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Are retoucher's a dying breed?

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  #21  
Old 03-30-2007, 12:07 AM
dvaught dvaught is offline
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Re: Are retoucher's a dying breed?

Here is my thought. I agree with both ant and cricket. There will always be a need for high end retouchers. Will the market shrink? Maybe, do in part to the more frequent use of online publications. But honestly, I have not seen high end print slow down, but rather just the opposite. I think that art directors are doing more and more comp work these days and that is a good thing because we can follow their comps to produce images that represent exactly the look and feel that they are going for with little room for interpretation. This only makes our jobs more efficient and somewhat easier.

High end retouchers have an equal mixture of artistic ability and technical knowledge which truly is a difficult thing to find. Being able to visualize and alter an image to the point that it is not possible to tell it has been retouched is the artistic ability. The technical knowledge is knowing how achive the desired effect in the most efficient and flexible manner and more importantly is the ability to produce images that will reproduce as good as they look on screen on what ever medium they will be used, ie. print, web, news print, duratrans, billboard etc. Example, there are many ways to get mix color thru CMYK mixing. For instance, a mix of 21, 26, 63, 0 will give you a light tan color on screen and will print on the green side because of the cyan which may be exactly what you want. But a mix of 0, 14, 55, 22 will give you a screen preview that is almost identical but it will print more like what is represented on screen because of the lack of Cyan.

What seperates the high end retouchers from the rest is attention to the small details and the technical knowledge that comes from experience.
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  #22  
Old 03-30-2007, 12:21 AM
dvaught dvaught is offline
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Re: Are retoucher's a dying breed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mche
I was retouching Christie Brinkley when you were running around in sh#&ty diapers.
WOW, that means you were retouching her around 1974ish? which is totally possible because she was about 20 and being used by CoverGirl. Pretty impressive. What hardware/software were you using at that time or was it traditional film dodge and burn. None the less, if you've been retouching that long you already know the answer to your original question.
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  #23  
Old 03-30-2007, 11:02 AM
aaa1retouchskil aaa1retouchskil is offline
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Re: Are retoucher's a dying breed?

Shout out to dvaught,

I so appreciate your productive point of view. This site is offers such the opportunity for gaining experience as well as insight from the brilliant
talent it potentially attracts.

I found that regardless of whether I was using dyes, brushes, air brushes and compressors or a wacom that instinct for pulling areas together, the genius behind creating those subtle seamless transitions is not something that had to be re-learned. Falling deep into a trance of being on a roll with accomplishing such transitions never leaves you. Getting to the point of re-learning the new tools to allow that trance to become effortless was easier for me because to me the tools in photoshop were slow coming in the beginning. Making that early transition made to be eager to embrace the new tools that allowed me to broaden my efforts.

As I explained my local economy forced me to make the digital transition. I'm very sympathetic if some continued to find work in a non-digital format then suddenly found themselves overwhelmed with a dizzing array of technical skills to learn as their clients or companies went under. Thru the lineage of illustration I also understand the resentment of not wanting to let go of the past. Not wanting to participate in the new, even though the skills were there the passion had gone missing.

That being said, the question are retouchers a dying breed somehow became focused on high end retouchers. I was hot, not worshiped, appreciated not pampered. I found just as much satisfaction in helping restore a low end photographers chemical spill as I did retouching the genius photographer. I appreciated them both for sending me their business.

Perhaps this also aided me with making transitions and learning new things because I never got to the point of thinking I was above learning new things.
There will always be a need to perfect what we want others to visualize, in print or online. Especially when it comes to marketing to consumers. Reality will always bite and retouchers will always be there to soften or maybe enhance that fact. We just have to embrace transitions and be ready to rally when opportunities present themselves.
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  #24  
Old 03-30-2007, 06:39 PM
mche mche is offline
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Re: Are retoucher's a dying breed?

Hi Everyone,
Just stopped by to see how much traction this thread created. Jeez, stop the press, your responses are relevant, concise, and appreciated. Please forgive me if my arrogant remark concerning high-end retouching ruffled any feathers. Yes, retoucher's are alive and well. :cool
Call off the troops!
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  #25  
Old 03-31-2007, 05:58 AM
zganie zganie is offline
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Re: Are retoucher's a dying breed?

I am no expert in retouching but seems to me theres a lot of bad work out there.Same with photography These are crafts,something you have to put your time and effort into.Just because you can afford the latest equipment does not make you good or a proffessional.I think whats missing is a lot of people do not get the basics down,you need those essentials whatever your doing,its like building a house before you have the foundation.Example is I was at a wedding and watching the photographer he was shooting away,now is that a skill or just law of averages if i shoot enough photos some will be good or i will photoshop them thats not skill to me anyway.Example 2 restoration of older photographs that are over sharpened,blacks are to black,
whites are to white,glossy paper used in final image why because a lot of people do not have the fundamentals It takes time research and really paying attention to detail to become a fine craftsperson.
just my opinion zganie
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  #26  
Old 04-19-2007, 08:53 PM
lonelaser lonelaser is offline
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Re: Are retoucher's a dying breed?

I am a professional retoucher, & have been for about 16 years. I'm not aware of any signs of my imminent demise nor that of my colleagues.

What I see dying is the tidal wave of mediocre Photoshop doodlers usurping the title of 'retoucher' because they learned how to use the Clone Tool & the Magic Wand. In the shops where I work, they don't last the day, sometimes they don't even last their first hour. It's easy to lie with a portfolio, impossible on the job. For a time the whole field was polluted with them.

Where high quality is required & appreciated grubby work for the poseurs, well, maybe that's dying.

Last edited by lonelaser; 04-19-2007 at 09:02 PM.
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  #27  
Old 04-19-2007, 09:53 PM
aaa1retouchskil aaa1retouchskil is offline
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Re: Are retoucher's a dying breed?

Lonelaser,

Sorry been a bit busy lately. I agree that there will always be a need to perfect, manipulate, alter, reality. As a freelancer, I haven't
experienced that tial wave of doodlers as you have. Not sure how one would lie with a portfolio, but I will take your word for it.

I really like working from home. I imagine it is fast paced in the trenches. Well good luck and thanks for the point of view.
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  #28  
Old 05-05-2007, 12:58 PM
kchase kchase is offline
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Re: Are retoucher's a dying breed?

interesting thread that is brewing and although not a retoucher, i have spent many years on the producer side of retouching and have recently become an agent to 5 independent craftsmen and from where i sit, there is plenty of demand for superior talent so keep learning and keep your rates up as best you can so that it continues to be a means to make a living in the arts.

http://katechase.com
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  #29  
Old 06-20-2007, 05:12 PM
manu_retoucher manu_retoucher is offline
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Retouchers are not a Dying Breed. People have just Started to recognize us.

Retouching is coming up like never before. We retouchers are a special breed.
People can do Graphic Designing, Web Designing etc but retouching is a different art all togather & everyone cant be a master of it. Its 100% skill & creativity at its highest.
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  #30  
Old 06-21-2007, 05:45 AM
DBizzzaro DBizzzaro is offline
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Re: Are retoucher's a dying breed?

I noticed retouching has become more international. Retouchers competing for work in the US from India, China, Hungary, Poland. I wonder what the retouching rates are in other countries?
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