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Should I Pursue a Career In Retouching...

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  #1  
Old 05-06-2009, 02:44 AM
leo958 leo958 is offline
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Should I Pursue a Career In Retouching...

I was apprehensive to post but I would really appreciate a decent critique.
I've only just started dabbling in retouching for like 3 months now. I simply needed a distraction to past the time and happened to really enjoy it. What I would like to know is if I have what it takes and could I pursue it further and do it for a living.

Image is of Anna Faris that I found on google.
D&B and color correction via Hue/Sat... absolutely no blurring was used. Thanks in advance!!

http://img10.imageshack.us/img10/6373/af6224595.png
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  #2  
Old 05-06-2009, 03:47 AM
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mikedimples mikedimples is offline
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Re: Should I Pursue a Career In Retouching...

While I personally love the new and improved skin-tone, viewing your very small re-retouching (the picture had already been completely retouched by a professional retoucher) isn't going to give me enough info to critique.

What I CAN tell is that you've pushed the lip color too far. The original retoucher had already brought out the lips quite a bit, no more should have been done -- now it looks painted.

The picture you retouched it the fun side of retouching. More often you'll be removing people from backgrounds, removing stray hairs, and removing backdrop wrinkles. If you want to work as a professional, better start practicing the true retoucher's work. Also, try to work on much larger size images -- more like 2000 by 3000 pixels and above.

Keep up the good work -- the more you retouch the better you'll get. Again, nice choice in skin color.
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Old 05-06-2009, 07:52 AM
leo958 leo958 is offline
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Re: Should I Pursue a Career In Retouching...

Thanks Mike, I totally see what your're saying. Sometimes its kinda hard for me to find raw images but I'm not giving up anytime soon!
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Old 05-06-2009, 11:04 AM
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PixFixGuy PixFixGuy is offline
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Re: Should I Pursue a Career In Retouching...

It is a good way to make a living, I have and with some time under your belt you can become quite good at it. There is a giant BUT however. An honesty check of sorts. The most important thing that anyone can say is, have you the eye? There is more to retouching, image artwork, than knowing Photoshop. You may be very gifted but with that said it still takes time and making allot of mistakes with clients yelling at you to get the feel of knowing when it's right. It ain't easy. Keep at it. Put that time in and if that is who you are you'll come out the other side in good shape. It takes years, not days.
Arnie

PS: Please see attached file. Self explanatory. If I did it wrong, email me and I'll send it to you. A.
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Old 05-06-2009, 12:20 PM
bpurvis bpurvis is offline
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Re: Should I Pursue a Career In Retouching...

I've been working seriously at restoration (which involves retouching) for about 8 months. I've started a small business after doing this for a hobby for years. I can say with absolute truth that your eye will improve the more you do this. My first big order was 2.300 slides that were 30-40 years old. Lots of fading, discoloration, damage, etc. I finished the scanning and editing and went back to the ones I did at first -- had to do them all over again! Started catching color casts, excess shadows, etc all over the place on images that I had already worked on. Your eye really does improve the more you do it.
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Old 05-07-2009, 05:30 AM
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mikedimples mikedimples is offline
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Re: Should I Pursue a Career In Retouching...

These guys speak the truth! One more word of wisdom -- don't be fooled into thinking you are learning by just watching a tutorial. There's a false sense of understand and learning while you're watching someone do a task smoothly, which usually leads to cutting corners later and stumbling through 5 hour retouches. Actually DOING a single retouch will teach you much more than watching a few tutorials -- I'm not directing this specifically at you, but anyone who happens to read this and has this habit, it's surprisingly common.
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  #7  
Old 05-20-2009, 02:20 AM
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MBChamberlain MBChamberlain is offline
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Re: Should I Pursue a Career In Retouching...

I'm a photographer by trade, but retouching goes right along with it. In fact, I've been doing digital retouching about as long as the computer has been able to do it.

I've found that there is a standard five year cycle.
Year 1: "I've learned new things, I'm really good at this."
Year 2: "I'm learning a lot more, and I suddenly realize now much I don't know"
Year 3: "Wow, I'm kind of bad at this"
Year 4: "Now that I've seen what I'm doing wrong, I'm starting to really learn this stuff"
Year 5: "Ooohhh, now I get it..."
Lather, Rinse, Repeat...

NEVER try to sell your work until you've been through this whole cycle at least once. Clients, who don't know anything about photography/retouching by the way, will praise your skill because they can't do it and it will stunt your growth.

So, yes, persue a career in retouching if that's what you're passionate about, but don't rush into it. Like anything worth learning, it takes time and practice. Remember to start with the basics, being able to take an engine apart doesn't do you much good if you don't know how to fill the gas tank.

Cheers,
Michael
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Old 05-20-2009, 01:07 PM
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timmy1729 timmy1729 is offline
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Re: Should I Pursue a Career In Retouching...

I plan on doing this myself. I haven't been at it but about 8 months, but I enjoy it. The thing that has ruined many hours for me is working on photos that I am too attached to, like old ones of my father or older pictures of when I was little. I found that stuff clicked more when looking at random photos. I'm still horrible at this, but I love it!
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