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Salon Just hanging around...
(Social area, where non-retouching talk is encouraged)

Professional, Amateur, Hobbyist?

View Poll Results: What sort are you?
Professional retoucher low-mid end 60 13.42%
Professional retoucher hi end 58 12.98%
Enthusiast/Hobbyist 301 67.34%
Other (please elaborate) 28 6.26%
Voters: 447. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-25-2003, 10:45 AM
Ant Ant is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: NYC
Posts: 451
Cool Thanks for the welcomes

Jeaniesa & Vikki,

I suppose I was referring to the end client when getting paid to do retouching or restoration work, and the amount or expertise needed to complete the job.

I myself worked as a retoucher for 2.5 years for Corbis, but doing lower end, less involved work. For example, I was responsible for taking raw drum scans and cropping, color correcting, cleaning up dust and scratches, and mild restoration of historical images and smaller file sizes (under 100 mb). The majority of the output of these images was via a Fujix printer or they were burned to cd, but rarely used larger than 11" x14" and not often used in a largely commercial way. As time went on, I came to do more higher end manipulations on larger files for commercial use, but it was still stock photos, with the exception of rights restricted celebrity images. I would also consider retouching and restoration for a consumer/retail market to be lower to mid-end type of work. (I don't mean for this work to be construed as low grade I've just only heard of fashion, advertising, etc. work where the end use may be an advertising campaign for Pantene or an editorial fashion story in say ID or German Vogue to be referred to as 'High end.) This is the sort of thing I do now, and it requires much more than what I previously did.

John, I hear you about digital. I'll be shooting digital this Friday, but I primarily still use film myself at this point. I figure that when they've finally stopped using drum scanners, the quality and output possiblity of the technology will be high enough that it will be economically feasible to invest in it whole hog. Oh, and I think the pizza is just getting better here.
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Old 09-14-2003, 07:01 PM
DannyRaphael's Avatar
DannyRaphael DannyRaphael is offline
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Near Seattle, Washington, USA
Posts: 6,300
A West Coast Welcome, Ant!

I retouch/restore as a hobby for friends, relatives. I've found this a great site for info/techniques that can be applied to many areas of interest.

Again, welcome aboard.
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Old 10-31-2003, 03:33 PM
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Ed_L Ed_L is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: northwest Indiana, about 45 minutes from Chicago, IL
Posts: 2,824
Welcome aboard! It's just a hobby for me. I've been doing it for a while, but I'm not sure it would be worth my while (like Margaret) to try to make a living at it.

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Old 11-02-2003, 03:08 PM
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sjcampbel sjcampbel is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Armidale, NSW Australia
Posts: 14
Restorations - certainly an amateur compared to some of the works shown here. Have mostly done work for friends and family but this doesn't pay very well - family think everything is a "love job".

Photography - freelance work - mainly travel and landscapes in Australia. Gorge country around where I live, and I try to spend a few weeks in the deserts each year. My goal at the moment is to try and get a body of work for an exhibition of the New England area (of Australia). Hopefully this will pay for some of my digital "toys" as I am fully converting to digital.

I also have just started selling digitising services - I have a Canon 4000 35mm film scanner and a Epson 3200 flatbed scanner so I thought that rather than just sit there most of the time, they should "pay their way" . I'm aiming at the person who has granny's box of 120 negatives and wants do preserve them and possibly get a few enlargements.

My real job - Computer project manager (sigh) - keeps me away from my camera but does pay the bills.
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Old 11-02-2003, 06:08 PM
mcmike mcmike is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 2
Hi all,

I have just changed jobs. In the past I worked primarily on image restoration, but now will work mostly on portrait retouching.

I am also new to RP and must say that this is a most impressive site.
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Old 11-21-2003, 04:24 AM
hizaam hizaam is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 16
I'm a hobbyiest, avid filtermonkey, and amateur photographer (I have a canon G3 and I know where the shutter button is).

If I had good hand-mindseye coordination I might not need my plugins
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Old 12-03-2003, 11:22 AM
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gyrgrls gyrgrls is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Eureka, Calif
Posts: 9
Question Re: Professional, Amateur, Hobbyist?

Originally posted by Ant
RE: Retouchers

Just trying to figure out who's who and what's what here at RP as I only found the site about an hour ago.

Where would you put yourself?
Is there really a difference between amateur and hobbyist?
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Old 12-03-2003, 11:47 AM
Vikki Vikki is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Arizona
Posts: 883
To me, an amateur is someone who is new to this, a hobbyist may have been doing this for years, but doesn't make a living or career out of it.
Someone could actually be both.
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Old 12-03-2003, 10:04 PM
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gyrgrls gyrgrls is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Eureka, Calif
Posts: 9

Originally posted by Vikki
To me, an amateur is someone who is new to this, a hobbyist may have been doing this for years, but doesn't make a living or career out of it.
Someone could actually be both.


I would tend to think:

Novice = 'new', or 'less experienced',

as opposed to:

Amateur = 'one who does [it] for enjoyment',
rather than specifically for gainful income.

A personal analogy:
I used to be a professional mechanic.
Now, I am just an amateur, because
I no longer work full time at it nor do
I make sunstantial income from either field
(my two main professional fields were
and major appliance repair).

Therefore, "Expert", as opposed to "Novice",
has little relative bearing on "amateur", as opposed
to "professional", in this context.
Many serious amateurs have little chance to
turn pro, because they are caught in their ruts
(the nine-to-five kinds).

A final analogy of this comparison is:
Take your car to a real expert, and get it fixed
[right] the first time. On the othe hand, take it
to a "pro", and it's likely to be done wrong.
Sadly, there is a lot of "professional incompetance"
out there - -
(no oxymoron is intended or implied here).
Furthermore, I am not implying that any backyard
mechanic is just as good as a certified professional.
You have to take the bitter with the sweet -- or,
in other words, you can't toss out the baby with
the bath water.
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Old 12-03-2003, 10:17 PM
Vikki Vikki is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Arizona
Posts: 883
Hmmmm.. "novice" I agree with.
Your analogy reminds me of photographers, but this is how I'm thinking...

I've been doing this for years, and only in the past few years have been doing it as a profession, yet I didn't consider myself an amateur, although I did consider it a hobby.

Speaking of mechanics, I needed both my front and back brakes done. I took it to the dealership for the front, and a friend who has his own business for the back. Both front and back were squealing like they never had been fixed. Now I have to go back to both places.
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