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

Is there such a thing as FAST HIGH END RETOUCHING?

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  #1  
Old 07-17-2011, 08:34 PM
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Lamouzinga Lamouzinga is offline
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Is there such a thing as FAST HIGH END RETOUCHING?

Heya all,

I hope you're having a lovely Monday (or Sunday) depending on where you are located in the world.

I've been reviewing my ever growing retouching processes and often feel 'weighed' down by the complexity of what I like to do (pixel by pixel d&b, lighting effects, colour adjustments, hair retouching, just to name a few) - is there such a thing as a fast turnaround for mass edits while still maintaining a good quality body of work? (for example when working on a model's portfolio and you're required to do 10-20 edits, or a wedding etc). Each retouch for me can take anywhere from 2 hours to 8 hours. That's just waaaaaay too time consuming... & more often than not - I end up working more than the set rate

How much time do you spend per photo and if so (if comfortable discussing) what process do you normally do to achieve faster looks?

Thanks

Last edited by Lamouzinga; 07-17-2011 at 09:11 PM.
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Old 07-17-2011, 11:10 PM
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chinchillakilla chinchillakilla is offline
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Re: Is there such a thing as FAST HIGH END RETOUCH

a faster way you can do things for retouching in photoshop is add a surface blur and gaussian blur and work though with quite a small pixel radius to keep the texture etc and put a black mask on then paint in white this is non destructive and will give you great accuracy in bringing detail back in play with the opacity till you get the look you like and this should save you some time but realistically great work takes time if i was a client i would rather have an image that had quality time spent on it than that of an image that gets to me rather quick.
hope this helps some.
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Old 07-17-2011, 11:45 PM
kav kav is offline
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Re: Is there such a thing as FAST HIGH END RETOUCH

I don't think you need to burn and dodge every pore for what you want. If you're starting from raw you should process them in a way that is good for the subject of your photo primarily. Make a "quick" cloning (or healing brush) pass over the image still working with a small brush and cleaning up prime offending details in the form of stray hairs, zits, etc. I'd then make any local color adjustments and do a small amount of burn/dodge work so that the transitions look good, and make sure the eyes and lips look strong.

For a model portfolio you don't want it overdone as they are booked by their look. Whether you think they look even better with more photoshop isn't really relevant as clients who book them will have retouching done to their own tastes. Natural is better here. For weddings these shots are zoomed to varying degrees and printed 8x10 or less and posted to facebook. You don't want them retouched as a magazine cover would be because it takes away some of the candid quality of it. So what is your time budget/image like anyway?

Oh and ignore all advice saying to use surface blur. If you're setting the bar for quality there you can easily be replaced by an automated action sequence and someone's secretary. This isn't what you want.
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Old 07-18-2011, 01:53 AM
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Re: Is there such a thing as FAST HIGH END RETOUCH

If you don't get too detailed on the dodge/burning and lighting you should be able to save a lot of time i believe. One example of workflow could be: Heal away bad areas (cleaning up skin), perhaps some minor scupting with liquify, fix up eyes and lips, dodge/burn on larger areas - not getting into pores etc. Curves adjustments with masks to adjust the general lighting.

You get a lot of improvement just spending a small amount of time on each step, the more time you spend, the smaller the improvement "per minute".
Try to set yourself a time goal, perhaps one hour, and see how much you can get done in that time. I believe it should be more than sufficient for most images (and put in the extra hours on the special/important ones).
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Old 07-18-2011, 05:09 AM
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DJSoulglo DJSoulglo is offline
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Re: Is there such a thing as FAST HIGH END RETOUCH

FAST - CHEAP - GOOD

You can only pick 2. Good retouching can be fast, but it wont be cheap. Cheap retouching can be good, but it'll be slow.
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Old 07-18-2011, 07:05 AM
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ashphotoart ashphotoart is offline
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Re: Is there such a thing as FAST HIGH END RETOUCH

yes,
if you are technically good with photoshop and if u setup and save all of your tools (Presets) (different settings - mostly used by you), and make actions for all of your favourite time consuming layer settings, I think it can be gonna fast,

I've setup many tools myself and I do all of the work as u do. very fast and clean. actions does many processes much faster.
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Old 07-19-2011, 05:21 AM
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Mike Needham Mike Needham is offline
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Re: Is there such a thing as FAST HIGH END RETOUCH

Set up actions for commonly used functions, that's a no brainer, save pre-sets that you know can be used on a set of 20 wedding images of the groom in a dark church etc. It does seem that you may be getting bogged down in the detail and for what you seem to actually need to do, you'll only find the devil there
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Old 07-19-2011, 09:36 AM
eraanexact eraanexact is offline
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Re: Is there such a thing as FAST HIGH END RETOUCH

If someone wanted really high quality work done with a quick turnaround for 20+ images, I'd say the way to do it is take the job to a retouching studio with multiple retouchers who can all work simultaneously on the job. In the "fast-cheap-good" model, this scenerio would eliminate "cheap".
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Old 07-19-2011, 01:08 PM
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CoreyByas CoreyByas is offline
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Re: Is there such a thing as FAST HIGH END RETOUCH

there is Dave C....? did something with NAPP, he had actions, brushes, even a texture that was from skin and applied it through "Texturizer", swatches etc... He has a DVD (Kelbytraining). It was offered at one time as a free course on NAPP. He was doing this for speeding things up. Action would set up all the layers, catch light brushes etc..
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Old 07-20-2011, 02:18 AM
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Lamouzinga Lamouzinga is offline
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Re: Is there such a thing as FAST HIGH END RETOUCH

Thank you all for your comments - definitely some food for thought

Totally going to have to look into setting up presets/actions for myself. Although doing what I do by memory does seem to make sense at the time (maybe so don't forget) will definitely need to enforce setting out some kind of plan for what needs to be achieved & time limits on each process. (do kind of become a perfectionist on each stage of retouching so culling that down does make a lot of sense!)

Really appreciate the different suggestions. Many varied ways we can achieve similiar results! Great to think (or at least attempt to) think outside the box.

Last edited by Lamouzinga; 07-20-2011 at 02:27 AM.
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