Is it Necessary Today to Use Photo Retouching?

March 3, 2019

Today, it is very likely that you have asked yourself the following question: Is a retouched or unretouched photo better? The truth is that there is the stigma of thinking that when an image is retouched, it is cheated. Something that, to some extent, is not true. All the great pictures we see today are subtly retouched.

The Concepts of Retouch, Edit, and Manipulate

It also happens that the terms retouch, edit and manipulate are often confused. Concepts that present multiple differences, as we will see below:

  • Edit: alter any image that comes out of the camera (process an image, add a signature or a watermark, etc.)
  • Manipulate: delete elements that were in the image or add if they did not appear
  • Retouch: correct shot errors (contrast faults, lens distortions, noise reductions, focus masks, etc.)

As you can see, retouching a photo is helping to achieve what the photographer saw but that his camera did not capture. Here, without a doubt, the contrasts of light, the arrangements in the makeup, the correction in the distortion of the lens and a host of adjustments that today can be made through different computer programs.

Essential Adjustments when Retouching a Photo

A photograph that comes out of a camera, professionally, is just a sketch of what the final image will be. The photo retouching is precisely the one that is responsible for giving your picture all the strength it should have. It will never be a method that spoils the photo unless it is done with the wrong technique and by non-professionals.

A photo retoucher like is responsible for creating the best possible image from the photographs that are delivered. There is, therefore, an apparent difference between what it is to touch up and what it means to manipulate an image. In this sense, the following adjustments are usually considered essential to achieve a more or less realistic result:

  1. Removing Spots from the Sensor: this type of spots can ruin a good photograph
  2. Exposure Adjustment: overexposure or absence of exposure can also damage an image
  3. Adjusting the Contrast: when the contrast is raised, the photo may be darkened, so you have to compensate with the exposure.
  4. Color Temperature: a more ideal temperature gives an artistic value to the photo.
  5. Focus: with a slightly less clear objective you get the highlight that the shot needs

The truth is that the photo retouching at all levels is the present and the future in the world of photography. The new digital laboratory provides us with enormous control over the results, trying to obtain those that best suit our needs, both in the professional and the domestic sphere.

The misuse of photo retouching comes when it is used to cover the defects of a technically poorly executed photograph. However, retouching is a great tool for recreating atmospheres without the need to use expensive filters on the lens. And always with the advantage of being able to use them selectively in those parts of the photos that we need them.