RetouchPRO

Go Back   RetouchPRO > Technique > Photo Retouching
Register Blogs FAQ Site Nav Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Photo Retouching "Improving" photos, post-production, correction, etc.

High-end digital retoucher in NYC

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #31  
Old 09-24-2005, 11:24 AM
heyrad heyrad is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Posts: 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by mseydel
This may be considered heresy, but retouching is a craft, not really an art. It can come close sometimes, but our task is to make someone else's work look even better. The job of retouching has plenty of exciting challenges and rewards, but there will be few clients who will want to recognize you with more than a thanks and a check..
Well I don't know how long you've been retouching or how well you do it or the kind of retouching you actually do, but I have to strongly disagree with you. First off, Webster states that a craft is "an occupation or trade requiring manual dexterity or artistic skill". An art is the "subtle or imaginative ability in inventing, devising, or executing something". From these definitions alone we can see that retouching is both an art and a craft. Not either or. There are times when I simply have to correct a bad scan of a good photo(not art) and there are times when I have to create something from nothing. When the photographer asks me to be creative for a still life job because photography alone cannot achieve the end results... that's art. And if the photographer is incapable of creating his/her "art" without the creative input of others than is he/she really an artist as well? Better yet.. if an advertising department comes up with an idea for an ad campaign and the art director develops the concepts right down to hiring the photographer and that photographer merely captures on film the concepts created by said art director.. then is THIS photographer now a craftsman or an artist? And does he/she deserve proper credit for his/her work?

I'm sure you're a very capable retoucher and I have nothing but respect for anyone who gets involved with a discussion like this one... just try and keep in mind that we, as retouchers, are as an important part(artistically or otherwise) of any project as anyone else.. and in my experience.. often more so.

I'll take the clients thank yous and i'll cash his check, but that doesn't mean I can't change his attitude....

Just my opionion.. i could be wrong

-conrad
Reply With Quote top
  #32  
Old 09-24-2005, 12:20 PM
Craig Walters's Avatar
Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: somewhere over there
Posts: 8,786
Blog Entries: 4
ok, my question on the credits thing isnt if a retoucher deserves credit or not, it's where are you going to show it? in a hollywood movie you always have a credits list at the end of the movie and they'll rightfully include the makeup artists, set directors, grips and all those that played a key part in the making of that movie. but, where are you going to put the credits list on a retouched photograph? in a fashion shot, for instance, there may be a makeup person, a hair stylist, the photographer, his assistants, a retoucher, etc. that just aint gonna fit on the photo

ok, that was a bit tongue in cheek. but seriously, what credit do you want and how would this be done? if you're in a 'photographic house', not even the photographer gets individual credit, just the company. Ford Motor company doesnt list all the people that did the work to make a car on its advertising nor on its product. so, what we talking about here specifically? if a client hires a photographer who in turn sub-contracts a retoucher, you want the photographer to give credit to the retoucher when he presents the finished product to the client?

i think realisitcally, this is always going to be a hit and miss kind of situation. the movie industry does it. the music industry usually does it, but a lot of other industries dont. if you're a contractor building a home, you list YOUR company as the builder. you dont list the sub-contractors you might end up using. i see reasons for and against both ways. as the contractor, regardless of the industry, you are the person the client went to. it's your job. how you get it done is your responsibility and the client doesnt care as long as the job is done satisfactorily. thus, the contractor is the overall responsible agent, even if he NEVER does a single piece of the work himself. and, being the responsible agent, gets the credit. HE got the job done.

now, yes, i do think retouchers/restorers deserve credit. i do. but you ARE the sub-contractor. you get credit FROM THE CONTRACTOR, not the client. you get it in the form of a paycheck and maybe a thank you. and i think that's all you're truly obligated to get. that the contractor might include you in a credits list is an extra bonus, but i dont believe its necessarily obligatory. you got the job, you got the paycheck. you were not the principle agent. yes, hollywood does list the folks that worked on the film, but i also recall a story i heard years ago about folks that worked for free on a hollywood film as long as they got their name in the credits. it was like free advertising and worth far more than an actual paycheck. so, i would ask the same question here, would you be willing to receive no paycheck for your work if you got in the credits list for your retouching?

Craig
Reply With Quote top
  #33  
Old 09-24-2005, 02:37 PM
cricket1961's Avatar
cricket1961 cricket1961 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Flower Mound, Texas
Posts: 488
Blog Entries: 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by heyrad
Well I don't know how long you've been retouching or how well you do it or the kind of retouching you actually do, but I have to strongly disagree with you. First off, Webster states that a craft is "an occupation or trade requiring manual dexterity or artistic skill". An art is the "subtle or imaginative ability in inventing, devising, or executing something". From these definitions alone we can see that retouching is both an art and a craft. Not either or. There are times when I simply have to correct a bad scan of a good photo(not art) and there are times when I have to create something from nothing. When the photographer asks me to be creative for a still life job because photography alone cannot achieve the end results... that's art. And if the photographer is incapable of creating his/her "art" without the creative input of others than is he/she really an artist as well? Better yet.. if an advertising department comes up with an idea for an ad campaign and the art director develops the concepts right down to hiring the photographer and that photographer merely captures on film the concepts created by said art director.. then is THIS photographer now a craftsman or an artist? And does he/she deserve proper credit for his/her work?

I'm sure you're a very capable retoucher and I have nothing but respect for anyone who gets involved with a discussion like this one... just try and keep in mind that we, as retouchers, are as an important part(artistically or otherwise) of any project as anyone else.. and in my experience.. often more so.

I'll take the clients thank yous and i'll cash his check, but that doesn't mean I can't change his attitude....

Just my opionion.. i could be wrong

-conrad
Conrad

I have nothing to say to add to this. Hear Hear!
It is just a matter of time when an effective retoucher can influence his clients ability to shoot better. It becomes a collaborative effort to achieve a destination, and any good photographer will admit it.

Chris
Reply With Quote top
  #34  
Old 09-24-2005, 02:40 PM
cricket1961's Avatar
cricket1961 cricket1961 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Flower Mound, Texas
Posts: 488
Blog Entries: 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kraellin
ok, that was a bit tongue in cheek. but seriously, what credit do you want and how would this be done? if you're in a 'photographic house', not even the photographer gets individual credit, just the company. Ford Motor company doesnt list all the people that did the work to make a car on its advertising nor on its product. so, what we talking about here specifically? if a client hires a photographer who in turn sub-contracts a retoucher, you want the photographer to give credit to the retoucher when he presents the finished product to the client?
Craig
Craig

In the past my Credits have always been in the magazines right under the Photographers name. Cleary in view at the front of any story.

Chris
Reply With Quote top
  #35  
Old 09-24-2005, 09:01 PM
heyrad heyrad is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Posts: 80
To all those interested...

In this month's GOTHAM magazine, there's a wonderful spread/story at the back of the book. Forget who shot it, but it's editorial. What does that mean to all those who don't know? It means that everyone involved(especially the photographer) got paid little or nothing to do the job. Why would they do this? Well, it's simple.. High-end photographers do editorial work for little or no money in effort to attract the advertising money. The more a photographers work is seen, the more prestige he/she is said to have. And if you get editorial spreads in magazines like French Vogue or Numbero or Another Magazine.. then you're next year should be blooming with all kinds of catalog and advertising work(if you've got a smart rep.).. SO... what happens when these photographers shoot these spreads(i.e., GOTHAM)? They make sure that the opening page contains credits to the photographer. In some cases, it's just the photographer. In other cases, like GOTHAM, they listed the shooter, the hair person, the makeup person, the stylist and even the friggin stylists assistant.. but NOWHERE was there a credit for the retoucher. The same person who probably made next to nothing for the job just to get it in his book. Why was he not included? Your guess is as good as mine, but it's wrong no matter how you slice it. I know very few retouchers or retouching studios who make money on editorial because it only pays a few hundred an image(if any) and the client usualy wants proofs(which are expensive). God forbid you have a second round of color.. your margins go right down the drain and you can right off another time consuming job and hope it looks great in your book... Oh boy!

Let me be clear here... I live and work in New York City. Where the average rent for a studio apt is about $1800/month.. Some of you live in the boonies and have no idea why i'm making a stink... Well, here in the big city... things cost money and they cost a lot of money. 4 color prints(CMYK for you home gamers) run anywhere from $75 - $300 depending on size and turnaround time and most clients wanna see 'em when you're done retouching... So when I talk about a few hundred an image for editorial.. Don't gimme crap cause you think that's a lot of money where you come from... New York City is not Kansas, my little Dorothy's.... just an FYI. And all due respect to all those who live in Kansas.. it's merey a metaphor

My next issue is with "usage". That means that when a photographer shoots an artist, celebrity or what have you, he owns the rights to the photograph... He can then resell the license to that image over and over and over again over the course of his life.. making him a great deal of money, depending on the image and the subject.. Now, in my experiences... these images are highly artistic compositions and demand great care in achieving the final look and feel of the image. This is where the retoucher comes in... In many cases, I've "made" the image with my "eye" and my abilities... Maybe here, too.. I could get rights to that image. Because that image would not be worth a plug nickle if the retoucher didn't make it pretty.... This sharing of licensing and photographers will probably happen when monkey's fly out of my ass or Osama Bin Laden is captured-- whichever comes first-- so I won't rant and rave about it.. But it's something to consider.... if not for fun

I'm getting too cranky in my old age... I think I'll change the subject on my next post...

-conrad
Reply With Quote top
  #36  
Old 09-25-2005, 05:23 AM
meok meok is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Montreal
Posts: 45
That was quite a rant!
I have to agree with Conrad on these 2 points.

1: Retouchers definitly deserves more credits for the VALUE / WORTH he adds to a picture. (Im sure anybody who ever saw a "before" of any beauty shot can attest to that)

2: and Yup, I can confirm that NYC is a hella expensive place to be living. (especially for a canadian)


-loc
Reply With Quote top
  #37  
Old 09-25-2005, 02:13 PM
Loverly's Avatar
Loverly Loverly is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Greensboro, North Carolina
Posts: 109
Blog Entries: 1
Thumbs down Heyrad's trade secret

Hey guys,
I tied Heyrad's niffy layers on a pic that was very dark. I have to say it is very clever and works great! I'll post it in my Loverly's show N Tell in the critics forum.


Loverly

http://www.retouchpro.com/forums/sho...765#post100765

Last edited by Loverly; 09-25-2005 at 02:40 PM.
Reply With Quote top
  #38  
Old 09-26-2005, 08:41 AM
shellby's Avatar
shellby shellby is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: UK
Posts: 299
An artical about Pascal Dangin

http://www.theage.com.au/articles/20...?oneclick=true
Reply With Quote top
  #39  
Old 09-26-2005, 03:09 PM
pixelfinity's Avatar
pixelfinity pixelfinity is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: UK
Posts: 39
A few thoughts...

Wouldn't it be wonderfull to be famous?

If you were to be famous/renouned for producing wonderfull images from rubbish shots (the phase I like - to polish a turd), you would get every half decent photographer sending you images of poor quality expecting some kind of magical, super fast, cheap, result.

I trained (within graphic design employment) as a scanner operator, for those who think I was placing document on an epson flatbed, let me expand. I worked for a repro house in Leeds (UK) with a team of 'old school' repro guys, who worked with film, making colour corrections with masks, and exposing Neg/Pos/Neg. Our scanner was a proper drum scanner that would image a flat copy or transparency direct to film or onto system for output. We worked within the ar community producing duotone books (real duotones, produced by scanning a B/W original with different gradations 'curves' and printing in two black plates or black and a colour) We produced for Norman Parkinson, Martin Parr, John Stoddart, Fay Godwin and won many awards for our efforts.

Ah yes - my point... I think most retouchers would rather do creative work on good images and be payed as such than do mostly corrective work and try to justify the cost to the photographer/client.

I recently had a photographer I work with 'go digital'. He was a very good photgrapher when shooting on film and I get the scans produced (DRUM SCANNED) especially on one particular job I am involved with where sports shots are taken on fast 35mm film, a grainy kind of quality after being enlarged by 900%. I am now working with this photographer, setting up profiles, conversion factors and a new system of lighting as he has become obsessed by exposure scales, MBytes, USM, 'are the eyes sharp'. OK the eyes may look sharp but the overall image is 'flat as a fart'

Whenever the issue of credit for the retoucher comes up I remember a story about a retoucher who published to the net (I would let you see, but I can't - read on) a before and after image from a magazine to show the model was not after all the goddess she looked in the final print as she had pi**ed him of at his workstation with crazy demands. (he was swiftly unemployed and legal action was taken by the models agent...)

All in all, I am glad my name is recognised within the industry (hope to more) and get payed for the work I do.

I am glad of my traditional back ground (knowing how USM really works, scanning by LED numbers in CMYK or CYMK as it used to be, knowing that a highlight is never, NEVER 0.0.0.0 or 255.255.255, understanding that a highlight in an ICR set can be -4% black and that a red colour can be 110% magenta in the brightest point [WHAT! I hear you cry]) LOL...

but thats another story involving the phrase "what do they teach in college now"

sorry if this makes no scence - just thinking out loud.

Ian
Reply With Quote top
  #40  
Old 09-26-2005, 06:44 PM
shellby's Avatar
shellby shellby is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: UK
Posts: 299
"New" to the industry

The rest of us had to start somewhere... when I did my course it was on (what was then) the new imacs. 15" monitor, crazy coloured backs... but then again I did my course 7 years ago now... so I have 6 years industry experience (Artworking and Design - DCS2, spot colours, foils, embossing mean anything to anyone?). Perhaps a drop in the ocean to some, but I am still willing to learn as much as possible. I am actually working on a fashion image now and I will be utilising the Dodge and Burn method discussed here. I will post my work as soon as it is complete. Wish me luck.
Reply With Quote top
Reply

  RetouchPRO > Technique > Photo Retouching


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
High End Freelance Digital Retoucher Available patrickdonovan1 Classifieds 2 08-17-2006 07:46 PM
Seeking full-time high end retoucher for NYC boutique mseydel Classifieds 0 02-28-2006 12:11 AM
High End Digital Retouching Service JACR Classifieds 1 01-09-2006 05:52 PM
High End Image Retoucher needs work simonkoelbl Classifieds 0 12-10-2005 09:31 AM
High End Retoucher Position Available NYC dboxstudio Classifieds 0 06-12-2005 06:22 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:54 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.
Copyright © 2016 Doug Nelson. All Rights Reserved