Images don’t come out perfect. Yet, the images we commonly come across are so perfectly knit. One wonders how. The answer is Photo Retouching.
What is Photo Retouching?
Photo Retouching is the process of enhancing photos by fixing their problems; Problems such as color imbalance, unwanted objects & shapes, spots, blemishes, wrinkles, noise, and many others.
When the first edit isn’t good enough, retouching always gets its way with producing desired results.
How Retouching is Done
Retouching is an intricate process that varies based on the purpose and nature of a photo. The process is done when the designer says it’s done. There is no right or wrong when it comes to retouching; it all rolls down to the aesthetics of the photo; meaning to say, there is no standard for output.
However, for a simpler understanding, here’s a retouched photo that we’re going to break down for you:
In the image above, you can see a before/after representation of a photo that has been retouched; the right image being the retouched image. The image has been retouched using Adobe Photoshop.
In the photo, the face shape has been adjusted using the liquify option. Rough patches like Acne are fixed using spot healing and patch tools. Hair flyaways and frizzy hair has been fixed using a brush and clone tool. Different layers of color (light and dark) have been used to balance out the light and shadow of the image. Face lines and wrinkles are fixed using the Brush tool. The background of the original image is removed and replaced with a cleaner one. Finally, the image has been adjusted in terms of Color, Contrast, Tone, Levels, Curve & Color Balance. All the work has been done, however, not necessarily in the same order. The chronology depends on the auteur.
Evident in the process above, there is no limit to a retouching process; rather it all depends on the designer, his purpose, expertise, and time constraints.
Uses of Photo Retouching
We have an affinity for near-perfect images. Perfect images, however, don’t come straight out of cameras. To become a perfect image, it needs to go through intensive treatment.
Here are a few ways photo retouching can be put to use:
- Redefining Colors
- Noise Reduction
- Background Removal
- Adjusting Skin Tone
- Balancing Light, Shadow and Reflection
- Contrast and Depth
From billboards, film posters, and magazine covers to your precious screen, you come across perfect visuals in nearly all of your waking life. Most of these photos have gone through a process of retouching.
Here are a few industries where photo retouching is used regularly:
Whatever product you can think of, is being sold via advertisement. Billboards, social media posts, banners, leaflets – all these are mediums where fantabulous images are used to sell products. Needless to say, advertisement is one of the highest buyers of photo retouching services.
Most sellers in the eCommerce realm produce great photos of their products on their websites, social media pages, and online marketplaces. Highly elusive images are very important to hook the customers in.
This industry is highly competitive. Before buying a house, a potential buyer wants lean and clean images of the house that they’re looking at. Retouched images are a norm in the industry.
Books, magazines, and newspapers are brimful of images, and that too highly polished ones. When people pick up books or magazines in a bookstore, one of the very first things they’ll notice is the cover image. Resultantly, it’s important to treat those images in order to draw people towards them.
Photography and print studios are usually jam-packed with images. They take multiple shots of products, people, places, and events. Come delivery, they require the images to be magnificent. Photo retouching comes in handy to studio folks!
From models to clothes and accessories, the fashion industry is all about glam! Fashion statements aim at beautifying people’s wear and their lifestyle. As a result, businesses and individuals operating in this industry are highly dependent on Retouching services to embellish their photos for them
Jewelry has always been at the heart of luxury lifestyle products. It has all things to do with glamour and perfection. As a result, images portraying Jewellery need to be eloquent and perfect. You’ll rarely come across Jewellery photos that haven’t been retouched!
All industries use images for promotion and none of it goes unpolished. This means at some point or the other, they’ll require photo retouching services.
That covers our piece on Photo retouching and its basics. Keep an eye out for more articles like this on our blog.