Photographic Retouching and Manipulation: Creating Appeal While Supporting Natural Beauty
courtesy of Digital Tutors
If you’ve ever looked at a model on the cover of a magazine odds are that model has been retouched and manipulated to some degree in Photoshop. This manipulation could be the removal of wrinkles and freckles, reduction of bags under the eyes, slimming down of the waist, lengthening of […]
If you’ve ever looked at a model on the cover of a magazine odds are that model has been retouched and manipulated to some degree in Photoshop. This manipulation could be the removal of wrinkles and freckles, reduction of bags under the eyes, slimming down of the waist, lengthening of the legs, the list goes on.
The old saying goes, “Never judge a book by its cover.” However, in our society decisions are, more often than not, based on appearance. It’s this social perception of idealized beauty that drives publishers to market and sell magazines with much success.
In order to achieve this, a photo editor must strive to create the most appealing and seemingly perfect representation of a model for magazines, advertisements, albums, etc. This type manipulation often gives people a false sense of what beauty truly is and how it can be represented.
Regardless of this, there is a demand for this type of work and the degree to which it’s performed can make or break the decision of a consumer who chooses to buy a magazine off a stand.
Many people find this type of photographic retouching and manipulation repulsive. However, if the editing of photographed model is performed in a manner that supports their natural beauty then the end result will be something that is both tasteful and honest.
It’s when the changes have become far to contrasting to the original image that the issue of photo manipulation becomes even more controversial. Ultimately, it comes down to how you want to market your product and how the target market will receive it.
Keep it Subtle
Everyone wants to feel beautiful when they view themselves in a photograph. By having a good understanding of the tools needed to retouch and edit a model in Photoshop you can make lots of subtle adjustments to a person’s face and body that presents them in good taste.
Often the simple reduction of wrinkles, freckles, bags, or other blemishes are better than their complete removal. This approach leaves room for a sense of natural beauty instead of something entirely artificial.
For example, if a person has really pronounced bags under their eyes you would probably want to reduce some but not completely remove them. Their complete removal would look unnatural and a sense of personality would also be wiped from their face.
If you’re just starting out and exploring how to retouch a model for a photo, spend some time practicing with various examples. Sometimes you can try a variety of techniques on one photo to get the best visual result. The beauty of Photoshop is that there are multiple routes one can take to get the result they want.
It’s also very important to look for feedback amongst your peers. This will help you reign yourself in and strengthen your ability to retouch and manipulate a photograph in a fashion that is supportive to the model. In the end you still want to retain elements of the model’s feature’s that make them unique and human.