I often see people posting an image on social media and using the phrase, unretouched, no photoshop, as though it’s a badge of honour. Now give me a perfect looking model in a great location with perfect body or outfit and I’ll gladly shoot a jpg in camera, apply contrast and a few tweaks there and post it. But mainly I see straight out of camera images that lack the dynamic impact they deserve. Retouching has always had a place in photography from original wetplate to dark rooms and film. It’s always been a part of the craft.
Take this look for example. A beautiful lingerie piece that Carwen brought to the shoot and looked amazing in. I put three lights in place to bring the image to life as I had it in my head. But from the RAW file it needed a little more love in Photoshop to bring that image truly into existence.
Is it cheating? I don’t think so at this level. She still has skin pores, she doesn’t look like one of those mutant victorian ghosts or a plasticised barbie but she does look like an improved version of the original image.
Come on down to the SKIN workshop if you’d like to explore this level of retouching and shooting.