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Junior vs. Senior retoucher? Skill differentiator?

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  • Junior vs. Senior retoucher? Skill differentiator?

    What is the difference between junior and senor retoucher?

    Skill level vise?

    Responsibility vise?

    I know it's different form house to house, but I was wondering what your experiences are?

  • #2
    Re: Junior vs. Senior retoucher? Skill differentia

    As in a lot of things, rank is not always a meritocracy. I mean, as you are asking, where's the manual on this one? How do you classify a retoucher that way? It's a matter of personal opinion. I work next to a "junior" retoucher who is much smarter and ultimately better than the dumb "senior" (or "master", as his loving boss refers to him) next to her, but, you know, she's a girl and doesn't assert herself with the B.S. she picks up from the internet. Me, they haven't even tried, they just give me the hard work and let me have at it. Maybe if I was in a union and my pay depended on such a ranking, I would care, but, otherwise, it's a silly title given out by managers who can't retouch, and just want to create a hierarchy for job assignments and pay levels. A remnant of times past, when apprenticeships ruled the craft world.

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    • #3
      Re: Junior vs. Senior retoucher? Skill differentia

      In most "Factory" environments workers are categorized into different levels, not necessarily based on personal skill, but on what's required for a particular job.

      A newbie retoucher may be very skilled, but the entry level job might only require the ability to remove dust and scratches, resize and crop, along with global color adjustment.

      The next level would require more, and the highest level may require digital painting of objects and scenes (illustration).

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      • #4
        Re: Junior vs. Senior retoucher? Skill differentia

        A junior retoucher tells you whats wrong with the image and how they're going to fix it. A senior rolls their eyeballs skyward, says the image is **** and fixes it.

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        • #5
          Re: Junior vs. Senior retoucher? Skill differentia

          Originally posted by Shoku View Post
          In most "Factory" environments workers are categorized into different levels, not necessarily based on personal skill, but on what's required for a particular job.

          A newbie retoucher may be very skilled, but the entry level job might only require the ability to remove dust and scratches, resize and crop, along with global color adjustment.

          The next level would require more, and the highest level may require digital painting of objects and scenes (illustration).
          Where is this mythical house? I have never worked in such a structured environment. It's just basically, here, here's a job, do it. Sink or swim. If you kinda suck, they'll give you the suck jobs. If you don't suck, you may get the really sucky jobs.

          I know of one house in NYC that works on some sort of hierarchal system, but the owner is from Europe and has figured out a way to exploit the old apprentice to expert system from the old guild days to fool people into working 60-70 hours a week for salary. Still doesn't make sense to me, though. Very inefficient and rigid. "Hey, what are you doing just drinking coffee? ...... Um, I'm waiting for junior to cut me some paths and fix some dust." I don't think so.

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          • #6
            Re: Junior vs. Senior retoucher? Skill differentia

            Ahahah, okay.

            How fast paced are these jobs? I mean, I can not fly for 9 hours straight, I need a break every 45minutes to an hour?

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            • #7
              Re: Junior vs. Senior retoucher? Skill differentia

              Who "gets breaks"? You get up to stretch, or go to the bathroom, or get a coffee, or sneak a phone call, or look at a lightbox, or take lunch, or ask somebody a question or make a joke or something. Nobody is going to give you a break. Get the work done and manage your needs appropriately.

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              • #8
                Re: Junior vs. Senior retoucher? Skill differentia

                If lunching, going to the bathroom, stretching, getting coffee(which I don't drink) or taking a phone call(which I don't do) isn't a break, then I don't know what is.

                What the hell did you think I was referring when saying a break? Yawning?

                I got quite offended now, to be honest.

                As I freelance, I do 5-10 minute break every hour which I use to exercise, wash dishes, eat, clean the house, that kind of thing.

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                • #9
                  Re: Junior vs. Senior retoucher? Skill differentia

                  So what's the problem?

                  Look, people have their peculiarities. There will be some who don't get up or use the bathroom the entire day; others don't bathe and barely speak. If you've got a decent disposition and are keeping up with the workload your habits will more than likely be ignored, maybe even emulated. But if you're not keeping up and seem unduly stressed or in constant self-pampering mode, perhaps they wont. Right? I mean, what is it you want to hear?

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                  • #10
                    Re: Junior vs. Senior retoucher? Skill differentia

                    And not to say my way is right, just extending the conversation a bit, I personally don't enjoy frequent and regularly scheduled breaks. I prefer to get in a zone and lock-in for a couple of hours at a time. It can be hard to get into a rhythm/focus, and once I'm in it I like to stay there as long as it lasts.

                    So what I'm saying is, a person needs to self-regulate and pace themselves to the workload. Don't expect rules or permission to do so.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Junior vs. Senior retoucher? Skill differentia

                      I work in bursts. So, sit down, work lighting fast then gradually slower; at about an hour mark I get up, recharge, then sit again.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Junior vs. Senior retoucher? Skill differentia

                        Out here in California there are laws about taking lunch and taking breaks during your work day. So the environment here is fairly structured, but that does not mean we are glued to our chairs for the 8 hours we work. We recommend all artists take brief eye breaks every 20 minutes - really helps reduce eye strain.

                        As far as workload, yes we can be slammed, but there is also a laid back atmosphere that helps the work fly by.

                        We also keep track of what we do with timestamps - this is done to help our sales and customer service reps know where a job is in production. These stamps also help us know if a person is overworked (or under-worked). A tired retoucher is a worthless retoucher - that's when mistakes are made.
                        Here is a sample of the actions I completed from July 7th to July 17th
                        Attached Files
                        Last edited by Shoku; 07-18-2014, 04:53 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Junior vs. Senior retoucher? Skill differentia

                          No way you retouched 823 images over 10 days? Have you?

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                          • #14
                            Re: Junior vs. Senior retoucher? Skill differentia

                            Yes, I did.

                            Notice the action is Digital Edit Complete. This includes everything from simple color conversions to extensive image manipulation. Currently our department touches between 90 and 140 jobs per day. Each job can have multiple images (catalogs) or just one image. One 16 page catalog might take 20 minutes to finish. Another 16 pager might take 2 hours. Another might take 17 hours. It all depends on the original quality and what the client is expecting.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Junior vs. Senior retoucher? Skill differentia

                              Oh, so it's for developing Raws also, not just retouching.

                              Comment

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