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

The Difference Between Retouch and Restore

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  #1  
Old 08-01-2002, 10:15 PM
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The Difference Between Retouch and Restore

In a response to one of the challenge entries, Nick Carter just asked the $million$ dollar question. I'd really like to hear everyone's opinions on it

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I am in a quandary, for these restoration challenges, where is the line between, restore, and retouch.
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Old 08-02-2002, 01:28 AM
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Talking

To the casual observer (that being me) who doesn't do much in this area at all, the difference is that retouch would be just a levels adjust, for instance, or a sharpen, or maybe curves - something that a few minutes of work would accomplish. A restore, on the other hand, is removing cracks and tears and masking tape and whatever else is on the picture or that has removed part of the picture and that takes hours instead of minutes.
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Old 08-02-2002, 05:23 AM
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Good question Jak!
To me, Retouch means enhancing or manipulating - such as removing blemishes, telephone wires, removing or adding people, changing backgrounds, etc.

Restore, would be fixing cracks and tears, reconstructing missing pieces, repairing damaged areas, etc.

Retouch - change or enhance the original
Restore - return the image to it's original state
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Old 08-02-2002, 08:34 AM
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I agree with Vikki.

In my opininion, Restore repairs damage to an image without altering the elements of the original image. Dust and crack removal, contrast adjustment, noise removal, etc. are all OK but artistically adjusting the image is not.

Retouching allows removal of facial blemishes, elimination of elements, or anything else that enhances the original image.
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Old 08-02-2002, 10:47 AM
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Good topic!! I've been wondering about the difference between these two words myself. Thank you all for clearing it up for me.

Of the two, I prefer "restoration" it brings me more satisfaction. I can work on a restoration project for hours without becoming impatient, but retouching (levels adjustments etc.) are very boring to me.

Margaret
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Old 08-02-2002, 01:30 PM
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Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
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To me restoring is a subset of retouching (hence our site name).

For our Challenges, however, I make the differentiation of restoring meaning adding or replacing missing or corrupted information, with retouching meaning correction or artistic refinement.

This is purely arbitrary and artificial, though. I had to draw a line somewhere, and even I don't always pay attention to where the line is.
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Old 08-02-2002, 03:30 PM
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My brother-in-law made a decent living doing retouching of negatives. When I was a kid, I used to watch him do some of his magic, and I guess that's where I got my understanding of what retouching is. To me, it's eliminating or softening bags under the eyes, removing acne, eliminating loose hair strands, that type of thing. Restoration, on the other hand, means something different to me. Restoration is, as has already been said, returning the image to it's original state. I do think there are different kinds of restorations. The type we do here on this site would probably not be a restoration at all when it comes to restoring museum quality documents. That type of restoration would, in my opinion, require special skills in different areas, unlike doing the Photoshop thing.

Ed
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Old 08-03-2002, 07:46 AM
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Great answers, guys!

What about those photos we've gotten where the client wants it put back to its original state, but it's missing a lot of info that has to be rebuilt? What about ones that you borrow body parts for? Does it depend on whether you borrow body parts from another photo of the same person, or from an entirely different one? Is it a retouch or a restore?
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Old 08-24-2002, 05:53 PM
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Well that sounds like a manipulation.
Blatant manipulation!
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Old 08-24-2002, 07:20 PM
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I agree. It's neither a retouch or a restoration. It has to be a manipulation.

Ed
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