Just because there are so many software and tools out there in the market, it does not mean that each is a valuable one. One has to cherry pick the right one. Pragmatic tools for retouching can bring out the best in pictures.
And this is the reason why some editors do a better job and get more work. And the rest are left wondering what they did not do right. A little bit of knowledge on the dos and don’ts of some tools and software can simplify the way the photo retouching process can be made more successful and complaint to the client’s brief. A good outsourcing company is alike a depot or a warehouse that has the necessary kit to deal with the simple and complex stuff at all times. Let’s take an obvious example of a supermodel’s picture that has the potential to be poster stuff but it has some serious flaws.
There are several options that can be used in the checklist for enhancing, manipulating or simply retouching. And not to forget there are good and bad ways of cleaning the picture. Digitally there are options like erasing the black spots, rubbing off the wrinkles on the jaw or even removing half an inch from the waist and thighs. And if you think you can add a picture of yourself with the supermodel for the private collection even that is possible. But that is for another day and time.
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Right now we focus on the obvious issues that need quick retouching. A beginner might be tempted to rush for the clone stamp tool. It is a Photoshop feature that can be used for retouching but is not always the best choice. The biggest reason for its less usefulness is that when applied for a long period of time the results are not so encouraging. If it is the face and the details of the chin needs to be sharp, it can add a dollop of double chin, which is not very nice. Hence less opacity with the minimal use of the soft brush can be a better choice.
Have you ever used the history brush and regretted it. It can be a damper in some cases of retouching. When the picture gets over blurred it cannot have the same effect. Review the results before opting for the final output. Just like the history brush the Gaussian Blur is not the right one for the best clean up job. The model can end up looking like a lifeless mannequin if this tool is overworked. Try a combination of using median and noise to do the same. The results are far better. If there are blemishes on the skin this is the best route for retouch.
One of the best tools for getting the most accurate retouch is the pen tool. It can be handled well and is not automatic. With control it gives better effects. Even odd shapes are taken care of. Some people look at the supermodel a little more longingly and that’s why the details need to be perfect. It makes perfect sense to opt for the most pragmatic tools rather than experiment with some which may not be useful for the ever-lasting impact to the viewers.
Photographer and Retoucher at
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