Are you an amateur or professional photographer? Do you find the photos you take to be plain and quite boring? Would you like to spice up your photographic images and breathe life into your photos? Then you should consider photo retouching.
What Is Photo Retouching?
Well, photo retouching is manipulating how your photo looks to the viewer. It is manipulating photographic images by altering or transforming the photo subject. Retouching your photographs involves using various techniques and to achieve desirable results.
There are many ways through which you can retouch your photographic images. They include the following:
- Use of paints or ink
- Double exposure
- Airbrushing techniques
- Scratching instant films
- Piecing together photographs and images in a darkroom
- Use of digital manipulation software
When we put everything in perspective, technology is here to make things easier for us. Currently, photography has experienced rapid changes as a result of digital technology.
Photo retouching in the modern times entails digital imagery and manipulation. It entails the use of software applications to manipulate images. Such software range from basic image software for amateurs to professional applications for more experienced photographers.
BASIC PHOTO RETOUCHING SKILLS AND TECHNIQUES
As you retouch your photos using many software applications, you will find that they have some features in common. The following techniques and skills are what these software applications have in common. Check them out.
- Cropping Your Digital Photo
Professional photo retouching services almost always includes cropping your digital photos. To use the Crop tool, click and drag the “crop” box into position. Drag the smaller boxes on each side of the main box to fine-tune the crop to your desired setting.
You can also use the Crop tool to add some extra space around your photo image.
- Play Around with Brightness/ Contrast
You can adjust your photo’s contrast by darkening shadows and brightening highlights. Depending on the Photo Manipulation application that you are using, you will find a Levels window.
Drag the left-hand arrow (usually black in color) towards the right to darken the shadow. Using the white right-hand arrow, drag it to the left, towards the histogram end. This will result in lighter highlights on your photo subject.
- Sharpen Things Up
The exact setting of how you want to sharpen your photo image depends on what you want. Before sharpening the image, ask yourself whether you want to make a print or view your photo image on a screen.
To avoid digital noise on your photos, apply a minimal amount of sharpening. Avoid being too enthusiastic.
- Boost the Saturation
You can fine-tune the colors on your photo shots after your shootout as part of your photo retouch. To make your image appear more vibrant and colorful, you may be tempted to add a lot of saturation. However, I would advise against doing this. Like all other adjustments, you make during photo retouches, keep it minimal.
When you overdo the saturation levels, your image will have noisy colors. This results in an unpleasant, brash appearance. Believe you me, it does not look good.
- Remove Sensor Grub and Dust
When you capture images on plain backgrounds like the sky or using small apertures like f/16 or less, you will notice some dust on your camera sensor. To dust spots on your photo image, use the Healing brush tool on your photo manipulation software.
- Try out the Monochromatic Approach
You can opt to go the retro way when retouching your photos. This lends your photo subject a classic, vintage appeal to them. To achieve this effect, use the black and white(B/W) conversion tool. It works wonders for your photographic images.
Use the drop down menu on your manipulation software to change different color conversions. The preset you use should give you contrast without compromising on finer details.
A company should always consider Adobe Photoshop as the top tool for providing best photo retouching services. If you are an amateur or professional photographer, you have heard of Adobe Photoshop. In case you have not, read on.
Adobe Photoshop is the most commonly used photo editing and retouch software that is currently available. In fact, it is the industry standard photo editing software with a host of useful features.
Adobe Photoshop supports many graphic file formats and a host of plugins. As you can see, this offers you a wide range of retouching options.
Now that you have an idea of how to retouch your precious photos, go ahead and try it out. There are many ways through which you can give your photos a great retouch. Give your photographs that much-needed twist. Always remember that no-one, and that includes your photo subject, is flawless. There will always be detail or a particular feature that requires tweaking or photo retouching.