Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Please don't retouch...

I'm in the process of being "tested/interviewed" to retouch a lookbook. They asked me if I could retouch along these lines:

Which is what exactly? I'm not sure? This image doesn't look to be retouched at all!

I sent them back this:

This is unretouched other than a B&W conversion and a little bit of dual-toning to emulate what I see are the tinges of orange highlights and potential purple/green tints in the shadows on their reference image.

What do you think? They looked at my work and basically said, we don't need anything retouched to that degree... should I be insulted or happy?


  1. Hello Charles,

    I dunno. The comment sounds cryptic to me! :)

    That's the problem with artistic endeavors; it's highly subjective. There was a pretty well-known photographer hired for my company for a shoot, and she constantly asked people in the graphics department what they were looking for. In a word, she tried to dial in her shots to fit them into the aesthetic tastes of the graphics department.

    The original reference image they gave you, looks like it was barely retouched. Maybe a bit of dodging under the eyes, cheeks and neck; maybe they highlighted streaks in the hair... I don't know. Whatever they did, they tried to keep it as "natural" or as "casual" as possible.

    Did you happen to give them the original image of your image before your retouched it? Could it be that they objected to the "look and feel" of your model rather than what you actually did in your retouching?

    Just a thought...

  2. Hey Tommy,

    They did not give me the original. That image looks like it was grabbed from which is full of awesome images but unless the photographer gave that to them, I doubt they own the rights to the image much less the original :)

    I totally agree. I mean, I could get my magnifying glass and try and back-solve what exactly was performed but I can't really see/tell the difference. It was as you say natural and minimally touched.

    I will need guidelines much like the photographer your company hired. It's very important!

    Oh and I will be the first to admit sometimes I overdo the retouching. I'm still learning to dial it back and on occasion I really wank the image ;) I think they looked through my website and overall felt it was overdone? :)

  3. Hello Charles,

    They could've looked through your site and thought that, though I think it stands to reason why they would come to a decision based on that.

    They were looking for a specific style of retouching that is particular to their tastes. If they looked through your site and thought that you overdid some of your images, it would've followed that you could dial it back some to meet the particular look they're going for.

    But I understand people are very particular about retouching. If that company you tested/interviewed for gave you an image from scratch, that would have been a much better barometer of whether you'd be a good fit. ;)

  4. Sometimes i over do, but a day later i see the image and correct myself.

    How do you create the tinges in the highlights and shadows.. ?