Forums > Digital Art and Retouching > The "Golden Rule" for Not Retouching

Photographer

Dean Johnson Photo

Posts: 58041

Minneapolis, Minnesota, US

JoshuaBerardi wrote:

"touch everything a little bit, but nothing too much."

Perfect rule for first dates too!
smile

Mar 21 13 03:17 pm Link

Retoucher

alberta86

Posts: 64

Orlando, Florida, US

Mark Laubenheimer wrote:
Oblique Strategies....

http://www.rtqe.net/ObliqueStrategies/Ed1.html

Awesome list!  My favorite was "Take a Break"

Mar 21 13 03:45 pm Link

Model

Danella Lucioni

Posts: 535

Florence, Toscana, Italy

A photographer once gave me a nose job and an eye lift. Doesn't really help build my portfolio at all, and not like a need that type of surgery anyway.

Please don't do that to your models!

Mar 21 13 03:46 pm Link

Retoucher

alberta86

Posts: 64

Orlando, Florida, US

Danella Lucioni wrote:
A photographer once gave me a nose job and an eye lift. Doesn't really help build my portfolio at all, and not like a need that type of surgery anyway.

Please don't do that to your models!

This is eye opening for me to get the model's perspective.  Wish I could see an example as I have "fixed" many noses, eyes and lips.

Mar 21 13 03:53 pm Link

Photographer

WIP

Posts: 15541

Cheltenham, England, United Kingdom

Make it believable.

http://erikjohanssonphoto.com/

Erik Johansson.

Mar 21 13 04:56 pm Link

Artist/Painter

sdgillis

Posts: 2444

Portland, Oregon, US

If you hate it, don't show it to the client. They will pick it.

Mar 21 13 05:42 pm Link

Retoucher

Natalia_Taffarel

Posts: 7665

Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina

sdgillis wrote:
If you hate it, don't show it to the client. They will pick it.

+1

Mar 21 13 06:08 pm Link

Photographer

WCR3

Posts: 1072

Houston, Texas, US

Danella Lucioni wrote:
A photographer once gave me a nose job and an eye lift. Doesn't really help build my portfolio at all, and not like a need that type of surgery anyway.

Please don't do that to your models!

I'd say that depends on who ultimately is using the photo. If it is the model, then don't do something s/he would find disturbingly unlike her/himself. But if it's for the photographer or a third-party client, then the model really doesn't have much say in the matter.

Mar 27 13 02:52 pm Link

Photographer

KMP

Posts: 4822

Houston, Texas, US

If  I may add one:

Some photos are just not worth the effort..and are better left to die in dignity. smile


sdgillis wrote:
If you hate it, don't show it to the client. They will pick it.

So sad but so true..  sad

Mar 27 13 03:08 pm Link

Photographer

Perry Finch Media

Posts: 149

Chicago, Illinois, US

Like the natural look !!

Mar 27 13 03:19 pm Link

Retoucher

Retouch007

Posts: 403

East Newark, New Jersey, US

Two

1. make it look real.

2. take it to the finish.

Mar 27 13 03:31 pm Link

Photographer

WIP

Posts: 15541

Cheltenham, England, United Kingdom

Is it printable ? and what will it look like in print ?

Blown high lights, over saturated colours, skin that looks like mega high pass, air brush looking like an illustration, over/under sharpened.

Mar 28 13 06:55 am Link

Model

Eveski

Posts: 2

Worcester, Massachusetts, US

i'm just starting out as a photographer and i'm also learning about retouching and whatnot, i found this thread to be really helpful but would also like to add something in.
being a model as well i really dislike it when i get photos back that have been edited so much that i don't even look like myself anymore. when i do retouching i think of what my mom used to tell me about make up, "you want to look good without it looking obvious that you have any on". so i try to improve the overall appearance without it being obvious that it was edited. you want to capture what the person looks like, not what you want them to look like. the only things i remove are blemishes, those are temporary and no one wants to remember they had that zit on their chin anyway. but things like scars, birth marks, other permanent marks, i think it's ok to reduce their appearance (i.e. lightening a dark birthmark, reducing the redness of a scar) if they are really distracting but i don't remove them completely.

Apr 12 13 11:07 am Link

Photographer

Stan Schurman

Posts: 2

Barrie, Ontario, Canada

I shoot raw, so retouching is almost always essential. There is no hard and fast rule and each image gets whatever attention it needs. Maybe "don't go overboard" is a good general rule.

I'm always amused by those who say 'I never retouch' as though it was some indication of superior technique. The camera is a tool and doesn't always capture the image you have in mind or the scene that you originally observed, especially as different cameras render the same scene differently. Even the best equipment has its limitations and using an editing program to fill in what the camera didn't capture or for which it couldn't compensate is not an indication of poor techniques.

Apr 12 13 12:37 pm Link

Retoucher

Rafael_Alexander

Posts: 84

Atlanta, Georgia, US

Peano wrote:
Mine is: "There are no rules."

+1

Apr 12 13 08:25 pm Link

Photographer

WIP

Posts: 15541

Cheltenham, England, United Kingdom

The "Golden Rule" for Not Retouching, not possible as retouching's gone mad with need for more than perfection.

Apr 22 13 02:49 pm Link

Photographer

Don Garrett

Posts: 4444

Escondido, California, US

People who know what they are doing should retouch, those who don't shouldn't. It is simple. Any image can be improved with skillful retouching, and any image can be destroyed with bad retouching. I guess it also matters what one means when they say "retouching", but that's another can of worms that doesn't need opening at this time.
-Don

Apr 22 13 03:44 pm Link

Photographer

Venus Light Magic

Posts: 83

Stockton, California, US

To me photography is about catching nature and light. How much you can do to control the composition of a shot varies widely from studio shooting to open air event shooting. Having said that you would like to control as much of the environment as you can from lighting, model appearance, pose, ambiance, on and on. The more of this you can do up front the better the chances that you will come away with a shot that will stand on its own right out of the camera. Sometimes when things don't go as planned, camera settings, lights, model position, the dreaded lingerie label or stray hairs, on and on, then you can augment or "fix' the picture in post-processing. In other words, I use it to enhance or bring the picture to what I had in mind but was not able to capture.

And then there are the instances when post-production becomes an intentional part of the shot. In other words, you compose the shot knowing that you are going to use a certain effect in your favorite software to enhance the picture to your vision. Such is the case with Infrared photography. Or sometimes I will underexpose the subject against a bright backdrop so I can create a high key effect with the subject in post-production. The great film photogs such as Ansel Adams always composed their picture based on the chemicals and paper they planned to use in the lab. So even the greats relied on post-processing. Digital photogs simply exchanged the lab for photoshop.

Hope that makes sense. I was just trying to kill time while I finished this large upload to my website...

Cheers,
-Aaron

Apr 22 13 04:01 pm Link

Retoucher

alberta86

Posts: 64

Orlando, Florida, US

c_h_r_i_s wrote:
The "Golden Rule" for Not Retouching, not possible as retouching's gone mad with need for more than perfection.

Do you think it's photographers, retouchers or the public seeking this perfection?

Apr 22 13 07:02 pm Link

Photographer

WIP

Posts: 15541

Cheltenham, England, United Kingdom

Not sure who but some media reports about magazine images being over retouched this was probably complaints by the public reported to the 'Advertising Standards Authority', the one that comes to mind being the 'Dove' campaign or M&S TV advert in the UK with model Twiggy.

But I've still life images where a friend who works in cgi was convinced the the image was cgi !
Also recently a head shot/beauty, the make up artist did an incredible job and the retouch in minimal. The model stated her agency may be reluctant to use the shot as they may think it's an over retouched image.

And that could be the dilemma carefully crafted images be it lighting or MUA people may well think the image has been heavily manipulated.

Apr 23 13 02:38 am Link

Photographer

Expression Unlimited

Posts: 1140

San Diego, California, US

Danella Lucioni wrote:
A photographer once gave me a nose job and an eye lift. Doesn't really help build my portfolio at all, and not like a need that type of surgery anyway.

Please don't do that to your models!

good point,  if he wants it that way in his Portfolio that's one thing ... but you should receive images that look like you that you can use (and don't make you feel you weren't good enough)

Apr 23 13 03:07 am Link

Retoucher

Rafael_Alexander

Posts: 84

Atlanta, Georgia, US

remain invisible!

Apr 28 13 10:48 am Link

Photographer

Andrea Acailawen

Posts: 951

Tampa, Florida, US

sdgillis wrote:
If you hate it, don't show it to the client. They will pick it.

lol!

Apr 29 13 09:02 am Link