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Glossy magazines face airbrush ban??

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  #21  
Old 04-13-2009, 03:05 PM
grygarness grygarness is offline
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Re: Glossy magazines face airbrush ban??

A bit late in joining this thread, but I couldn’t help joining in. A ban on retouching for glossies… now that would be very interesting. I have a few points I’d love to make. First – technically all shots have been manipulated before they go to press. Anything that has been adjusted for color will have an impact on the image. But that may be splitting hairs…

Secondly, some people on the forum are saying how revealing it would be for the models. Speaking as a retoucher I’d say that it’s the photographer and his/her production that would come away utterly exposed – no pun intended. As a retoucher specializing in people – mostly celebrities – I have the dubious honour of tweaking people’s silhouettes (as little as I can get away with) cleaning up their skin, reducing eye bags, and polishing them totally. But honestly, I spend most of the time fixing messy hair that could have been styled on shoot, fixing clothes that have not been properly styled, and amending the makeup – even on cosmetics shoots. I also spend a massive amount of my working days doctoring the locations, coloramas, dirty/buckled studio coves, straightening verticals without distorting the subject. Etcetera. Very often, unflattering poses or shots not in focus are chosen by the client. The mantra on most shoots seems to be ‘fix it in the post’. On a press shoot this means fix the same thing at least 10 times over… Do I work for low end clients? No, I work for big international companies you all know & love. Problem is that the whole industry has become totally complacent, and the concept of pre-visualization has long vanished from the scene. I know a ban on retouching would probably not apply to these things, but for a moment there I had a giggle as I fantasized about how that funny would be. It so much appeals to my sense of humour I almost wouldn’t mind being out of a job.

But seriously… I’d like to give a bit of historic perspective while I’m at it. I backed out of fashion & advertising photography less than 10 years ago. The only retouching of my images then was on advertising campaigns. For the editorial glossies there was no retouching budget, and you were expected to deliver perfect transparencies or prints. At the time I was printing in a shared facility, and we were all in the same boat, apart from a few who had a special designer friend who had the magic skills. We had to aim for perfect from the get-go. On castings, the smallest sign of a pimple would cause rejection. On shoot, we’d style to perfection. We would light to kill. We would comb the set for imperfections. The stylist would and more or less iron and hoover the model for creases and dust. Not a hair out of place and all that... It looked great, and felt like a performance for everyone involved. Or maybe I’m just being nostalgic, because there were many hairy moments too. Shooting on 5x4 I was allowed 6 or 8 clicks for each look within the budget. Yes – you heard right, it was very tight. The other day I was scanning a lot of my old work for my new book. It got me thinking about we worked with an entirely different medium then, with a different quality. Film has a way of masking pores and with the right shallow focus you could mask minor imperfections in the skin. Some of what we now do in retouching was then done in printing. I would be dodging and burning my C-types. Not to mention how detail could be blasted in the processing, adding contrast and vibrancy. And guess what… some are still doing it!

I’d like to see a little bit of both worlds. I love making a fabulous image look fantastic, and I am lucky enough to work with some great photographers. Art directors and clients are often not that great though. I’d like to see models and celebrities who have their hair roots sorted before the shoot, and show evidence of a good nights sleep. I’d love to see clothing that’s styled and pinned where it needs be, no crumbs or creases, and hair that’s styled as intended. Above all I’d love to see clients pick a shot they are essentially happy with. I recently retouched a shoot like that. It was album artwork & press for a top UK singer who last year did a TV expose on retouching. Her problem with retouching was not the polishing of the image, but the liberties retouchers take with body shape. Needless to say I trod very carefully, and the end result is very faithful to the artist. And surprise surprise – all were happy… and one of these days I’ll update my website and show some new work...

allbest

GG
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  #22  
Old 04-13-2009, 08:09 PM
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W.Smith W.Smith is offline
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Re: Glossy magazines face airbrush ban??

Quote:
Originally Posted by mayday View Post

Has'nt retouching on actors and actresses been going on since the 1930's?

Since the 1830's!
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  #23  
Old 04-14-2009, 02:31 AM
grygarness grygarness is offline
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Re: Glossy magazines face airbrush ban??

Yes and no. The classic Hollywood portraits were clearly retouched, and you could tell because they were in essence paintings on top of a photograph. But the photography in magazines from the 60's onward rarely had such retouching. Photographers and printers would spot the prints for dust with a tiny brush, and sometimes help strengthen an eye or fill a small detail. But nothing like today.
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  #24  
Old 04-14-2009, 04:09 AM
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Markzebra Markzebra is offline
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Re: Glossy magazines face airbrush ban??

I personally rarely agree with thinning models down. Had a job very recently where they were 5 early 20 year old girls in great condition, dancers - couldn't be better physical shape - believe me - I looked. The photographers markups 'slim waist' 'bit thinner'. Waistlines are routinely taken in. I try not to do it, but in the end just the button pusher, I usually leave that one for them to ask for. Fact is what the photographer obviously has to do is flatter the subject, and the client. More work for them that way. If they made a no thinning rule I would happily go along with that. 'Leave crap skin' no- that would take away a lot of peoples livelihood.

Yes Gry, she had that bloke at Shoemakers demonstrate his liquify tool to her I seem to remember, no wonder she was frightened.

Last edited by Markzebra; 04-14-2009 at 04:35 AM.
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  #25  
Old 04-16-2009, 11:44 PM
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cricket1961 cricket1961 is offline
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Re: Glossy magazines face airbrush ban??

I agree. The least amount of restructuring the better. While I enjoy the liquify tool, it is probably one of my least used tools. I definitely believe in the "least done the more natural" vein of thought.

And Gry, you are right.. its the Photographer who would get the most fire from having images published without any retouching. Like you I have worked with a lot of the great ones, and even their's would be pushing it if they went un-retouched. It has also been my experience that it is the art directors and SOME of the Photographer Agents that cause the most problems on when to stop and enough is enough. Sometimes I think they are the reason I have no hair on my head.

Chris
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  #26  
Old 09-22-2009, 04:12 AM
skauskas skauskas is offline
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Re: Glossy magazines face airbrush ban??

Looks like French lawmakers want warnings on airbrushed photos... kind of like on cigarettes.
http://adage.com/globalnews/article?article_id=139162
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  #27  
Old 09-22-2009, 10:47 AM
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MiningArt MiningArt is offline
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Re: Glossy magazines face airbrush ban??

Might as well throw broadcast media into the mix, they have been using real-time retouching on newscasters and actors for some time now. Totally digital characters are showing up and will soon be believable enough to replace all those blemish plagued humans. To enforce this beauty ban they really should be going after the 'eye of the beholder'. The thought police will need to be fully funded.
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  #28  
Old 09-22-2009, 01:19 PM
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skydog skydog is offline
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Re: Glossy magazines face airbrush ban??

I understand "airbrush" pre digital/photoshop, but is airbrush the same as retouch with photoshop or something more specific?
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  #29  
Old 09-22-2009, 08:32 PM
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mikedimples mikedimples is offline
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Re: Glossy magazines face airbrush ban??

Generally, airbrushing describes painting on top of the image where retouching aims to preserve more texture.
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  #30  
Old 09-23-2009, 03:57 AM
skauskas skauskas is offline
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Re: Glossy magazines face airbrush ban??

I actually renewed this post to write that in France all the mags should write now on every image that has been photoshopped that it was processed with the help of the software to "change" the look of the person.
So my point is that "to change the look" sounds kinda harsh as we are not always changing the look of the person. Yes we do improve skin make-up etc but the person still looks the same..
what do you think about it?
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