Retouching is the process photographers or their associates use to remove blemishes and imperfections from images and to further enhance them or give them a particular look.
Before computers started to play a major role in photography images could be given a certain feel by choosing one type of film over another, using different darkroom techniques, and air brushing images but hand. With the rise of the powerful desktop computer the possibilities are endless – but is that always a good thing for photography consumers?
I have a pretty straightforward philosophy when it comes to retouching images. My goal is to make you look like a fresh, healthy version of yourself. Yes, lines and imperfections are reduced and in some case completely removed but go too far and it becomes obvious and people viewing the images will notice the retouching. Retouching should be transparent, completely invisible to the person enjoying the image.
As you will probably know if you follow debates in the fashion and beauty media, computers are often used to radically reshape the models you see in glossy magazines, often removing inches of flesh and creating an image that has lost all connect to reality. While I will tidy up curves and little lumps and bumps I’m philosophically opposed to taking inches off people as beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.
Also, while computers allow photographers to create millions of effects I tend to keep my processing simple – perhaps making an images a little warmer and cooler in tone, a nudge of contrast, perhaps a light tint. Why? Because I don’t want your images to look dated to the 2010s when you look back at them in future years. There are some strange effects from faux-vintage filters or ‘high dynamic range’ that are the equivalents of those strange soft-focus effects of the 1970s.