Wednesday, 25 August 2010

I use Photoshop

I encountered a photographer's profile on ModelMayhem with "I DONT USE PHOTO SHOP OR AIRBRUSH" - I'm not sure how that's generally intended to be interpreted.

I shoot raw images and all my shots have had some manipulation in Lightroom and possibly Photoshop. Other than tonal manipulations, the amount of retouching will vary. I'll remove skin blemishes and I'm not adverse to using the liquify filter to tidy an edge or nudge a curve. My intent is always to create images that look realistic - I don't believe I overcook my skin processing and I know that I'm not a good enough retoucher to perform extensive manipulations in liquify. What definitely don't do is create featureless plastic faces or Barbie doll curves.

I don't have a problem with retouching to create a flawless complexion. Done right, it can produce a stunning image. Done badly, it can spoil the image. I regularly see images where I think "lovely shot, but what did you do to her face?!" (I think this is especially true when applied to anything other than a beauty headshot).

My current workflow uses Lightroom extensively. I generally only use Photoshop for pixel editing tasks and almost all other manipulations are performed in Lightroom (some before and some after the Photoshop edit).

My models aren't plastic. I hope I never deliver an image that makes them look it.

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