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Retoucher
Rpixretouching
Posts: 354
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  Quote 
Photographer
Leonard Gee Photography
Posts: 16,080
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  Quote 
Photographer
WIP
Posts: 15,191
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  Quote 
Photographer
JLC Images
Posts: 11,559
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  Quote 
Digital Artist
Joe Diamond
Posts: 280
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  Quote 
Photographer
Raven Photography
Posts: 2,547
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  Quote 
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  Quote 
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  Quote 
Photographer
rp_photo
Posts: 42,488
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  Quote 
Retoucher
Alejandro Crespo
Posts: 108
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  Quote 
Retoucher
Peano
Posts: 4,106
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  Quote 
Photographer
Eastfist
Posts: 3,504
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  Quote 
Retoucher
Alejandro Crespo
Posts: 108
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  Quote 
Retoucher
Peano
Posts: 4,106
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  Quote 
Retoucher
Alejandro Crespo
Posts: 108
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  Quote 
Retoucher
Peano
Posts: 4,106
Lynchburg, Virginia, US


Alejandro Crespo wrote:
Let me be smile.

Now and forevermore.

Feb 22 13 05:08 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
KMP
Posts: 4,667
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  Quote 
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  Quote 
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  Quote 
Retoucher
Rafael_Alexander
Posts: 82
Atlanta, Georgia, US


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

+1

Feb 26 13 03:34 am  Link  Quote 
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  Quote 
Photographer
Ivan Galaviz - Photo
Posts: 891
Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico


Hello... I like kittens
Feb 26 13 10:13 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
rdallasPhotography
Posts: 965
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  Quote 
Photographer
rdallasPhotography
Posts: 965
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  Quote 
Photographer
Smedley Whiplash
Posts: 17,257
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  Quote 
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  Quote 
Photographer
B R U N E S C I
Posts: 25,319
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  Quote 
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  Quote 
Photographer
Ed Woodson Photography
Posts: 2,644
Savannah, Georgia, US


One mans trash is another mans treasure.
Mar 02 13 06:37 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Kier Rossi Services
Posts: 43
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  Quote 
Photographer
cinema photography
Posts: 4,347
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  Quote 
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  Quote 
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  Quote 
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  Quote 
Photographer
Andrea Acailawen
Posts: 948
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  Quote 
Photographer
Daniel Ecoff
Posts: 414
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  Quote 
Photographer
M Pandolfo Photography
Posts: 12,113
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  Quote 
Retoucher
Benski
Posts: 995
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  Quote 
Photographer
WIP
Posts: 15,191
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  Quote 
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  Quote 
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