Introduction to Retouching
So today's schedule we've got retouching first we then have a cool with my photo agency in london because I think that's really important to give you that kind of insight I know there's always a lot of questions about representation we then have the business in a market in section on dh I find with this but there's a lot to cover and we're going over social media, your target market how to approach you target market all those kind of interesting things that photographers have questions about how their own money is a fashion photographer or how to earn money in different genres of photography too then we have afternoon the photographer's portfolio one of the most important parts of what we're about its photography's is how do we present our work to our clients on the photographer's port bow is a tipping point to most people that work a work, so I think that's a definite thing that deserves a section by itself especially I'm going to be showing you my portfolio, my ipad and we're going t...
o do some critique as well. So does so cover the topic of retouching before we go into there so the purpose of retouching for people that might wonder exactly what retouching thing is all about now most people call this editing um in the industry we call it retouch in and the purpose of that is to enhance or improve existing detail is to eliminate distracting elements that might be in the shot and it's to enhance or water the mood of an image. And the most thing I'm going to be talking about today and it's going to be something we talk about later on is re touching. You don't need to do too much of it. The photo has to be done in camera. The retouching is just something that you add onto it afterwards finding the balance between too much and too little retouching is key. So that's, the main thing that I wanna teach you guys about today, so a lot of photographers don't show this, but, um, I feel it's important to show you guys what my work looks like before and after it does not look like this in camera, but whenever I'm shooting this, I can imagine it like this afterwards. So whenever reproach in a shoot like this on the composition, I'm thinking about the way the light in its full and on the face I'm thinking about the way the clothing is flowing, I'm gonna need to do something to get that kind of clothes made. Um, I'm gonna need thio, liquefy or do something with the leg slater at these bits of the gate gonna be distracting to try and do that, and also I'm thinking about how I can enhance the color later. So whenever ram approaching a shoot like this I've always got the retouching in mind and another shot and this is similar light into what we did yesterday out on the balcony and I'm not going to be retouching those shots today except a few others I want to go over but I included one of the's just for that very reason you've got that lighting outside you may go and do a shoot and you put a plan to do some beautiful backlight in you have to fuse light on the problem with that is most clients we're pushing for it and they'll say we have budget we've put everything together you've just got to deal with it and shoot for it so this shoot was on a rooftop in london on exactly the same sentence weeds yesterday hi I so we had a low shutter speed and aperture of about two point eight we want the light to come through that's why we have the settings on there and I always focus in on those eyes I manually focus because when you chewed in like this you can't focus with that quite too great with order it kind of seems in and out a lot so manual focus for me when I'm doing this the eyes of the key to focus on what I'm looking up when I'm approaching this is one of shot this I'm thinking okay you know it's blowing out it's still and this is exactly the way I see it when I shot it in camera, I know that I'm gonna pull the contrast how I know that I'm gonna detail back in the eye. I know I'm gonna sharpen it enhanced the clothes I'm gonna improve the composition by using tools that liquefy to pull in here on the right. So rita chin, I think, allows photographers to bring out the full potential of their images. I think retouch and should be treated that way shouldn't be something, um, and we're gonna be talking about this state around. But retouching should not be something that photographers use as a main part of the work. It's just something to enhance the style to enhance the composition. So whenever you're looking at your photos when you shot them, think about those elements and how you're going to approach them later on a couple more here for you. And this was a story did recently earlier in the year um, it was really cold out we were dealing with son that was going down it's about four for a car and we had that afternoon light coming in, and this is how it looked on camera and everyone said to me when we shot it all, you know, the lights not working it's not coming together, but I knew that those just highlight something skin could be in hanson maybe two full later on so when I'm looking at things like this I'm looking at okay I know that this distracting elements in there like you conceal these chimney things and he's like wire's in the background and I'm thinking about ways in which the composition could be improved so this does not bother me when I'm from shooting was something I could take out but the light is in the right place and I wanted to say that I'm going to say ok the lights beautiful I'm then going to take it in and just remove those distracting element so long as it's not something to crazy in the background I wouldn't worry about this kind of elements when you're shooting on a lot of what I'm gonna be talking about today it's how I get this kind of tones to the images to so the one on the left here you can see how I always take my blacks to slightly off black like a blue or green or that kind of thing and the whites that always slightly off white too so that's something else I'm gonna be talking about so never allow photo shop to service a crutch to poor photographic technique and this was definitely me when I started and it's okay to make those mistakes and I still do sometimes whenever I'm doing shoots all sometimes politician a shot I don't get a text to randall the things on and I'll be like, you know, I know after about an hour, I'm like, you know what? This looks bad, I'm gonna scrap it and start again and, you know, shake it up and start the whole thing again and that's fine it's experimentation like the thing we were talking about sheet yesterday, so again, never allow for the shop to act is that crutch to poor photographic technique? Improve your technique if you feel that photo shop is something that you keep over using in shots, another one that I want to show you here again, you can see how everything is kind of in here, and all I've done is improved the color, so something is a little color in this photo is really enhance this. Another thing here is the way that they legs are a swell I've gone in and took away the goose bumps, and they're the kind of elements in the legs that have come through. So big question I get from people is how much is too much, and this is hard to define, so I haven't got too much too much like content on this, because I want it to be really something that I try and get across to you, so how much is too much? I think, in my opinion, it's when you look at a shot and you know photo shop has been used you can look at it and say I know what tool that person is used to enhance the eyes I know they use the dodge tool on the I I know that you overused curves or they really pulled something out that makes the photo over exposed so the best we touches of people that will photoshopping image but it looks like it's been constructed and it's perfect in camera so it's just subtle enhancements that will make a picture a lot better nothing too crazy if you're replicating something like an old final image and you need a texture and that's part of the image use that and it might be a lot of retouching but make it look like an old image don't make it look that you've added a photo shop technique over that um a beauty image of mine this is what it looks like in camera and this is what it looks like after again how much t much going in looking at the distractions into the ice here this is not something you can really help when you shoot if a girl has these kind of bags under your eyes or she's got felines especially when you're using the beauty dish it's gonna show no matter what these are things that you always have to think about when you shoot it if there's a client that and they see that if they're looking at a monitor, if your tether in or they see on the back of the camera in there, like, you know, kind of tell them that maybe show them examples if you re touching before enoughto a swell because sometimes it's hard to convince people what your style is, because photo shop is really like that kind of point off your stylus. Well, so an image from yesterday and I've gone in on I've approach this as to show you what I would be looking at if I was to see this image, what would I start to approach the first things my eyes look to you when I look at this face in the image she's a beautiful girl, there's nothing wrong with her she's an amazing model, but problem is, is that those distracting elements that you can't be helped because of para making, you know, they're off doing their own things, and sometimes you have to shoot something and then know that you're going to end hunts it later and that's ok, it's ok to tell clients that so when I'm looking at this, I'm looking enhancing the makeup because I know makeup artists like debra yesterday, she loves it when her makeup looks beautiful in shots, so I always compliment her makeup if she's working with me on a test she's gonna want to see her make up is the hero it's gonna be good to get maybe a shot in the story? If it's an editorial so that's a beauty or a fashion shot where I take a model to the side and shoot something just to let her have an image for her portfolio. So liquefy for composition. So whenever I shoot portrait always looking about the way I was moving, the girl's shoulders a lot yesterday in different angles, I'm looking for the way their arms move in relation to the composition, the way they come across in the camera. So I'm thinking this arm here just look slightly big that it should be because of the way the dress has fallen and the weights sticking out so I would just liquefy and give myself a little bit of space on this side, but only a subtle change. I don't go crazy with the retouching and then with heras well, skin, I'm looking into the shot I'm seeing where the skin needs retouching, maybe pimples, little things that often make up convicts and makeup artist has silenced their going to appreciate all this. They're not gonna hate you for it, they're gonna want you to enhance their work and put it in the best light as well. So the hair at the side I would go in and think about cloning this got the skin, the clone tour, the's, the things we're gonna do it. In one of my techniques as well, I'm gonna show you a shot and then I'm going to go through these and show you the image ivory touch to get to that point, okay, so before I head on over to light room and do my work for you, I would love to get some questions from the audience. You know, I was here in the all right. Let's, go to the web. You guys are sitting there like some information I've yet to ask. Has there ever been a time where you had it in you, just like there's, way too much that I need to fix on this? Or if there's been times where there was something that you had a lot of issues with correcting, is that something you're gonna go over? Could you touch that? Yeah, kind of, I think that's something that you may need to come back and ask when I do certain things as well, because it be good to get that kind of question again. There's been times where I've shot something and I hated the shot. I know it's gonna need a lot of work, but a client will say to me, we need that piece of clothing in the editor we need that, and it doesn't matter if it doesn't look good, and sometimes they don't care about that because they're carrying about their relationship with the designer. Um, but I try and sit, like when I first started, I was like, always relying on photo shop. I was like, you know, when I first started on tv and I was pulling things like you preset late fairy wings during all of that kind of stuff, but I'm not ashamed to say that because, you know, that taught me a lot. I had a lot of constructive criticism when I first started doing that, and that helped me move forwards. So now when I see an image, I'm thinking, okay, this and I was talking about a good canvas yesterday when we were shooting. I was like, okay, so this is a good point I can start to see what would be a good point to edit from I know we've got a shot where the lighting's good that we can then take into photo shop later way do have questions coming in from way have a drink for in england, who is wondering if there's a lot of fashion photographers prefer to de saturate their images? Is it best to avoid high contrast or deeply saturated effects in fashion photography? No technique definitely spends on the photographer. I wouldn't go to dispatch related to the point where it's kind of black and white, kind of color, because that can look kind of like a den field to the image. I always go a little touch of saturation on the skin, um, and the entire image, and then I'll bring the color back if I need to. Um, it was the second part of the questions that interesting, they're wondering, is it best to avoid high contrast and deeply saturated effects in fashion photography? No, again, to the technique? I don't think this I think the only thing you have to watch out for is how true the clothes colors in the detail stating, so if you're shooting something with contracts like, think about the details, and even when you processing, think about how that's gonna look on the shot, is it going to distract the viewer from looking at that? Is it going to take the color away so that you can put the stocking store the credit info? Because then the design is going to look at it with stylist and say, ok, we can't have that in the magazine because, you know, captured it in the best way. Well, that just answered a couple more questions that her in there about the sense of how what's the style right now in terms of of the retouching and also like you just said, how far can you change the colors? Was a question from fashion tv, so a question from let's say, we're going to get into questions from the dobby and laurie, you're using retouch as an extra look for your building for building your style sorry was or are you building yourself style when photographing? So I guess how much of the post processing is creating your style versus the shooting itself? Okay, it's a good question, I think it's important that photography is and I'm gonna get on to this in a second, but I think it's important, that photography is have their own style of that. They're familiar with the way the retouch, even if they put their word to be touches its retouching is a very important element, because, again, you're the director you won, that shoots that lights, that you're the one that comes up with the idea, even though you have those extra hands and I think retouch knew something to finalize and define the image, and I think, um, even when you do in something like this and if you send us to a retouched or it's important to send things like this, tell them to test and image before they come back. So you know that that's true to what you were seeing in the image question, um, do you find that there's a overused techniques or trends like, for example, hdr photography is definitely overused, I think in, you know, in times today, but do you personally in the fashion industry, find any photoshopped trends or retouching trends that you're just like? I can't see another image of this before I go crazy. I think the one thing that gets me is bad skin blurring skin, that kind of thing. I think those really frowned upon a special beauty photography, um and that's something that I've had to learn I used to use blurring on skin I used to use all the bad techniques and because I'm self taught and I had to learn the hard way and I had to re go back and just kind of figure out how to do it um that would be the only thing I can really say I think things like overly texturizing images diffuse glow which always a big abuser of back in the day I still get requested sometimes to do it for like book covers because they want that kind of older star to my work but just things that kind of destructive to the image to so using dodging bone you can tell somebody's gone in and destructively used dodging burn on we're gonna be doing how do you dodger do an unknown destructive way okay, you just mentioned that you preferred like the magazine to do a test do you want to see a hard test or do you require that to see yourself to see if it's like every turn test yeah, you see how hard printed make sure the integrity is great it's very important that they test a shot first or um I don't work with me touches all the time and I'll give a bit of a story on this in a minute because they didn't touch base on that from the start but whenever I work with three touches it's a collaboration isn't just don't like them grabbing the image ing putting their style on it they're familiar with my work if I give them a shot there working on the skin they're working on those kind of things to clean up an image and I'm coming back in and they can put like that give me the psst far and above it will have like suggested tones but it's something I can take put my own time put my own spin on it add some light and maybe add something with time to the the blacks are flat the whites off white so it's still true to my style and I think that's very important and some photographers feel that they need to just hand the work off to retouch is in that that's okay but I feel that you lose part of yourself by doing that so even if you do that for jobs because sometimes it's requested all the client wants to retouch because of time or budget I think it's important when you doing personal work attesting that you're still familiar with your retouching techniques and that you still use them yes you mentioned that your self taught and is easy if you go into wrong direction so what is the proper channels that to learn retouching um actually I'm gonna tell you a little bit about my background cause I think that will kind of come into that so I'm gonna say that the retouching part of today that is going to be things where people are like, okay, you may not be doing that the right way. You may be using that in the tool in the wrong way, but I'm gonna say I'm self taught and that's unique to my silent that's. The way I approach that on my image is a lot of photographers of different people come from design backgrounds. People come from our backgrounds. I come from a background of where an artistic background where it's always been about the experimenting with the style and kind of figuring it out use overusing retouching it starts kind of figure out my style um and just kind of going from that. So I think when you do watch my retouching state's important to keep annoyed her mind tonight this is the way I do it, but it's not necessarily the way that you have to do it. It could be just a technique that you take into your workflow or it could be a sudden tool. I use that you like the way to use it, but you use it in a completely different way. And that's. Okay, um and then you said about thie channels to learn what's best, I think. When you first get into photography, I think this is why it's important to network get a professional opinion maybe when you said that you work for a magazine, the editor will say to you, I don't like the way that you retouch images and it's harsh and I've had that, but I've been like, oh no, I like my work is really bad but it's it's not been it's it's fine like you just learn from it and you move on I think there's so many things on the internet right now that will give you great advice if you type something in and you want to know how to use the clone tour if you want to know how use liquefying its own kind of take bits from experimentation bits from advice bits from certain elements on the internet, maybe join retouching course or have a professional retouch er maybe come to you or pay them to teach you certain techniques that you're unsure about way like to hear that got a couple questions here about from various people wondering whether you do all your own retouching or do you use out that's a good question I would say that ninety percent of the time every touch my own work ten percent of the time I would send it to retouch is five percent of that is me collaborating with the re touches so only five percent one hundred percent is somebody really taking charge of my retouching and that's only when I'm doing advertising jobs it's only when you know there's a time constraint and I'm busy to do something so I haven't got time to work on advertising images and again I feel that's very important even though you plan to use a re toucher because most of the time we're so busy with the chutes and all that is good to have someone to do that side. You have to know what to say to the retouch the researcher has to know you, you have to give them direction. Let them come back to you do test images so it's appointed to have that control at some point just a father welcome that from peratis, which images do you edit yourself and which ones to send off to retouch er's? And why was there a reason if I'm doing a personal test or a fashion portrait? Where it's your budget again, it's all the issues of budgets if I'm working on that kind of thing where it's like me going out of my way to put tests together personal work, I would retouch it myself because the thing is retouch is again, they're like the creative team they come on board and they will work for free for their portfolio so it's good to find people that build but then when I'm working on advertising job there's gonna be someone in house in advertising agency or there's going to be somebody that suppress professional retouch that they want a sudden skill like for example with my work I don't have the time to spend six to eight hours editing skin on one image so if that's the case for a certain image off send it to a retouched because I'm like okay, I don't have the time there's a budget from the client can you do this for me? But again it always come back to me I don't put my spin on it a swell we'll be really in control of the instruction that's great and let's just take one last question from amy rollo um is it okay to work with the client to determine what needs too be retouched in the sense of like maybe a certain you know, a mole or you know different pieces of on the fabric do you work with them that's a great question we're getting some really good questions today. Actually, um yes and no again personal works, more editorials where you submitting there's no client involved there's no one that really send your work to, um editorial shoot lookbook speedy campaigns anything like that people will want to kind of they want to see treatment almost which is you'll do a shoot on dh, you're sending the wolf falls for selection, and they'll go okay, so the rule faults. How you gonna process he's on the best way to do that is to maybe grabbed one of the images, just a small raise. J peg and do a color treatment. You don't have to go into detail with skin because there's, no time to do that. There's. No point editing something for eight hours. If you're gonna turn around, I never used the thing. So it's, just good tio. Give a color treatment, which is just a curve, or the way that you process an image to give you a distinct cell so that client's gonna know exactly what they're looking for.