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

High-end digital retoucher in NYC

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  #41  
Old 09-27-2005, 12:45 PM
emarts emarts is offline
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Really interesting reading. And I share the frustration. Yes, I agree that retouchers should get credit when it's deserved. I think though the problem is in the term "Retoucher." Sounds so light and unimportant. I think some of us should be called "Photo Illustrators."

I've been at it 14 years. I don't do much fashion, but I think I'd like to try. Mostly I'm doing manipulations and turning multiple photos into what I consider works of art. But what I'm complaining about lately is the perception in the industry that what we do is easy. That anybody with Photoshop can be a retoucher.

I live in Northern NJ where it's just as expensive to live as NYC. After all I gotta maintain a car. I consider myself a high-end retoucher and I also get no credit. As I work for agencies, I never have contact with the end-client. I've worked on jobs for all the major car manufacturers as well as other big-name companies, but none know who I am. The credit always goes to the photographer and the agency.

Well, I would like to change that. Marketing is too expensive to let a good job go unnoticed. Word-of-mouth is the best way to get more clients. But if no one is talking about you, it's really tough. I mean, I can't even use samples of my work in my online portfolio.

If an association is formed, I'll sign up too.

Last edited by emarts; 09-27-2005 at 12:46 PM. Reason: additional infor
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  #42  
Old 09-27-2005, 10:44 PM
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surreal surreal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emarts
I think though the problem is in the term "Retoucher." Sounds so light and unimportant. I think some of us should be called "Photo Illustrators."

I've been at it 14 years. I don't do much fashion, but I think I'd like to try. Mostly I'm doing manipulations and turning multiple photos into what I consider works of art. But what I'm complaining about lately is the perception in the industry that what we do is easy. That anybody with Photoshop can be a retoucher.
Hello everyone,

I agree with emart's point of view. As "retoucher", I think we are doing a lot more than just "re-touch" an image, but to create a new one. I had jobs that need to change the mood of a picture, change the lighting or combine several photographer's pictures into one image. I think we did so much, but still without a credit. It seems unfair for us who have supplied something to made the picture better, but are not mentioned and unknown. I think different retouchers have their own style of retouching as well, just like different styles of different photographers. So we should have a credit as well.

Sometimes I think instead of retouch, we are like "photo re-constructors" *LOL*
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  #43  
Old 10-02-2005, 04:29 PM
yonac yonac is offline
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yonac

Hi All...
Chris and Conrad are right. The use of a softlight gray layer, painted with white and/or black small size brush is the best and fast way to preserve skin texture. Channel by channel, pore by pore retouching is another alternative, if you know additive/ subractive color principles, or your retouching background
has chrome retouching experiences.
Good luck all.

Yonac

http://www.retouchnyc.com

yonac@mac.com
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  #44  
Old 10-11-2005, 04:36 PM
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shellby shellby is offline
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Time on each image?

How much time do you spend on each image using that method? I am spending about 3 hours, sometimes 4. This would be for a full shot image (not just a facial shot).
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  #45  
Old 10-11-2005, 04:59 PM
heyrad heyrad is offline
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Hiya Shel,

Well that depends on the file size, the amount of retouching needed and so forth. On a commercial beauty ad, for instance, it can take a full day to achieve the desired results. Especially when the art director(s) cast a model with really bad skin and expect "transparent perfection" as I like to call it. They throw you a less than perfect subject and want a Rembrandt in return.. Not that it can't be done.. it just takes time. The key here is transparency. you DON'T want it to look like it's been retouched. There are millions of different ways to remove texture and bring it back, to dodge and burn till your eyes bleed and to achieve the perfect blend of detail and color...

Just remember the Triangle theory... fast and good isn't cheap, cheap and good isn't fast and fast and cheap isn't good....

You'll get a feel for where things need to go and with the contrast layers added to help you see the "finer" problems.. you should make it look nice in no time...

Keep it at!

-conrad

Hey Chris! You got anything to add to this?
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  #46  
Old 10-11-2005, 05:40 PM
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RooB RooB is offline
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Smile

I consider myself a photo-mechanic-- not retoucher-- because I fix problems, change parts, do a little tuning, a few upgrades, and do the occasional overhaul, and I don't have much to do with retouching as it stands.

As for the recognition-- I don't know, recognition is nice because it does boost business, but what photographer or model really wants it known that they needed "work"? Retouchers are the unsung heros and sidekicks of photography, often saving the day, but never getting the kudos for it. I don't expect it to ever change.

Personally, I think there's a lot more recognition in low/mid-end work than there ever could be in high-end work. If you want the big money and the big jobs, I guess you have to forego the recognition. But I do dislike the high-end industry for this "I'll hire you but you don't exist" attitude.

I like low-mid end work because it provides a nice balance between work and play, there is recognition, and there's no stress factor or definitive deadlines. I've been approached by a couple of high-end photographers, but when they've given me samples I've purposely sabotaged the returns just so they would look elsewhere and I wouldn't have to look like a jerk by saying, "Look somewhere else." I'm far from a Flora or a heyrad in my work (they are awesome), and I do aspire to reach that level of detail and mastery, but at the same time I've no ambition to enter the same arena. I want to someday be the "photo arts master" living in the quaint village.
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  #47  
Old 10-12-2005, 06:47 AM
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shellby shellby is offline
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Conrad - LOL I like the "triangle"

I will keep at it. I spend a lot of my spare time retouching and I am using that dodge and burn method now Hope to get better and better at it. I would actually like to work on some images that have a bit more atmosphere to them. I have been in contact with a photographer based in LA who needs some retouching - so I will keep you all posted.

I aspire to work on high-end fashion and beauty shots. The reason for this may be that I am a keen amature photographer myself and can think of nothing better than working on stunning images all day!

Thanks so much for the tips and advise!
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  #48  
Old 10-21-2005, 04:55 PM
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snook305 snook305 is offline
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Exactly why I shoot and retouch!!

This is the exact reason why I am Shooting and retouching. And I agree with the retouchers to an extent.
The picture is a TEAM finished product. Model/H&M/Photographer/Art direction if any/Retoucher etc...
Just couriuos what people my think of my stuff. Check out my site.
Shelby, I agree that some sort of Blur median technique happens. Depends on how painted and cloned you have made the Skin.
I do all my retouching on my pictures on my site..>>
http://homepage.mac.com/ekphotography/2005/
For the exact reason as to not be Dependent on ANYBODY except myself..
No offense to the pure retouchers. We could not live with out you.. But I prefer to atleast know what I am doing to some extent.
Dropping out backgrounds and Building backgrounds is not my cup of tea.. You lose me there, But basic Color and retouching should be known by almost all photographers.
People like steven miesel who have million dollar post crew working with him are not going to run crying the picture is theres b/c they retouched it...
On that high level, You may be easily replaced!!
E:K:

http://homepage.mac.com/ekphotography/2005/
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  #49  
Old 10-21-2005, 05:00 PM
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snook305 snook305 is offline
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Conrad

Maybe you could share some more stuff. Like how a lot of people are getting that Ghetto look for most rappers. Like desaturated then painted back in stuff.. You know how to do that.. I guess like the dragan look?
Thanks, for anymore tips..
E:K:
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  #50  
Old 10-22-2005, 04:27 AM
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shellby shellby is offline
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snook305

Stunning images, really nice.

When I was at school I actually wanted to do photography. I ended up doing a graphic design course instead because in Durban (South Africa) the photography course at the Technicon was far to expensive. I have been in the UK now for 5 years and I do photography as a hobby - still waiting to get an image published in a photography mag!

Retouching is now my speciality, however I am still drawn to the photographic side.
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