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Professional Retoucher's Advice needed...

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  #1  
Old 06-03-2004, 09:40 AM
matthiasab matthiasab is offline
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Professional Retoucher's Advice needed...

I was writing to see if someone could give me some advice.* I'm all self-taught, pretty much, so my workflow is vastly different from "professional" retouching houses.* I feel I'm pretty good, but I'd like to know more about what "high end" retouching refers too? I find that term to be very intimidating, and since I'm self taught, I feel like maybe there's something I don't know-- However, I pretty confident in my abilities.* I'm up for a professional job as a retoucher, but I'm just curious what they may expect from someone like me, who is "professional" retoucher?* Could you tell me some of the things that maybe you do at your job retouching, and what kinds of jobs you handle as well as the complexity of the retouching?* I'd really appreciate it.* Alright, I've babbled long enough.* Thanks in advance, and I look forward to hearing from you.
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Old 06-03-2004, 10:08 AM
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DannyRaphael DannyRaphael is offline
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matthias:

Welcome to RetouchPRO.

Although I don't do retouching professionally, a resource I can point you to that will give you a sense of the skill sets needed to handle most situations (and their corresponding workflows) is Photoshop Restoration and Retouching by Katrin Eismann. There are two editions of this book, the second of which includes a significant contribution by the owner/admin of this site, Doug Nelson.

If it's not part of your library yet, I highly recommend it. It's unparalleled content-wise.

Good luck on the forthcoming opportunity. Hope this helps.

~Danny~
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Old 06-03-2004, 01:49 PM
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Leah Leah is offline
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"High end" retouching generally refers to advertising/editorial work -- e.g. retouching advertising shots to be displayed on huge billboards or cover shots in fashion magazines, that sort of thing.
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Old 06-03-2004, 04:36 PM
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Chip Hildreth Chip Hildreth is offline
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The Eisman book is remarkably good; if you had only one book on Photoshop, it should be the one. Big images and magazine ads are definitely different than restorations but that has more to do with file handling and attention to detail than photoshop technique. I don't know that 'high end' is a very descriptive term.

You suggest your workflow may be very different from a professional's... maybe so, maybe not; it depends a lot on the production environment. Workflow matters but it is adaptable. If you work through Katryn Eisman's book, your workflow will change because she explores it so thoroughly. If you go to work as a professional it will change to suit your employer's needs and the systems they have in place.

Show your portfolio and learn the expectations of your prospective employer. If you can meet their expectations for speed and quality, within an agreed upon adjustment period, take the job. If things work out, they will do well to send you to workshops and help you keep yoiur skills up to date.

Don't worry about how you learned. A great many creative professionals are self taught. Self teaching is the key to staying current and learning 'secrets'. Academic learning is useless without it.

... RetouchPro is, by the way, an unequalled resource for self-education.
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Old 07-16-2004, 04:56 PM
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Jim Conway Jim Conway is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matthiasab
I was writing to see if someone could give me some advice.* I'm all self-taught, pretty much, so my workflow is vastly different from "professional" retouching houses.* I feel I'm pretty good, but I'd like to know more about what "high end" retouching refers too? I find that term to be very intimidating, and since I'm self taught, I feel like maybe there's something I don't know-- However, I pretty confident in my abilities.* I'm up for a professional job as a retoucher, but I'm just curious what they may expect from someone like me, who is "professional" retoucher?* Could you tell me some of the things that maybe you do at your job retouching, and what kinds of jobs you handle as well as the complexity of the retouching?* I'd really appreciate it.* Alright, I've babbled long enough.* Thanks in advance, and I look forward to hearing from you.
I think you may have answered your own inquiry at least in part. "High end" generally means "lots of money" so if you are "pretty good" - try to put that in terms of the marketplace. Could you get several hundred dollars for a job? A thousand or more? Check out the places where you want to work - what kind of services do they offer and what kind of prices are they getting for the assignments they take on. If it involves big bucks, the job will be demanding but you will share in it. Life is short, you might as well work at the top! :-)

Jim Conway
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Old 09-11-2004, 04:10 PM
desilu88 desilu88 is offline
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high end = the best of the best

one two three four

Last edited by desilu88; 02-12-2009 at 05:36 PM.
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  #7  
Old 04-29-2005, 01:06 PM
Ant Ant is offline
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If you can't get into one of the large retouching houses in NY or LA (I understand not wanting to) you may have better luck contacting working photographers directly. I have several clients whom I work for directly be they photographer reps, ad agencies or photographers themselves in addition to full-time/freelance work for retouching houses.

Retouching houses are not secret, but they are very wary of so-called retouchers and will most likely put you through a test if they like the work in your portfolio. Some may pay you for this test. If you are looking to build you portfolio, perhaps doing fashion editorial work for individual photographers may be the way to go. Many fashion mags do not pay the photographer a dime and have no retouching budgets. The ones that do pay, generally have a budget somewhere between $150-$400 an image. This $ will include drum scanning and decent proofs as well.

This message is all over the map, but perhaps you could get a more entry level position at a retouching, prepress house or service bureau to get an idea of what it's all about. Most service bureaus and labs that offer retouching however are more about quantity than quality. I started my digital manipulation career at Corbis right out of photography school. Depends a lot on where in the world you live. I doubt that I could make the kind of money back in Seattle that I make here.

Self taught matters less than workflow, eye for color and basic photography knowledge when it comes to input, output, purposing of files, etc. Your work must be flawless at any size...........

it cannot be pretty good.
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Old 04-29-2005, 01:57 PM
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RichardBrackin RichardBrackin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desilu88
The bigger retouching houses don't even use regular computers, they use graphics machines, with a program similar to that of photoshop.
Yup.
Like the $60,000 Barco Creator / SGI workstation combination or something along those lines. Yes.. the software has a different name now. ColorTone I think ... owned by Eskofot. I don't know what the stuff costs now.

http://www.esko-graphics.com/product.asp?id=34

Last edited by RichardBrackin; 04-29-2005 at 02:12 PM.
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