For a photographer, taking the best shots might be the ultimate goal, but retouching is an art, too.
While the world gives it a bad rep, there are ways to Photoshop retouching which are ethical and acceptable unless you do not go too far.
You cannot rely on the concept of old times and think a picture is done once you snap the shutter. Oh no.
The industry has shifted so much over the past decades and every day new photographers come with their unique take and tricks of Photoshop retouching that excluding retouching is tantamount to the belief that learning the fineness of photocomposition is useless.
So the question is should a photographer learn Photoshop retouching? The quick answer is yes and for the elaborate answer, let's dive into it more.
What is Retouching?
When you look at a picture and feel some spots could use some help if only you could grab the object in the photo and clean up that little dust particle.
Well, this is where Photoshop retouching comes to your rescue. Photoshop is a tremendous software that allows you to retouch and edit your pictures while offering some amazing tools to help you create your masterpiece.
Photo retouching is like a final point of post-processing. It pertains to eliminating any imperfections on the image before displaying it for publication, print, or showing to your client. Removing fingerprints or blemishes that your product acquired while the shooting was happening are the highly common adjustments. Photo retouching is further for highlighting and communicating object properties that the camera fails to transmit like color saturation or glitter flashes.
These are some subtle modifications that you may not even notice till you explicitly look for the difference between the original and the retouched photo. Yet, these little changes hold so much significance in making your photos even better that photographers very frequently polish up their photos.
Sometimes people can go overboard and we believe that defeats the purpose of Photoshop retouching as it makes the object in the photo unrecognizable.
Learning Photoshop Retouching is Important for Photographers
Here is the thing, in today's times; you cannot go about without learning the important softwares. Even if you believe they may not be of much help and you only need to practice your photography skills, that is not true.
No matter how amazing and tantalizing your photography skills are, how fancy and expensive your camera is, learning Photoshop retouching will help you a lot in your photography career.
Your real photography task begins after you press the shutter because now it is on you how you polish your photo.
The camera has done its job. Back in the day, legendary photographers would lock themselves in their dark rooms and spend endless hours perfecting their images so why is retouching bad now? It almost seems like a defense mechanism for those who are unable to learn Photoshop and hence believe it serves no purpose.
Just like photographers who label themselves natural light photographers to guise their incompetency to utilize flash and unwillingness to learn. Learning is at every activity you do, no matter how far you think you have come in perfecting your skills, learning can never stop. Nobody can learn everything.
Any decent workman uses the entire breadth of tools usable to them to finish their job. Therefore, dismissing a tool that can be extremely helpful in getting your work accomplished quicker with higher quality sounds highly illogical. It could affect your photography seriously if you keep ignoring Photoshop retouching.
You can perform a myriad of things to compose jaw-dropping photos and wow your viewers and clients. Let us not forget how much fun learning Photoshop retouching can be as you discover tools and realize your unique style and preferences.
Do not restrict your photography and make it boring, amp it up. A little retouching goes a long way. Learning Photoshop retouching is important so you can understand not to cross the line and lean towards over-retouching.
Reasons for Retouching Photos
Let's touch upon a few solid reasons where retouching is a must and you ultimately thank God for Photoshop.
- Getting Rid of Unwanted Objects
You take a magnificent shot at night with a killer view of lit up mountains in the background; everything is good and seems amazing, but wait!
What about all those people behind you? You cannot possibly make all of them go away especially when they are sitting and enjoying their time with their loved ones. What to do? This is when you retouch the photo using tools from Photoshop and voila! Your image is perfect and there is nobody in the background. Sounds amazing, right?
- Removing Defects
There is no denying that life cannot always go your way. You scheduled a shoot for stock photography, booked the studio, and gave rent.
Everything is all set and you are waiting on the model. You find out the model got an allergy before the shoot covering them with spots from head to toe.
If you are not in the position to postpone, reschedule or find a different model and you must shoot then retouching is your savior. In such a scenario, you take the pictures and when you get the right shots then it is time for Photoshop retouching to save the day. Good retouching is practically invisible.
If photographers can learn and understand the fine line between retouching and over-retouching then it is a fantastic way to polish shots. Excess of anything is always unwelcome.
- General Adjustments
Photographers do not always have the luxury to have their desired lighting so retouching can help fix the sharpness and lighting in your images. You can always brighten up your photos no matters how dark it was in the venue you shot.
Resisting the wonders softwares can do for you is not a smart thing to do especially if it could help hone your craft.
Photoshop retouching is a fantastic way to breathe life into your photos and it can help you in many ways. Photographers need to learn Photoshop retouching because their skills would be incomplete without it. Nobody presents to their clients badly composed pictures with bad lights and dull colors.
Everyone benefits from retouching because it can improve the quality of your images, but you must understand not get too carried away and keep everything in good balance.