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Retouching skills - where do I start? (first post)

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Old 02-08-2012, 04:35 PM
Grumpy_one Grumpy_one is offline
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Retouching skills - where do I start? (first post)

Ok, so I'm new here and want to try my hand at retouching. Where do I start? Loaded question right? I'm trying to take my photography business to the next level and want to learn the art of retouching. I have minimal skills and want to become good enough to maybe make some money at it in my spare time. I'm proficient in CS5. I understand layers, blend modes, cloning, and even know enough about the pen tool to get into trouble. I don't have any real examples of what I'm capable of besides pictures of my own family. I'm trying to break into portraiture. In the mean time I'll be scouring this forum. Thanks, Dave
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Old 02-09-2012, 07:15 AM
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oneredpanther oneredpanther is offline
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re: Retouching skills - where do I start? (first post)

You have to speculate to accumulate, so they say. If you're trying to start a business of retouching, then I would argue that Natalia Taffarel's DVD is the best $99 you'll ever invest. Most people spend more on light stands.
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Old 02-09-2012, 04:13 PM
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DannyRaphael DannyRaphael is offline
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Re: Retouching skills - where do I start? (first p

Some people (like me) like books to suppliment DVDs.

For info on best book I've seen on the subject see: http://www.retouchpro.com/forums/non...n-eismann.html

For contents and glowing 5-star reviews at Amazon see:
http://www.amazon.com/Adobe-Photosho.../dp/0321316274

Though written awhile back and based on CS2, techniques/methods still applicable to CS5.

If you decide to get this book, save a few bucks and go with a 'used' copy.

Hope this helps. (Oh yeah....I changed your thread title from (first post) to hopefully attract more views/replies.)
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Old 02-09-2012, 05:05 PM
mshi mshi is offline
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Re: Retouching skills - where do I start? (first p

Quote:
Originally Posted by oneredpanther View Post
You have to speculate to accumulate, so they say. If you're trying to start a business of retouching, then I would argue that Natalia Taffarel's DVD is the best $99 you'll ever invest. Most people spend more on light stands.
Tell me about it.
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Old 02-09-2012, 05:07 PM
mshi mshi is offline
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Re: Retouching skills - where do I start? (first p

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grumpy_one View Post
Ok, so I'm new here and want to try my hand at retouching. Where do I start? Loaded question right? I'm trying to take my photography business to the next level and want to learn the art of retouching. I have minimal skills and want to become good enough to maybe make some money at it in my spare time. I'm proficient in CS5. I understand layers, blend modes, cloning, and even know enough about the pen tool to get into trouble. I don't have any real examples of what I'm capable of besides pictures of my own family. I'm trying to break into portraiture. In the mean time I'll be scouring this forum. Thanks, Dave
if you're a shooter, trying to get it right in camera in the first place and that's my 2cents.
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Old 02-09-2012, 10:30 PM
Grumpy_one Grumpy_one is offline
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Re: Retouching skills - where do I start? (first p

Quote:
Originally Posted by DannyRaphael View Post


Hope this helps. (Oh yeah....I changed your thread title from (first post) to hopefully attract more views/replies.)
Thanks Dan
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Old 02-11-2012, 08:48 AM
Grumpy_one Grumpy_one is offline
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Re: Retouching skills - where do I start? (first p

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Originally Posted by mshi View Post
if you're a shooter, trying to get it right in camera in the first place and that's my 2cents.
Which is my main focus right now. Light light light and more light
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Old 02-11-2012, 12:47 PM
mcdronkz mcdronkz is offline
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Re: Retouching skills - where do I start? (first p

Dave, it would be a good idea to start with drawing. I'm reading this book at the moment, and it's amazing how helpful it is. The book teaches you how to see (instead of just looking, which is a big difference) and you will learn how to draw at the same time. I can highly recommend it.

The books of Andrew Loomis would be a nice follow-up. You will learn a lot about shapes, lighting, color, composition and perspective etc. which is beneficial for both photography and retouching.

This should give you a pretty good foundation, instead of the tricks you will learn from Scott Kelby and his comrades.
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:48 AM
kav kav is offline
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Re: Retouching skills - where do I start? (first p

Quote:
Originally Posted by oneredpanther View Post
You have to speculate to accumulate, so they say. If you're trying to start a business of retouching, then I would argue that Natalia Taffarel's DVD is the best $99 you'll ever invest. Most people spend more on light stands.
Nooooo.... dvds are not the way to go. The basics of rebuilding, cloning, burning and dodging, etc. are very very very simple. If a dvd fixed your problems, I'd see better stuff on here from everyone who purchased it. Most of photoshop and retouching comes down to drawing skill, an understanding of lighting, and control. Past that point the various techniques become almost arbitrary because you learn what to look for rather than repeating someone else's steps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mshi View Post
if you're a shooter, trying to get it right in camera in the first place and that's my 2cents.
Digital camera output is nowhere near as pretty as 8x10 transparency film on a light table, no matter how perfectly you shoot it. It's actually okay if it's a little softer initially, if you know how to do good post work. You just want it to be lit as well as possible, but it will still be less of a finished product. People have complained about this since the first digital stuff, but it's something you deal with. This doesn't mean cutting corners. It's just that things like over exposed highlights look like ass at times, and you can't push it too far when shooting, but a clean workflow is still quite beneficial.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcdronkz View Post
Dave, it would be a good idea to start with drawing. I'm reading this book at the moment, and it's amazing how helpful it is. The book teaches you how to see (instead of just looking, which is a big difference) and you will learn how to draw at the same time. I can highly recommend it.

The books of Andrew Loomis would be a nice follow-up. You will learn a lot about shapes, lighting, color, composition and perspective etc. which is beneficial for both photography and retouching.

This should give you a pretty good foundation, instead of the tricks you will learn from Scott Kelby and his comrades.
i'm glad I'm not the only one that sees it this way. I've always been okay at drawing, but I wish I focused on it in photoshop long before I actually started to. The thing is that it reveals a lot more flaws to your methods and work than you would see from just working on processed photos. If you make a messed up line, you see it right there. If the lighting or anatomy doesn't make sense, it will be far more obvious. I don't care if you're using a tablet, mouse, trackpad, whatever. Make sure you can draw clean lines and shade comfortably. Make sure you have a firm grasp on doing things in a controlled manner. Relying too much on exotic techniques can't cover for you there.

If you're looking to retouch people, I suggest viewing an anatomy book too, or at least reference photos of bone and muscle structures. Reference is important, and even the best retouching shops worldwide use reference material.
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Old 02-23-2012, 01:50 AM
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Repairman Repairman is offline
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Re: Retouching skills - where do I start? (first p

Good post Kav. Poor draughtsmanship is the root cause of most problems when retouching and sound artistic ability should underpin any aspirational retoucher's skill set. If you can draw, paint a mask and use a colour curve you won't go too far wrong in this game - the rest is just bells and whistles.
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