Retouching - a soul destructing chore or part of the creative process?
Updated: Dec 3, 2018
Which side are you at?
Retouching. A ten letter word that that makes most photographers roll their eyes. Some commission this part of work to other professionals, some treat it as the unavoidable soul destructing part of their work, some just do it without giving it a second thought. There is however a group of us who enjoy it.
Obviously there is a huge difference between spotting or cutting out a simple product shot and creative retouching (like the one presented in a video below). Nevertheless it is a part of the image creation process. No matter how simple or how complicated your retouching task is - it still influences the final result. This brings me to our topic's question: is retouching a part of the creative process? Personally I believe it is. The post production part can be as creative as you want and in today's fast and instant reality I think it should be. Here are few examples of how can we use retouching as a creative tool:
1. The Blob. SXLLM
When it comes to conceptual shots very often the most creative part takes place after you switch off your camera. It gives the opportunity to achieve results that are otherwise impossible or extremely difficult to get. One of my regular clients - Men's Health magazine, uses a lot of conceptual photographs to illustrate their stories. Here's an example of such a shot for them - a doughnut with parts of different icing instead of a boring pie chart. To get this done I shot a few different doughnuts using the same lighting and background. The rest was done in postproduction. It's a pretty sweet shot.
3. Complicated creative shot.SXLLM