning process is developing taste.  Many have not yet reached the point where they realize what they have done is not good, and so they post it.  Some will never get over the first learning hill.

+1
It is the same with typography. Nobody sees how bad their skills are until they learn more about it and compare it to professional quality work.

Feb 22 13 02:27 am Link

Photographer

rp_photo

Posts: 42495

Houston, Texas, US

Kevin Connery wrote:
I'm going to guess that it's for the same reason there are bad photographers, bad programmers, bad baseball players, bad painters....

Data is not knowledge, and knowledge is not skill.

In all walks of life there are bad practitioners who are highly-skilled at convincing the unknowing that they are good.

Feb 22 13 05:10 am Link

Retoucher

Alejandro Crespo

Posts: 111

Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, Bolivia

rp_photo wrote:

In all walks of life there are bad practitioners who are highly-skilled at convincing the unknowing that they are good.

But isnt there a way to shift the skills of these practitioners to the "good" side?. Or at least show them that they're wasting their time with something thats not inside their talent range, and would find much more joy and fulfillment in a different activity ,where their current skill set would bring something useful to that sphere? or even make a great advance there?.

Hmm, now that I think about it, anyone can do whatever he want to do, whatever makes him(her) happy, without listening what others say and not expecting any kind of social validation that would make them feel "accepted" and "useful".

I suppose I just answered to my own question..

There are "that kind" of retouchers, because they just do what they like and makes them feel good, and they never pay any attention to whatever "trends" the external world has being used or is used to see.

Obviously that is not a rule, but anyway, let them be.
And as someone here mentioned, they may have they own niche in the market.

Feb 22 13 10:09 am Link

Retoucher

Peano

Posts: 4106

Lynchburg, Virginia, US

Alejandro Crespo wrote:
I suppose I just answered to my own question..

... let them be.

Yes.

Feb 22 13 12:48 pm Link

Photographer

Eastfist

Posts: 3544

Green Bay, Wisconsin, US

Do you realize that retouching standards are quite subjective? If all the modern rules for retouching were tried and true, then you'd have to retouch an old person's skin so that it is soft and smooth, not sharp and crisp and full of texture. And then you'd have to make young women look old and raggedy. It really is up to the artist to decide.

Feb 22 13 01:38 pm Link

Retoucher

Alejandro Crespo

Posts: 111

Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, Bolivia

Eastfist wrote:
If all the modern rules for retouching were tried and true, then you'd have to retouch an old person's skin so that it is soft and smooth, not sharp and crisp and full of texture. And then you'd have to make young women look old and raggedy. It really is up to the artist to decide.

o.O?.

For me retouching is the process that brings perfection to an image, depending of the overall message of the individual pic. If a photographer took a photography of an old person, they could had several reasons to do that (to show the prints that time left in his face, to show the sadness of a person left alone in this world, to show the full of life look of a happy one, to show the life force that some have, you can find 234234 reasons to take that picture) and every reason give "rules" or gidelines to the retoucher to bring that image to perfection (the perfection that the photographer tried to capture, the perfection of the retoucher eyes, and the perfection that the model/client desire to see.

If the process goes far beyond that, that's not retouching, thats digital artistry, where the artist try to show her(his) inner feelings trough that particular image. And from my point of view, applying digital artistry to a retouching "project" is disrespectful to the photographer, the crew involved in the production(if any), the meaning and message of the image and the model/client. Bad retouching would be like if a house painter didnt respect the architect/designer/owner of the house plans regarding the color, etc, and would just go crazy with his favorite colors doing an incredible mess there.

And I dont mean that digital artistry is bad or distasteful, its beautiful but its not retouching.

Feb 22 13 03:17 pm Link

Retoucher

Peano

Posts: 4106

Lynchburg, Virginia, US

Alejandro Crespo wrote:
For me retouching is . . .

For you.

Others may have different views, values, goals, standards, etc. You already found the right answer: Let them be.

Feb 22 13 03:35 pm Link

Retoucher

Alejandro Crespo

Posts: 111

Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, Bolivia

Peano wrote:
For you.

Others may have different views, values, goals, standards, etc. You already found the right answer: Let them be.

I was personally responding to her post. Since she put up an extremal and out of context response to the question with a touch of sarcasm.

I like to argue.Let me be smile.

Feb 22 13 03:37 pm Link

Retoucher

Peano

Posts: 4106

Lynchburg, Virginia, US

Alejandro Crespo wrote:
Let me be smile.

Now and forevermore.

Feb 22 13 05:08 pm Link

Photographer

KMP

Posts: 4825

Houston, Texas, US

Alejandro Crespo wrote:
With all the info available these days out there (MM, youtube, workshops, dvds, books, etc), that give a good anchor point to compare ones work with. Why there are still a lot of people doing early 90's like basic retouching, with all kinds of strange effects and stuff?

Because there's a difference between having technical skill and aesthetic sensibilities.

It's no different than a technical adept photographer taking boring photos.

Feb 22 13 05:31 pm Link

Photographer

THRobinson

Posts: 869

London, Ontario, Canada

Kevin Connery wrote:
Data is not knowledge, and knowledge is not skill.

+1

That, and some may be just starting out... no one starts off being great.

Feb 23 13 06:23 pm Link

Photographer

Scott McLeod

Posts: 228

Birmingham, Alabama, US

Part of the process of becoming better, is wanting to be better, accepting criticism as an opportunity to improve and then constantly working to get better. Some don't ask for critique's, and some ask the wrong people for critique or get mixed answers that can confuse them.

Not sure taste is the best way to describe it, as a few mentioned. Its more like common sense (more accurately a learned common sense), if you are only exposed to idiots your common sense is probably pretty messed up, because you think the actions of those around you is the "norm".

Some are just happy doing what they do and aren't compelled to change (or improve).

Feb 25 13 09:53 pm Link

Retoucher

Rafael_Alexander

Posts: 84

Atlanta, Georgia, US

Kevin Connery wrote:
Data is not knowledge, and knowledge is not skill.

+1

Feb 26 13 03:34 am Link

Photographer

Matt Forma

Posts: 373

Denver, Colorado, US

The same reason there are bad anythings in this world

Feb 26 13 10:01 am Link

Photographer

Ivan Galaviz - Photo

Posts: 891

Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico

Hello... I like kittens

Feb 26 13 10:13 am Link

Photographer

rdallasPhotography

Posts: 966

Norristown, Pennsylvania, US

Alexey Adamitsky wrote:

This is really good short answer and to the point. Read it twice and think for a minute.

And those people think that because a filter or effect is available they use it. They don't take the time to develop their eye. That takes discipline.

Feb 26 13 10:13 am Link

Photographer

rdallasPhotography

Posts: 966

Norristown, Pennsylvania, US

Alejandro Crespo wrote:

But isnt there a way to shift the skills of these practitioners to the "good" side?....

No. Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny.

Feb 26 13 10:19 am Link

Photographer

Kelvin Hammond

Posts: 17360

Billings, Montana, US

It's totally subjective, like everything else.

What is "right" for Playboy might be completely wrong for Vanity Fair.

Also, the folks they are retouching for may not have any reference for comparison, and assume the retoucher is doing the right thing.

You might as well be asking -  Why are there still Chevys around when there are Bentleys to be had?

Feb 26 13 10:25 am Link

Photographer

Photo Photo

Posts: 10

Oakland, California, US

Alexey Adamitsky wrote:
This is really good short answer and to the point. Read it twice and think for a minute.

Yep, this is completely true....I 'third' the thought.  Also, some people simply have natural skills, eye, and vision for it.  If you're not a natural, it's a very slow, incremental process to acquire decent retouching skills. If you're not a natural, you'll probably never be as good as someone who is a natural. It can be an ego bruiser...

Mar 02 13 05:51 am Link

Photographer

B R U N E S C I

Posts: 25319

Bath, England, United Kingdom

Why are there bad photographers, bad models, bad singers, bad plumbers...?

Some people are just not up to what they want to do, or they don't try hard enough, or they're deluded.

Or, as others have pointed out, they may be perfectly adequate - even 'good' - but you just don't like their style. I'm not a fan of Beyonce for instance, but I do agree she can sing pretty well. I just don't like the way she does it.




Just my $0.02

Ciao
Stefano

www.stefanobrunesci.com

Mar 02 13 05:57 am Link

Retoucher

Lexa-retouch

Posts: 110

Maardu, Harju, Estonia

What for one is good for other maybe bad. We are all different and it is awesome. It would be very boring if everyone in the industry would do the same level of work.

Mar 02 13 06:07 am Link

Photographer

Ed Woodson Photography

Posts: 2644

Savannah, Georgia, US

One mans trash is another mans treasure.

Mar 02 13 06:37 am Link

Retoucher

Kier Rossi Services

Posts: 44

Baltimore, Maryland, US

You should never be judgmental towards someone else's work. Learning to retouch takes time and progress.. Just because it's not up to your standards does not mean it's bad work.

Mar 02 13 08:34 am Link

Photographer

cinema photography

Posts: 4418

Mission Viejo, California, US

Kevin Connery wrote:
Data is not knowledge, and knowledge is not skill.

Love this bit of wisdom. A little zen for the masses.

Mar 02 13 07:08 pm Link

Retoucher

Mistletoe

Posts: 410

London, England, United Kingdom

Answering the original question. Why there are bad retouchers out there? Because of sites like this.

Mar 08 13 08:19 am Link

Retoucher

Darkseal Studios

Posts: 59

Warren, Michigan, US

My 2 cents:

Quality = Time = Money

Wanted to pay less for retouching?
An artist needs to spend less time on your image.
Spend less time on an Image?
Quality will suffer.
Low quality on an image retouching?
They probably wanted to pass "less" for the work required.

Rinse Repeat.

Mar 12 13 09:47 am Link

Retoucher

Dess Maximova

Posts: 57

Sofia, Sofija grad, Bulgaria

Darkseal Studios wrote:
My 2 cents:

Quality = Time = Money

Wanted to pay less for retouching?
An artist needs to spend less time on your image.
Spend less time on an Image?
Quality will suffer.
Low quality on an image retouching?
They probably wanted to pass "less" for the work required.

+1

Mar 12 13 10:15 am Link

Photographer

Andrea Acailawen

Posts: 952

Tampa, Florida, US

Kevin Connery wrote:
Data is not knowledge, and knowledge is not skill.

Deserves to be quoted again.

Mar 14 13 11:27 am Link

Photographer

Daniel Ecoff

Posts: 416

SHERMAN OAKS, California, US

the same reason there is ignorance about what good vs bad really is and how to know the difference.

Mar 14 13 11:54 am Link

Photographer

M Pandolfo Photography

Posts: 12116

Tampa, Florida, US

Alejandro Crespo wrote:
Its not subjective. Its true that there are individual styles that go out of the "normal" to give a certain effect that improves the overall "message" and composition (like in your photos, they're are great smile), but i do not mean that kind of work.

Im referring to cases of incorrect selection (selections that do not select only the thing one would want to select, but grabs a bite of the background for example) and the subsequent use of those selections, application of destructive filters and techniques, incorrect masking, extremal parameters in adjustments and so on. These things are totally objective.

You don't seem to be talking about quality of retouching as much as you're offended by people who retouch in a different style than you approve of.

All of your posts are very cut-and-dried and base the idea of quality on what is the flavor of the day, based on what is being pedaled to you via marketing and advertising.

Are you really saying people are retouching 'wrong' because they're not following the type of retouching you're seeing in magazines?

You seem very hung-up on people following "the rules of retouching".

Mar 14 13 12:04 pm Link

Retoucher

Benski

Posts: 997

London, England, United Kingdom

With retouching it's because people who get on with technology and love computers and want to sit in front of Photoshop all day are invariably left-brained (analytical, ordered, logical, techniques, guides, forums, PCs, etc.)

While good visual artists tend to be right-brained: intuitive, abstract, vivid thinkers, perceptual, appreciate poetry above technical writing, etc.

Retouching's not about technique or experience (or it all being "subjective"), it's just about being one of these rare individuals who can balance left and right thinking (whether you take the right-left brain thing literally or symbolically) ... which you can develop - samurai used to balance warfare with flower arranging and poetry - LSD has certainly helped some ... you probably also need a degree of obsessive compulsive order


With photographers it's usually some combination of: having no real appreciation or understanding of fashion, art or the human form; having no artistic vision or confidence; having no understanding of light; assuming retouchers are there to fix problems; not looking before they shoot; not knowing whether they've got a good shot or not until it's back from the retoucher


With makeup artists I think narcissism and low IQ are the main problems ... Not understanding the difference between runway makeup and studio makeup ... beauty and fashion (retouchers need to grasp that one) ... not getting on set every few minutes to check the makeup ... (a retoucher should never be sent clumpy or tangled eyelashes to sort out - it's a laborious and completely unprofessional way to work)


All these jobs are really for artists, yet people put far more energy into developing themselves as technicians (which the world certainly doesn't need any more of)

Mar 14 13 07:30 pm Link

Photographer

WIP

Posts: 15543

Cheltenham, England, United Kingdom

A good retoucher should be with his/her work flow consistent and repeatable even when asked to recreate the finished art work with the same RAW image at a future date.

Turn the above upside-down and that's what a poor retoucher is... non consistent, non repeatable.

Mar 15 13 09:43 am Link

Retoucher

Mike Needham Retouching

Posts: 369

Cheltenham, England, United Kingdom

Not for geographic reasons, but I tend to agree with the above sentiment from Chris, consistency is a vital part, but I would also add that adaptability is also key.

Mar 15 13 04:55 pm Link