Sep 26, 2011

Incredible Fashion Photography Retouching by M Seth Jones

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Retouching by M SETH JONES

 

In the world of fashion photography it is the often unheralded skill of the retouchers that bridge the gap between the image creators (i.e., the photographer, model, stylists, make-up artist, etc.) and the final version you see in print or online.

For the photographer, their talent lies in capturing the mood, framing it perfectly and getting the right angle and lighting. For a retoucher, it’s about enhancing the image, embellishing and removing any flaws or imperfections, typically at the request of the client. It can be a balancing act trying to satisfy the sometimes unrealistic demands of a client while maintaining the integrity and feel of the shot by the image creators.

The skills of today’s retouchers are incredible and requires a mix of technical and artistic expertise that deserves more appreciation and attention.

Check out the work of M Seth Jones below and be sure to visit his site for more examples. If you’re interested, Jones also offers online tutorials on retouching.

 

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Retouching by M SETH JONES
 

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Retouching by M SETH JONES
 

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Retouching by M SETH JONES
 

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M Seth Jones on Retouching

 
My approach to retouch is fairly straight forward; respect the source material, and always aim for transparency. If an image doesn’t look retouched, I’ve done my job well. Staying true to the source material is an ideal that I adopt to every piece of creative input on the shoot; retouch is not about ego, its not about showing off what I can do; its about respecting the work that has been captured not only by the photographer, but applied by the hair and make-up artist, the stylist, the model.

To me, retouch is ultimately about sculpting light (really, it’s just a macro form of make-up art), and mastering. It’s that last step before an image goes to print, where you need to make a broad palette of colours sit harmoniously in a single image, and effectively convey the mood of what you set out to capture. There are times, when I conceive of an idea that would transform the image so radically from its original source, that in order to test my own capacities, I will sit down and plot out a course of action to see if it can be achieved, and achieved realistically.

You will see some examples of that on msethjones.com. These are my tests, and serve as nothing more than to demonstrate what is possible with a creative idea and the skills to realise it. Without knowing what’s possible, perhaps from a lack of technical skill or application, new ideas will cease to be forged. These are my attempts to jolt the brain into creative action. [Source]

 

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Retouching by M SETH JONES
 

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Retouching by M SETH JONES
 

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Retouching by M SETH JONES
 

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If you enjoyed this article, the Sifter highly recommends:

 
Gripping Black and White Portraits of the Homeless by Lee Jeffries

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