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Difference between retouching & postproduction

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  • Difference between retouching & postproduction

    I've always maintained that if you "touch" an image after the shutter clicks, that is re-touching.

    But what about you. Is there a difference between retouching, postprocessing, and postproduction? Explain it to me like I'm the idiot that I am.

    Should I add more subforums to accommodate?
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  • #2
    Re: Difference between retouching & postproduction

    retouching is part of post-production from what i know

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    • #3
      Re: Difference between retouching & postproduction

      The overall process from conception to final image sounds like the sort of thing that's easier to describe in a flow chart than in words, and every scenario may be different. Although postproduction, by definition, happens after the shoot, there's a kind of feedback loop in operation, particularly nowadays when shooting and Capture One/Lightroom adjustments/preset looks etc are often happening simultaneously. Certainly the term retouching has evolved to embrace far more than local correction.

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      • #4
        Re: Difference between retouching & postproduction

        It was easier to define when retouching was done on film or paper with a real brush. The digital explosion has muddled the process with software tools and file types that may have simplified some things, but have also expanded the boundaries of the workflow.

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        • #5
          Re: Difference between retouching & postproduction

          I would say that post-processing are adjustments applied to the image as a whole... for example, open image and do a curves or levels operation. Retouching are adjustments and painting applied only to regions of the image, either with selection and filters, or with painting.

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          • #6
            Re: Difference between retouching & postproduction

            Post Processing:
            Post refers to "after the fact", after the shutter being released, after the image is taken, hence, post processing refers to what you do "TO" a picture that was taken, Retouching is "post processing" because this is what you do "TO" the picture. "Post" in this context, refers to after the shoot.

            Post production:
            What you do "WITH" the picture after all is done, print, display, transmit, sell it to Stock Agency, display on the cover of Vogue, whatever the client wish. "Post" in this context refers to what you do with the "product" once it leaves the assembly line and into the warehouse.

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            • #7
              Re: Difference between retouching & postproduction

              That's an interesting distinction. I think I like it.
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              Take responsibility for learning

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              • #8
                Re: Difference between retouching & postproduction

                Originally posted by Aladdin View Post
                Post Processing:
                Retouching is "post processing" because this is what you do "TO" the picture. "Post" in this context, refers to after the shoot.

                "Post" in this context refers to what you do with the "product" once it leaves the assembly line and into the warehouse.
                Good distinction. Post Production definitely seems to include more than just 'enhancements' of the image post shoot, and can be anything from prepping image for different uses without actually modifying the image, to changing the image entirely such as compositing.

                But Retouching can definitely be considered one element of Post Production.

                Also retouching should always be done in the context of Post Production and the likely uses of the image.

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                • #9
                  Re: Difference between retouching & postproduction

                  Post Processing:
                  Small adjustments in levels, curves or saturation and minor sharpening or dust removal

                  Photo Retouching:
                  Adding or removal of things in the frame.
                  Using advanced skills like cloning out major elements, changing or replacing backgrounds and skin softening techniques etc..

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                  • #10
                    Re: Difference between retouching & postproduction

                    Yeah, post processing is like the low level of editing the photos after it has been taken, but retouching is a deep or further changes you do with the photos, it is part of post processing but let's say it is just a higher or advanced level, like studying pre-calculus then later algebra and geometry advanced, so post processing is the main basic this as pre-calculus, later when you do more changes and that including manipulation then you can say it is retouch.

                    Also from its name, RE-Touch, so it is like you touch your photos again, and what or why you will touch your photos again unless it is a deep changes or edits you are gonna do?!!!

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                    • #11
                      Re: Difference between retouching & postproduction

                      I think when you use levels, curves, blend modes to modify an image it is post processing but when you start using the brush and a mask it's retouching.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Difference between retouching & postproduction

                        Retouching simplified (both digital or physical retouching): Fixing , changing, or altering, anything in an image that could be not fixed, changed, or altered in the camera.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Difference between retouching & postproduction

                          retouching: edit your image,
                          postprocessing: edit your image,
                          postproduction: edit you image or film.
                          Edit your image: all of the above answers.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Difference between retouching & postproduction

                            Post Production - overall process - drawing sketches, lighting setup, make up, hair styling, photography process, image manipulation, delivery to the client.
                            Post Processing - image adaptation (removing camera artefacts like distortions, noise, sharpening, chromatic aberrations, white balance, crop etc)

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                            • #15
                              Re: Difference between retouching & postproduction

                              Originally posted by SZStudio View Post
                              Post Production - overall process - drawing sketches, lighting setup, make up, hair styling, photography process, image manipulation, delivery to the client.
                              Post Processing - image adaptation (removing camera artefacts like distortions, noise, sharpening, chromatic aberrations, white balance, crop etc)
                              Just stop trying to be a prophet or what not.

                              Lighting set up, make up and hair preparation is PRE PRODUCTION
                              Doing them on the set on the actual day is PRODUCTION
                              and once the files have been captured, what you do afterwards is POST PRODUCTION

                              Retouching is a part of post production (it also includes an infinite number of steps, from editing to printing). Editors edit, retouchers retouch. No editor will ever say "have the images come from the editor?". But you might hear "have these been retouched; have the images come back from retoucher; can we see the finished file".

                              Lots of wedding and amateur photographers share their advice left and right on market they don't belong to or intend to became a part of. It's fine, but let's keep it real here. This is a serious business and even the simple "low end" clients invest a lot into their day to day operations.
                              Last edited by skoobey; 08-12-2015, 02:01 PM.

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