A colleague of mine says that the real shooting starts when you finish the photo session. The processing of pictures is extremely important in this industry. We don’t give the photo back to the client, until we finish with its processing. The question is: when should you stop with the retouching?
Every photographer has his way of working. Personally, I don’t like excessively deep retouching, but sometimes it is necessary. When a photo has been retouched too much, the client stops seeing the picture as photography. He doesn’t perceive it as a living thing, which had been shot. For the client, this is now something artificial and unreal. Thus, you lose the trust of the customers to the product, which is being advertised. (Of course, this is my personal opinion)
Retouch exists since the dawn of photography. The photographers were like artists. They were like drawing directly on the photographic plates. They were applying details and obliterating others, in order to make the customers like their work. We do the same now too, but we use the help of Photoshop.
Some of my colleagues like to show models with pimples, moles and shadows under the eyes. I will show you a perfect model. The first photo you will see is without any adjustments, or retouching. Everything else is the work of the retouch. Its task is to choose:
* The correct framing and composition. You choose the composition during the shooting itself, but because of a number of restrictions, you have to do this at the processing stage too.
* White balance and color temperature. Here, I avoided the correct white balance and I gave colder and pinker tones. The jewel in the picture itself is called “The ice queen”.
* With the help of software, we consolidate the dynamic range of the picture, and other adjustments of the optics. Deliberately, the lighting had been set one idea under the right exposure, in order to not make the “white” out of the dynamic range. And the shadows on the dress and the jewelry had been deepened intentionally. This is a way of increasing the sentiment for volume.
* After that follows the corrections of cosmetic defects on the face. Here, I have smoothed the wrinkles under the eyes.
* Next follows the selection and strengthening the contrast in certain places – in this case, the eyes, the hair, the lips, and of course, the beautiful jewel of our client.
Generally, this is very hard work of identical operations, which wear out the eyes. And it is often overlooked by the clients as importance and prime cost. This is the “invisible” part, which is the reason for this magic, called photography.