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The Truth About High End Retouching...

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  #1  
Old 08-15-2011, 04:00 PM
sweetsurndr sweetsurndr is offline
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The Truth About High End Retouching...

So, I'm a student currently going into my senior year of college, and I've come to the conclusion that the work I'm best cut out for is retouching. I've spent a lot of time on various forums as well as researching the "competition" and various high profile retouchers, and I notice that so many people don't realize the truth about high end retouching....that it takes time.

I see so many people who claim to be "professionals" claiming they're so good and fast and all this nonsense, and when I view their work it's obvious they're not practicing the correct techniques. Blur filters and other actions and filters are often applied trying to speed up the underestimated time it takes to beautifully retouch an image. The mix of "retouched" and "natural" takes so much patience and finesse, and I'm just wondering if retouchers, like society in general, are increasingly just looking for cheap work arounds instead of putting out quality. I'm not even a professional yet and I know the importance of all of this, and I'm just curious as to who else out there are proponents for working many hours and working almost pixel by pixel on an image and who are those who can prove to me a photo really can be retouched to near perfection in 1-2 hours.

I'd just like to read the debate is all...thanks!
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Old 08-15-2011, 04:17 PM
edgework edgework is offline
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Re: The Truth About High End Retouching...

Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetsurndr View Post
I'm just curious as to who else out there are proponents for working many hours and working almost pixel by pixel on an image and who are those who can prove to me a photo really can be retouched to near perfection in 1-2 hours.

I'd just like to read the debate is all...thanks!
I don't think there's any dispute among serious professionals that retouching takes time and that it's not a contest to see who can finish first with the fewest layers. But you can't lay diminishing standards solely at the feet of lazy retouchers; clients willing to pay for the time it takes to do it right are a dying breed themselves. They're still around, of course—there will always be a place for true high-end work—but the sad truth is too many won't pay high-end fees because they either can't tell the difference or they can but don't care. If a surface blur and a noise layer will produce a happy client and a paycheck, do you really want to blame the retoucher who takes advantage of the situation?
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Old 08-15-2011, 04:21 PM
sweetsurndr sweetsurndr is offline
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Re: The Truth About High End Retouching...

I guess that's an interesting point of view...but I don't know.

When looking through the fashion magazines, I hardly come across too many instances where the blur and noise effect is applied.

Maybe I just give to much credit to photographers I guess...
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Old 08-15-2011, 06:28 PM
Steve13 Steve13 is offline
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Re: The Truth About High End Retouching...

I've found with many subjects, the more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know.
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Old 08-15-2011, 09:38 PM
kav kav is offline
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Re: The Truth About High End Retouching...

You won't get really amazing results if you're spending a half hour or something on an image on average. What's important is that a lot of jobs do have limited budgets and tight turnarounds. You have to understand what the client wants and expects and turn out something that makes them happy within budget. You have to have some sense of what can be accomplished in a couple hours if that's what you're budgeted. There's a big difference between spending 10 hours or more making an advertising comp (many take much muc longer), and spending that same amount of time just cleaning up hairs on someone's face. If you are spending an incredibly long time on this stuff the results need to fully back it up. It can't just be inflated by how many times you had to go back and make corrections simply to reach a first pass to show the client.
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Old 08-15-2011, 09:40 PM
kav kav is offline
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Re: The Truth About High End Retouching...

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Originally Posted by edgework View Post
clients willing to pay for the time it takes to do it right are a dying breed themselves.
especially editorial clients
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Old 08-16-2011, 01:49 AM
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Repairman Repairman is offline
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Re: The Truth About High End Retouching...

Don't confuse speed with skill Sweets. Nobody is going to pay $150/hr to watch you contemplate your navel or wait for the muse to inspire. Most jobs come with a budget and a mutually understood level of the finish required. When you work with an art director and/or client sitting in on the retouch you need to be slick - they'll be watching the clock like a cab meter. You have to have high standards but if you're going to make a decent living at retouching be both fast and good! The two are NOT mutually exclusive.
R.
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Old 08-16-2011, 11:30 AM
sweetsurndr sweetsurndr is offline
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Re: The Truth About High End Retouching...

I guess when I was writing that I had beauty retouching in mind, which obviously calls for a lot of attention to detail and time.

I understand that all retouching isn't going to take HOURS, but even then you're not gonna just get amazing results flying through it in 15 minutes just using filters etc. etc.
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