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Retoucher from Hong Kong

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  #1  
Old 09-27-2005, 01:21 AM
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surreal surreal is offline
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Retoucher from Hong Kong

Hello everybody,

My first post, hello! I am a retoucher from Hong Kong. How interesting to see retouchers from different countries gathered here! I've been seeing a lot of retoucher's portfolio through here, and it seems similar to what we do here as well.

I wonder, do you get to be involved in the process prior to retouching (for advertising)? Like giving advices to the photographer on what shots are needed for retouching, or advicing the art director that in what situation that the environment should not be so dim to the point that it is impossible to tune any detail in the dark areas? In Hong Kong, because of our environmental difficulty (very small space), it isn't usually possible for the photographers to get the perfect shots. It seems that most retouchers in HK is to amend the imperfections of the photographers, but this very process requires the retoucher's decision and sense. That seems to be the challenge for us. But I think because we also have a creative involvement, we should also have our credits posted.

I would like to post an example, but because of copyright reasons, I'm not sure if we are allowed to. This has been a problem going among the retouchers in HK. We are not really sure where the copyright of the images goes to. It's funny for we have the file but not the copyright *LOL* What do you think about this?
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Old 09-29-2005, 05:44 AM
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saberlancer saberlancer is offline
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Hi there,
Can use post any websites of retouching companies in HK? Thank you
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Old 09-29-2005, 10:10 AM
emarts emarts is offline
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For me, I market myself as more than a Retoucher. So yes, many times I have creative input even before a photographer is hired. In fact many times I have hired the photographer rather than a photographer hiring me.

I too cannot show many of the works I've done, not so much because of copyrights but because of confidentiality issues. For instance, I do a lot of work for auto manufacturers. But I am allowed to put my work into my portfolio (not an online portfolio) to show privately as long as the job has been complete and the images have already been publically released. Still, though, credit goes to the photographer. But in this case I don't mind. These are photographers who are well known in the industry and I feel good about working on their images.
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Old 10-06-2005, 10:23 PM
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surreal surreal is offline
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Hello everyone!

I am sorry for I am busy lately.

Saberlancer: I don't know of much homepages, but here are 2-
http://www.irp3.com/irp3_frontpage.html
http://www.snapshot.com.hk/main.html

Although not all of us create online portfolios, we get to know what each other did through word of mouth.

emarts: I think as retoucher, we should also be involved in the stages before shooting. After all, it's a team work, instead of having a photographer and retoucher understanding the art directer separately, then trying to make it work.
We are not allowed to show our work due to confidential reasons as well, but when the work IS published, we are also not allowed to show our work publically. In some cases, I think it's a bit "unfair" for unable to show our work when we retouched so much, but uncreditted.

Actually, we have gathered a group of retouchers to see if we can establish an association or something. If it can be done, I think the retoucher's status would increase.
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  #5  
Old 10-07-2005, 12:27 PM
emarts emarts is offline
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Feel free to send me information about it.
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  #6  
Old 12-12-2005, 02:31 AM
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fredlam fredlam is offline
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Hello James

good to meet you here, haha
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  #7  
Old 12-14-2005, 12:00 PM
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shellby shellby is offline
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Hello fredlam

Just had a browse through your website. Really great layout / design. Amazing retouching work.
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  #8  
Old 12-16-2005, 01:39 PM
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Photo Grafix Photo Grafix is offline
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Retouchers union

Surreal and emarts, your work is excellent.

Here, in the USA, there is the American Photographic Artisans Guild (APAG). Their website is http://www.apag.net/. They specifically try to recruit digital retouchers. However, most of their membership is focused on the restoration and artwork. They are trying to capture the commercial folks like yourself, but I don't think it's working out.

They are trying to do things with accredidation, education, etc. It's good, but I think they have alot of baggage from the manual retouching era. Although that is an awesome aspect of our history, we need to let go of our inhibitions and pass the torch. Many highly skilled manual retouchers got dumped or ignored and our industry is suffering (almost anyone with Photoshop can claim to be a retoucher).

A person can't just run out and open a clinic and claim to be a doctor. You need education and licensing. So it should be in the graphic arts world (especially retouching). Because this has not been the case, the quality of photos and design in general has been going down. I'm not saying I'm anything great (I have a long way to go). But I have observed the trends since 1999, when I changed careers from photographer to retoucher.

Regardless, professional retouchers--those who make a living fixing and enhancing photographs--need a guild, union, association or whatever you want to call it. It could be international or national. There's the http://gag.org/, http://www.aiga.org/ However, they really don't serve the needs of the professional retoucher. NAAP (http://www.photoshopuser.com/) is okay, but they are more of a hybrid consumer-professional educational organization. Frankly, the closest thing to a retoucher's "hang out" is Retouchpro.com (I don't work here; I'm just Retouchpro sweatshirt owner )

Let's all stay in touch. You never know what may happen.
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