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  • still life retouching techniques

    Hi,

    I would really like advice from any pro still-life retouchers out there.

    I am a product photographer looking to get much more involved in the retouching side of the industry. I do have a fair amount of photoshop experience but want to get a better understanding of whats involved in being a professional still life retoucher within the industry.

    So, basically what I would like to know is what are the standard techniques used in still life retouching?

    Thank you in advance for taking the time to answer my question.

  • #2
    Re: still life retouching techniques

    You are retouching pixels, not people or bottles. Techniques are the same everywhere.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: still life retouching techniques

      Except for the hair. Toasters and watches have no hair.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: still life retouching techniques

        Getting toaster darker no difference then making hair darker. Making red hair blue, same as making red toaster blue. Toasters and watches have dust. Not a big difference from hair.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: still life retouching techniques

          zagg: lesson one, develop a thick skin.
          Learn by teaching
          Take responsibility for learning

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: still life retouching techniques

            This is fortunately straightforward enough that you could probably get somewhere without an excessive budget. I think much of it is practice after you come to an understanding of contours, labels, etc. There is also some amount of tedious cleanup, depending on how much you wish to compensate for imperfect printing, glue, uneven stitching, etc.

            Anyway if you're comfortable shooting still life, why not find something similar to what you want to achieve and keep it by you as reference? You would be surprised how much you can learn about what was most likely done just by viewing reference material while you work. This means glance over at it any time you aren't sure, and focus on specific aspects, not the entire thing at once. You should be able to build up some basic comfort that way, at which time you can focus on stylistic choices. I'm not suggesting to copy everyone. You're really gathering examples of things that have worked. No one is going to post a full case study of how to get the right shadow for various items on here, but I'm trying to lend some starting suggestions.

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            • #7
              Re: still life retouching techniques

              Originally posted by Tulack View Post
              Getting toaster darker no difference then making hair darker. Making red hair blue, same as making red toaster blue. Toasters and watches have dust. Not a big difference from hair.
              Toasters, generally, are chrome.

              Hair is hard.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: still life retouching techniques

                Purses, shoes, jackets, coats, sweaters can all be furry.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: still life retouching techniques

                  Thanks for the info guys, sorry, I was probably a bit vague in my initial post - I was really looking for specific techniques that still life photographers use that are different form beauty/portrait etc.

                  I already have a studio and do a lot of retouching myself, but wanted to look for still life retouching work with agencies and wanted to know more about what techniques I would need to know if applying for agency work, if any?

                  Tulack - You are right to a certain extent, but I am sure many of the techniques used for product aren't the same for portrait retouching etc. For example working with skin is very different to working with metal etc. (as has already been mentioned) Though I am sure there are many crossovers.

                  Benny -Lol

                  Doug Nelson - best advice ever....

                  Klev - Thanks very much for your response. I do actually do this a lot already, its the best way to learn for sure

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: still life retouching techniques

                    I do still life retouch about 4 full days a week at the mo.

                    Make sure that all the materials look as they should. Plastic should look like plastic, glass should look like glass, Metal's etc etc. Reflections help with this.

                    If I have time I will cut out all the materials (as paths) and retouch them individually.

                    My advise is use loads of Gradients!

                    Practice Retouching metals....this is usually difficult and time consuming

                    Get into 3D modelling / rendering ...a lot is going this way now.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: still life retouching techniques

                      Originally posted by Benny Profane View Post
                      Toasters, generally, are chrome.

                      Hair is hard.
                      My toaster plastic white. Everything hard if you don't know how.

                      Originally posted by zagg77 View Post

                      Tulack - You are right to a certain extent, but I am sure many of the techniques used for product aren't the same for portrait retouching etc. For example working with skin is very different to working with metal etc. (as has already been mentioned) Though I am sure there are many crossovers.
                      I don't know. Cloning the same. Shadows, highlights are the same. Keeping texture the same. Why working with skin is different? Let's pretend it is not a face but leather couch. Same skin.

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                      • #12
                        Re: still life retouching techniques

                        I don't buy into different skill sets for different images. Mask, curve, clone and brush pretty well gets you through most projects. We all use the same toolset and it's only our artistic ability that sets us apart from our rivals. Not technique as such; rather it's the draughtsmanship that comes with formal training or plenty of practice and if you don't have basic inherent ability, all the technique in the world won't help. If you are really good at skin I don't think brushed metal will be problematic and vice versa.

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                        • #13
                          Re: still life retouching techniques

                          parabuthus - thanks for the advice would be interested to know what products you work on (if you don't mind me asking)?

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                          • #14
                            Re: still life retouching techniques

                            yeah ok, fair comments repairman, agree that its not 'only' about techniques.

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