Retouching Samples • Originals & Final looks.
The retouching projects below are culled from my 20 years as a professional retoucher in New York City. You'll see the original client file and the finished look after all retouching was approved.
Ashley Olsen Portrait
PROBLEM: The original photo had two major issues. First, it was underexposed and second, hair was flowing across her face.
SOLUTION: I opened up the exposure and color corrected the skin values in Lightroom, to bring an overall brightness and warmth to the image. Next, I used Photoshop to remove the hair and some skin blemishes. Through careful use of the cloning tool and cutting and pasting, I maintained textural detail while I constructed the hidden areas of her face.
Ice Cream Girl
PROBLEM: The original stock photo of this image almost fit the client's needs. The client wanted chocolate sprinkles on the cone, wanted it to be "more melty" and, most importantly, wanted ice cream mess on the front of the girl's shirt.
SOLUTION: This involved using photography as the most cost effective and realistic way to achieve the best results. The new cone and smear were photographed under the same outdoor light to match the lighting of the scene. I used Photoshop to compose them into the shot. Additional color correction was used to add a bluer sky and a "summertime" feel.
PROBLEM: The original stock photo of this image was the right subject matter but it needed a greater sense of drama and room for type and product placement. A huge extension was needed to solve the client's needs.
SOLUTION: Nothing but a lot of cutting and pasting in Photoshop and extensive use of the cloning tool. The biggest challenge was to avoid "step and repeat" patterns on the rock wall. It's a painstakingly challenging process, but satisfying when the end result goes beyond the client's expectations!
Product photography and retouching
PROBLEM: Here's an example of taking a job from photography to completion. The client provided the product - in this case, it was a prototype of the product before final production.
SOLUTION: The left image shows the initial photography of the prototype. The client provided an Adobe Illustrator file showing the type placement and colors of the actual makeup. The product was cleaned up, highlights were softened on the cap, masks were created, color correction was applied. The type was initially placed into the Photoshop file from Illustrator - from there, embossing effects and rendered foiled effects were created through masks.
To view more examples of product photography in it's final state after retouching see my product photography page.
Matching existing photography and retouching
PROBLEM: Here's a slightly different example of taking a job from photography to completion. In this case, the client provided the original photograph but it contained shoes that needed to be updated. The client also provided the new shoes that needed to be photographed to replace the older ones in the first photograph.
SOLUTION: The new shoes (center image) were lit to match those of the provided photograph. They were then masked and composed into the existing shot (center image). To finish things off, the gold finish had to become silver and any underlying shoes from the original photograph had to be cloned away. The result is the final image on the right.
Creating a new uniform for existing stock photography
PROBLEM: The nurse aide in the original photo needed to have a navy blue solid shirt.
SOLUTION: The best approach was to photograph someone wearing a navy blue shirt while imitating the pose of the aide. The photograph was composed, retouched and color corrected to exactly match the hospital's blue shirts.
For a PDF slideshow of more Before and After retouching examples, please contact me.