09 Feb 2009 • 2,449 views
For the Purpose of...
We get asked quite a bit about skin retouching especially for close up beauty or portrait shots. Every retoucher out there has their individual styles, but one thing that remains constant with the best retouchers is that"whatever retouching they do to the skin, they tend to maintain that realistic skin texture that we human beings have".
Giving a picture that doll like plastic look does have it's place in the world of photography, but even that technique has to be used correctly and with the appropriate image to achieve the best looking image.
This is not so much as a tutorial as we would have liked it to be, retouch time for this particular image was almost 4hrs. So sitting down to explain what we did to this image in detail is virtually impossible. The previous image on this site took over 2 sittings a total of 7hrs for retouching.
Beauty images are some of the hardest images to retouch because the details one has to contend with, are so in you face any errors or poor retouch/edit will be picked up on immediately. Not many photographers like to show before and after images as it starts to bring out the "why did you not get it right 1st time?/ We dislike retouching" brigades. However in the "real" world of make belief, these are the tricks of the trade your normal photographer or retoucher has to have in his/her arsenal if they want their images published in the best magazines in the world or used in the best adverts. Now beauty images are very different from your every day portraits.
So for example, if we took a portrait of a public figure Anne Robinson, Obama or even Joe or Jane Bloggs, we would approach such a session in a totally different way from a beauty shoot. We would want to capture not only the character of the individual, but try not to erase that personality and character that person would display in their everyday life. View the diverse work of Annie Leibovitz and you may understand where we are coming from.
In the image above, the model is merely a canvas used to convey a product or is endorsing a product. A portrait shoot, the main aim is to convey something about the subject, their life or working area. Once one as a photographer starts to understand the basics of how to approach each individual shoot, they will find not only the quality of their work improves, but photography will come a lot more natural to them.
As we have written so many times on this site, learn the rules, then throw them away and make yours up as you go, you will realise that you will always base whatever you do on some form of rule or the other even if you do bend it to suit your needs.
Words of Wisdom
As Rome was not built in a day, do not assume because one has a camera and all the tools of the trade, one automatically qualifies themselves to be a Photographer. Just as owning a carpentry kit does not make one carpenters. Photography is an Art form, a profession, a passion, it also shares the added benefit of being able to be classified as a hobby, this does not lessen the fact it is a hobby that learned properly could (while still being a hobby) allow one to call themselves PHOTOGRAPHERS.
We definitely are still Suby & Sinem - Creative Photographers
"Ars Longa, Vita Brevis"
Butterflies & Ma...