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Hey! Welcome to another creative tip. Have you ever been at the grocery store and you're just about to get your groceries, and you see all those magazine covers and the teeth are so white, and the eyes are so bright, and the skin is so smooth, it's as if the image isn't even real? What's happened is the retouching has been brought forward, front, and center, and the retouching is too strong. This happens all the time. People have done too much postproduction work and it's interesting when that happens because retouching is supposed to support the photograph rather than overpower the image. This is kind of interesting. Something similar to this is what happened to Ansel Adams.
Now he pushed forward this idea that a sharp photo is a good photo and sometimes people would say "wow, Ansel, this image is so sharp!" Yet that was a bit of a letdown because that wasn't the point. The point is this image is so engaging and compelling and inspiring. They'd gotten it all wrong. So I like to think of Photoshop retouching kind of like music at a dinner party versus music at a dance party. Let me explain. So, let's say you are at a dinner party, you put on some good tunes. Now that music is there to support the main event. On the other hand, music at a dance party, well, that's the main event. That's why you are there and that music is loud and overpowering and that's the intent. So when you are working on your own retouching, think about the intent of the retouching, what are you trying to do, and typically, the type of retouching that we'll be doing will be to support the image, will be to support the overall idea of the photograph.
So as you get better and better at Photoshop, one of the things you are going to soon discover is the people who are best at retouching do all their retouching in a way that no one knows that it was even there.
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