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How did you learn?

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  • How did you learn?

    Hello! I am new here, and a completely self taught wanna be retoucher. I started my journey in to photo editing when I began taking an interest in photography a few years ago.

    I am now at the stage where I eventually want to move further, and take this from a hobby to a professional career. How did you guys get there? Did you take an online course (this would be preferable as a busy mom of 3). Did you go to school? Are you self taught?

    Thanks in advance for all your help!

  • #2
    Re: How did you learn?

    I learnt so much right here. There are a handful of TOP retouchers here. Some are really helpful if you show that you are willing to make an effort.

    Once I built up a portfolio of before and after images, I then landed a job as a full time retoucher. I have been in the design industry for eight years and retouching for three years. You will learn a lot if you get into a retouching house of some sort. It may mean starting at the bottom and cutting masks and so on. Slowly you will be given harder and more involved tasks to do.

    Online courses that are good - for the ins and outs of photoshop (but you will battle to find high end techniques anywhere)

    Dodge and Burn skin - do a search on the forums for this


    • #3
      Re: How did you learn?

      I find the learning to be an endless journey...the more I learn the more I realize how little I know. I've been a serious photographer for a long time, but didn't pick up a digital camera until six years ago. At the time I bought an $850 3 mpeg Sony...far far from what one can buy today. I also started out with paintshop pro ...probably around version 3 or 4. I love looking at Photography and photoshop books and magazines at places like Barnes and Noble. You learn a little...then you've got to also have to experiment. Lots and lots of information on this site. This site makes me think and makes me realize I've come a long way but still have farther to go....but it is a fun journey. A lot of good folks here that are willing to help and give advice...but don't expect a magic bullet or filter or a cook book solution... To get good you've got to know the total process...from the the the retouch to the print...


      • #4
        Re: How did you learn?

        My first experience with photo retouching was with Correl Paint 5 close to 20 years ago. Then about 5 years ago I took a course in Photoshop through Adult Education in the city where I live. I also have a large collection of books on Photoshop and Illustrator. The books that provide practice picture to accompany the text are best. Also, I suscribe to Excellect teaching videos. Also a member of NAPP that has excellent resources. For almost 6 years I have worked as a volunteer at a public library photographing artifacts and oversize holdings (things that can't be scanned), cleaning them up in Photoshop and doing the data entry that puts them online for the public. However, I make no claim to being a retoucher or restorationist. Basically, I do no outside work other than what I do for the library--have done 2 or 3 things but never for pay. By profession I am a retired elementary school teacher, mostly primary grades. Always happy to discuss eduction, but my retouching and restoration is hit or miss. Always in awe at the talent at this site.

        Last edited by DCobb; 04-23-2008, 07:24 PM.


        • #5
          Re: How did you learn?

          Thanks for taking the time to reply all. I think for the most part I have a good understanding of retouching, but I am self taught and there are probably much better/smarter/faster ways to do some of the stuff I do. You're right shellby, I'm having a hard time finding any of the high end tutorials.


          • #6
            Re: How did you learn?

            I see that you are in Texas. There is a place in Los Angeles that does this type of thing. They work with you one - on-one all day long. You can pick any topic you want. However, the cost is $3,000. For a photographer that is having to send their work out this would be well worth the cost. I think this site had something on the Dior look--rather long tutorial.



            • #7
              Re: How did you learn?

              You should keep yourself trying trying trying and less look for techniques and staff, just ocassionally and take a look people's things, that will you brand new ideas and visit dayly blogs, forums...

              Sorry for my blessed bad english.


              • #8
                Re: How did you learn?

                I am also self taught, I found that trying to recreate an ad in a magazine helped me learn different techniques, it made me think and go to some of the filters and tools and really move them around, which in turn showed me other applications for that technique. As Shellby mentioned, is a fantastic learning tool, we use it in our shop daily for updating and learning. You can also try some of the contests here, excellent way of learning. There are many magazines that are a good source of info too, Photoshop User, Photoshop Creative...


                • #9
                  Re: How did you learn?

                  I appreciate all the replies. Most of my photography work was with children. Is there a site somewhere, that allows you to work on unretouched photos?


                  • #10
                    Re: How did you learn?

                    Katrin Eisman's books are the default "beginning place" for those who want to get serious about retouching. Although I'm not into retouching or restoration, I've found them helpful in learning more about masking and corrections than just about any other resource out there.


                    • #11
                      Re: How did you learn?

                      Hello laura

                      Completely self-taught and still learning after all these years.
             is good resource as has been mentioned.



                      • #12
                        Re: How did you learn?

                        Originally posted by laurachelle View Post
                        I appreciate all the replies. Most of my photography work was with children. Is there a site somewhere, that allows you to work on unretouched photos?
                        you could try this site, but i wouldn't recommend working on lo-res images for too long:



                        • #13
                          Re: How did you learn?

                          I have been at for YEARS. I haven't made many manipulations, not as many as some have, but I have still learned TONS. I first started photoshopcontest about 5 years ago. I used Paintshop pro, then finally got photoshop.

                          Here's my portfolio...

                          I also use deviantart quite a lot and practice on retouching stock photos there.

                          This site helps quite a bit too, I learn more in the forums than I do elsewhere though.

                          You never stop learning. Just keep learning and creating...


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