8.30.2010

Sometimes I post something because it reminds me of something else.


This photo reminds me of shooting images for plastic surgeons.  They always want "perfect skin" and big eyes and perfect lips.   You can do lots of things with PhotoShop.  But should you?

I like to  look at images that haven't been retouched. I think the reality is much more alluring than the fictive.

12 comments:

Wolfgang Lonien said...

So true. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYhCn0jf46U

cheers,
Wolfgang

Robert said...

I agree, 100%. If you haven't seen this , it probably still wont surprise you. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYhCn0jf46U

Aaron Pelly said...

I totally agree with you - the level of retouching that goes into the magazine covers you see at the store bugs me. When I started in portraiture I embraced it, though. I used to do blurry skin with sharp eyes and slightly less sharp mouths and eyebrows. Now I look back and wonder what I was thinking. I learned it from a Photoshop teacher, and I did as I was taught, without really thinking about it.

That brings me to a critical question I haven't been able to find an answer to. How much retouching do corporate clients want or expect on headshots and environmental portraits? I don't want to do more than I'm comfortable with, but I don't want a client to come back to me and say I didn't do enough, either.

I love the second image, by the way. I always seem to find your portraits of swimmers compelling.

Rolando said...

I haven't used Photosshop too much although I think it's a great tool. I'm uncomfortable seeing some of the work done where a person looks 20 pounds lighter than reality. Is that acceptable? I see that as fraud...but that's just me. Blemish removal and maybe some light touch up is fine but I've seen where people say they spend 4 - 6 hours touching up a picture. I'd rather be shooting.

very1silent said...

The skin blur has something of a tradition going back to the academic painters of the immediate pre-impressionist era. A lot of the paintings of that era have that same sharp-eyes + blurry skin look. Particularly nudes where the same kind of retouching seems to be really common in photography.

kirk tuck said...

V1S, Could it be that the brush work required for exacting reproduction of reality was considered to onerous and thus unnecessary? Just curious how the tools might have affected the expression of very fine detail in painting.

Bold Photography said...

I strongly prefer the second photo - the first looks overprocessed to the point of looking fake. The second one is natural, but more importantly, she's got a great connection with the camera which gives a warm feeling when looking at the shot.

very1silent said...

Kirk Tuck: In some paintings, it really gives the impression of being a conscious choice, because you can see relative smoothness varying from one part of the composition to another, in a way that is clearly designed to draw the viewer's eye to particular features. I don't doubt that part is also about the tools of the time, but I don't think that limitations of tools tell the whole story.

Curt Schimmels said...

Since I'm a fan of environmental portraiture, the second one wins for me, easily. I understand that there are times when some touch up is necessary, I just find high levels of processing to be so unrealistic looking as to be a turn off, rather than a turn on.

Paulo Rodrigues said...

I don't really get into retouching, but one of the models I shot at the weekend requested that I clean up her complexion. Instead of telling her to eat healthier food and look after her skin, I thought I would try out portrait professional. It did a pretty decent job of turning her into a plastic mannequin.

I tried it out with some photos of another model who had better skin and with whom I had used much more forgiving lighting and I was shocked at how little difference there was before and after processing. The software only removed a few freckles and scars, but the skin was pretty much as shot. Good light and good makeup go a long way

Randy said...

Of course, anything in excess is... well, excessive. There are degrees of retouching. In experienced hands, it can be quite compelling. The example you posted is an extreme and should be reflected as such.

I feel it's a misrepresentation to say that because you have the tools and then show an excessive example to drive home your bias. We could do the same with lighting or makeup itself.

kirk tuck said...

Sorry Randy, but I think the example I showed at the top falls into the middle of the pack.