Thursday, July 8, 2010


Ania H3DII-31 1/250th f/5.6 ISO100 @80mm. Gridded beauty dish in B1600 from camera upper left.

I've been monitoring the way that I retouch and I'm seeing that I'm "doing less". I used to toil away for hours on end to smooth out skin imperfections. Taking care of the little things that would bother me to no end. As I retouch more, I find that I "do less". Perhaps I'm more efficient in the way that I retouch? Or perhaps I'm just able to accept the things that I couldn't overlook before? Either way, I find that my philosophy of retouching moves towards a minimalistic approach.

Don't get me wrong though. I still spend a lot of time on the skin. I think I'm just better with skin and can work through it faster. I still spend plenty of time evening out skin tones. I find that I'm more decisive in my retouching, I suppose I make fewer mistakes (less wasted brush strokes). Or maybe I get straight to the point of the retouch. With that said, I still experiment quite a bit and a I'm often not sure what look and feel I'm going for when I start an image. As I've said before though, there's no right answer and it's important to push the boundaries of what you're used to.

Getting back to the point though, recently I've finished some edits within 30 minutes or so and I'm left wondering, "Did I miss something?" It doesn't feel quite right when I finish an image in 30 minutes. But when I review these images, I come to the same conclusion which is there's nothing more that I want to do. Perhaps after editing so many images and spending so many hours, I've developed a better sense of what I want and what I don't want. It would appear that what I want is something a little more natural and a little less time-consuming (not because I'm lazy). Perhaps simplicity is the answer?

What's certain is that my average retouch time has dropped tremendously from the days of 6-8 hour retouches. All I can conclude is that I either want less, or do more in less time... :)

Proof that I'm not getting lazy? 50% crop of image above. If the colors look oversaturated, it's because blogger isn't reading the color profile correctly :)

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