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Contests Retouching contests to challenge your skills and learn from others. Prizes for the winners!

May 05 Contest Discussion

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  #71  
Old 05-08-2005, 11:02 AM
Doug Colwell Doug Colwell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vikki
It's my observation, that evidence of individual style, merely shows a lack of ability, on the restorer, to do the job correctly.
I mostly agree (but would replace the word 'correctly' with 'professionally'). What I'm saying is that professional restorers have adopted a professional style - they've all learned/been taught to restore to a common standard, using the same accepted practices and professional techniques. Many of these standards are borrowed from professional photography, ('proper' levels, 'proper' contrast), and collectively represent what the best and brightest have 'agreed' a good picture should look like. Applying these standards to unknowable originals results in consistently 'good' photos, but would be better described as group retouching.
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  #72  
Old 05-08-2005, 02:44 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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a good example of 'restoring' is some of those art works that have become faded or water damaged. things like some of Michaelangelo's works on walls and ceilings. a 'restorer' is only allowed to bring back the original work as best as possible. the work is meticulous and very time consuming.

and that brings us to the other part of photographic restoration. time. most clients are not going to want to wait years for a pixel by pixel true restoration, a' la a work by Michaelangelo. thus, we tend to automate certain processes or compromise here and there for the sake of time, much like in this contest. we've got a deadline. only so much can be done within those constraints and, the clients are generally ok with this as long as the major salient points are covered and look better. thus, you have that age old management problem of speed versus quality. if you spend too much on quality, speed tends to suffer; go with speed and quality tends to suffer. the trick is to find out what the client needs and wants and that they understand that sometimes they cant have both.

thus, if there's an 'art' in restoration, one might say it's the management of those two things, speed and quality. i would also argue that 'art' and 'technical' perfection' are pretty much the same thing and that 'interpretation' and 'style' are sub-divisions of this. if i use a smudge tool where someone else uses a very clean, precise line type tool, his interpretation or style and technical use of those choices are what make him an artist over my sloppier smudge

and in going back to my original point of the differences between a restoration and a reconstruction, here's a good example from the retouch, restoration forum here at retouch.pro: http://www.retouchpro.com/forums/photo-restoration/10423-ghostly-image.html
if you follow that thread all the way through, you'll see that we made several attempts to restore this image, but just couldnt definitively do it. after that process failed, even when getting the client to re-scan the image and trying again, we then moved into the area of reconstruction. other research of the client turned up supportive information of some of what we thought we were seeing in the original work and as soon as that 'other research' was done, we were moving into the area of reconstruction rather than just restoring. in other words, we were moving into the area of speculation in a much more pronounced way.

i would also invite folks to take a look at that thread. it's an interesting little bit of mystery as to what 'Muriel' actually looks like and we certainly havent concluded anything definite yet. i'd invite all the folks here to take their own stabs at this. i yet go back every few days and try something else out. which reminds me, i've got some gray hairs to go pluck out

K.
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  #73  
Old 05-08-2005, 05:42 PM
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cazubi cazubi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vikki
When I use "artistic", with regard to restorations, I'm talking about the artisitic "ability" needed to recreate missing parts of an image.
To me, restoration is not about expressing oneself, and there is no place for one's personal "style" or interpretation of the original work. It's simply about repairing an exisiting work, someone else has created. If one were hired to restore an Amsel Adams, how appropriate would it be to incorporate "your" style into the image?
It's my observation, that evidence of individual style, merely shows a lack of ability, on the restorer, to do the job correctly.
I think this is also how I would interpret restoration. Unless requested by a client, personal style and expression should not have a place in the work.

Cathy
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  #74  
Old 05-10-2005, 01:02 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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here's a question i have for all of you, especially the professionals doing this for a living, where do you draw the line on a given work? how much is enough and how much is too little?

in fact, let's make this two questions; how much feedback do you ask for/receive from the client DURING the process of r & r?

this contest example is a very good example of why i'm asking the above questions. i can see spending a LOT of time on this, but i can also see NOT spending that much time. where do you draw the line and why?

K.
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  #75  
Old 05-10-2005, 01:25 PM
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chrishoggy chrishoggy is offline
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I don't draw any lines. The customer always sets the level on what is to be done. I have no say in the matter, I just do as instructed
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  #76  
Old 05-10-2005, 05:08 PM
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Racc Iria Racc Iria is offline
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I agree with Chris.

When you're talking with the client and are presented with the originals (be they scans or physical prints), you can usually spot any serious trouble right away (ie damaged faces that may need reconstruction or missing/damaged sections) and you ask the client what they want you to do or how far they want you to go to try and rebuild/reconstruct those areas.

If I'm past that stage and working on a troubled area not discussed, then I see how much information is in the image to work with. When working on photos I obviously want the restoration to look as realistic as possible while keeping as true as possible to the original. If there isn't enough information in the image to restore it to a believable level of realism without taking extreme or heroic measures then I bring it to the attention of the client and ask them what they want me to do.

I think the line is where there isn't enough information to restore something without borrowing things from other source material or recreating/repainting them from scratch. If that's what the client wants... no problem, but that's when the red flags start popping up for me.
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  #77  
Old 05-11-2005, 01:38 PM
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cazubi cazubi is offline
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I also agree with Chris. When I am given design direction I just do it. I give my input and ideas, but the final instructions are the ones that I follow.
I consult the client if I have problems or questions about the work. I feel I am finished if they are happy with the results. My work is in canvas art design and not photo restoration, so I don't really know how it works in that field.

Cathy

Last edited by cazubi; 05-11-2005 at 01:58 PM.
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  #78  
Old 05-13-2005, 01:05 AM
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Ms Bay Ms Bay is offline
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Wink

Hey guys, guilty as charged! I thought this was a contest to have fun, help build our skills and show our creativity while staying within the guidelines given. Why so serious? I know we do have people that are already professionals entering, but for us amateurs (not sure that's spelled right), we are happy to have a site such as this that helps us attain our goals and let us have fun doing it. All of the advise is great and in the "real world" it will come in handy, but for now, let's just have fun and show what we have learned. If I had a customer, naturally I would do exactly what they wanted done to their portrait, but since there is no customer, as such, I used my imagination and did it the way I thought it would look good. If I never won that would be OK, I just like being in the running. Not all may agree, but I thought we were just having fun. I have learned so much already and wouldn't trade the experience for a nickel!
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  #79  
Old 05-13-2005, 12:29 PM
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Racc Iria Racc Iria is offline
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We are having fun!

This IS a place to learn new things and share. Someone a bunch of posts back asked us how we handle the restoration/reconstruction issue with real clients. That's all. So... we were sharing.
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  #80  
Old 05-17-2005, 10:31 AM
MargaretM MargaretM is offline
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Good dialogue..

Hi guys - I was enjoying the dialogue while not participating. Constructive exchange of ideas/opinions is always a good thing. I have finally started playing with the May contest image - down to the wire again. Anyhow, I would love to see more dialogue on the regular challenges. It would be great to have a discussoin such as the one started on the May challenge. Right now, there is very little feedback on entries, or am I missing something?
Keep the ideas and opinions coming!
Margaret.

Last edited by MargaretM; 05-17-2005 at 09:16 PM. Reason: spelling
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