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Friday, November 12, 2010

About Digital Retouching

We live in an age where names and nouns become verbs. We don't SEARCH for information on the internet, we "Google It". By the same token, the Adobe Program "Photoshop" has itself become a verb... we don't "Edit" or "Enhance" or "Manipulate" an image anymore, we "Photoshop It". I hear this every day... "Can you Photoshop Aunt Marge out of this picture?", or, " Can you Photoshop my brother into this Family Portrait?... he couldn't be there." This is a little misleading. Pros who know their stuff use many excellent programs in conjunction with Photoshop to do their magic. Don't get me wrong, Photoshop is a marvelous program. It's power comes from years of improvements and updates. Adobe listens to it's customers and comes out with a newer, more powerful version just about every year, sometimes twice a year. Photoshop is a terrific tool for the creative soul, but it comes with a lot of baggage. Like any tool, it is, at it's creative heart, just a tool. Some people use this tool to create wildly beautiful images and some people use this tool to butcher beautiful images. I spend a good part of every day working with Photoshop, and various other programs, because this is the core, the main engine of Digital Photography. For every project you work on, Photoshop has at least 10 different techniques to acheive the results you are looking for. The trick is to know which one is better than others. Photoshop is at it's best when it is used to enhance great photography, or employ great photography in a grander project. What photoshop cannot do is make great photography out of bad photography. It can improve things somewhat, but that's about it. Retouching the human face is an art. The end result should be a perfect image of the subject that still looks natural. That begins with the photography. Another thing to know about digital photography is that it is not the megapixels that matter, it's the Dynamic Range... it's just easier to sell MEGA(manly) stuff to men.

Just rambling today... any questions?