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I need your advice: how is my retouching?

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  • I need your advice: how is my retouching?

    Hi everyone!


    Here's my before/after retouching portfolio so far: [URL expired]


    Thanks so much!
    Last edited by baryon; 09-12-2014, 01:08 PM.

  • #2
    Re: I need your advice: how is my retouching?

    Hey, baryon. Looking at 'Happy Finish' studio they do pretty high end work. The team of retouchers they have are highly skilled, some better than others. They seem to have either creative retouchers (compositing) or beauty/commercial (skin), some even do both.

    Looking at your portfolio you seem to be in the beauty/portrait area. It seems you have a good foundation and understanding of photoshop. I think your portfolio could be a lot stronger though. The design template you're using for your website 'www.matedobray.com' is clean and simple (one of the better ones I've seen), but I noticed the pictures are kind of blurry due to my 27inch screen size. It would be better if the images were locked at a fixed ratio, so they don't enlarge on larger screens. My favorite piece is the first image on your site (girl, sky, tree etc).

    The image with the green background on dropbox, with the blonde girl has no skin tones in the after picture. It's the same with the next image (girl kneeling down with short hair) It somewhat looks like a pin-up air brush painting. I'm not sure if that was the effect or look you were going for. If a studio manager at a retouching house saw that. They would not hire you, but in your defence that could be what the client wanted. It's not easy joining a really good retouching house, junior level or even interning for free. A lot of the times they just don't have the room, but if they like who you are, and most of all you have a kick ass portfolio. Sometimes they will make space for you and add you to the team.

    I would focus more on your skin retouching skills. And working with photographers that are the best in your area. No matter how good you are at retouching, if the image to begin with is mediocre. It's hard to sell that top end retoucher feeling that would attract new clients or retouching houses. If you can't find photographers, try networking on 'modelmayhem.com' or check out stock photography sites. You might already own this dvd but it will help you with beauty retouching. It's called: 'The Art of Dodge & Burn' easy to follow and packed with tons of info. One of the best dvds on retouching in my opinion.

    Best of luck!
    Last edited by Mrwest; 09-08-2013, 04:09 AM.

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    • #3
      Re: I need your advice: how is my retouching?

      Get subscription to W magazine and try to match the retouching. I like your imagination but it needs to be toned down a bit for a retouching house at least to get in.

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      • #4
        Re: I need your advice: how is my retouching?

        Thanks for the advice, it's very very helpful and appreciated! I have tried to apply to Happy Finish twice as an "assistant" by email, but no reply. I'd probably need a kickass portfolio for them to even consider it first…

        Do you have any source of good high resolution images for retouching practice online? I'd love to see what I can do to a good photo with a good model!

        Also, I've now fixed my site so images don't scale beyond 100%, hopefully it works now, that was a good point, thanks!

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        • #5
          Re: I need your advice: how is my retouching?

          Concentrate more on quality rather than quantity. It is more important to demonstrate that you can do the simple stuff really well than apply whacky effects to every picture. Most retouching requires the seamless addition and subtraction of elements that enhance the narrative of the image. Typically, in your image of the girl with the red eyelids and blue silk dress you have changed the colour values without, arguably, improving the picture. A 'real world' brief would require that you remove the creases (maybe not the pleats) from the silk dress and it is such tricky tasks that will impress potential employers. IMO, little less dodging and burning and more pixel shifting will improve your portfolio.

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          • #6
            Re: I need your advice: how is my retouching?

            Originally posted by Repairman View Post
            Concentrate more on quality rather than quantity. It is more important to demonstrate that you can do the simple stuff really well than apply whacky effects to every picture. Most retouching requires the seamless addition and subtraction of elements that enhance the narrative of the image. Typically, in your image of the girl with the red eyelids and blue silk dress you have changed the colour values without, arguably, improving the picture. A 'real world' brief would require that you remove the creases (maybe not the pleats) from the silk dress and it is such tricky tasks that will impress potential employers. IMO, little less dodging and burning and more pixel shifting will improve your portfolio.
            Thanks! Yes I often hear retouchers say that their work is done correctly if no one notices what they did (until of course they see the before/after comparison).

            I'm in the process of asking for RAWs from some good photographers, and that will hopefully force me to get better

            I also got the DVD "The Art of Dodge and Burn" and I'll watch it soon… The beginning already seems very useful. Although I know almost everything about Photoshop, the hardest part is: "so here's an image, you can do anything you want to it, you know how to do it, but what will you do?".

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            • #7
              Re: I need your advice: how is my retouching?

              I only got to 11 and 12, but the masking looks a little suspect, even at low-res.

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              • #8
                Re: I need your advice: how is my retouching?

                Originally posted by Mike Needham View Post
                I only got to 11 and 12, but the masking looks a little suspect, even at low-res.
                Not sure what you mean, what's 11 and 12, and what masking? Please clarify

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                • #9
                  Re: I need your advice: how is my retouching?

                  I mean the image numbers. Masking is a showing/hiding elements of an image.

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                  • #10
                    Re: I need your advice: how is my retouching?

                    You can get great photos to work on here: http://www.editablephotos.com

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