Photography by Jim Doty

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Enhanced Photo Retouch

This is a "before and after" crop of an enhanced photo retouch. The uncropped photo is at the bottom of the page. Mouse over the "after" image to see the "before" version. To watch a video of the retouching process (the video has been sped up 16x), go to the Portrait Retouch in 6 Minutes article at my photo blog. For more examples, go here.

The secret to a good retouching job is to keep the original texture of the skin. If you look closely at the "after" example above, every pore is still there but they have been softened and the skin texture smoothed. Notice the brightening of the whites of the left eye, the enhanced lip color, and the additional hand drawn eyelashes.

In a bad retouching job the skin loses all its texture, the pores are completely gone, and the skin looks "plastic". This happens when retouchers take shortcuts or lack the skills to do it right.

The difference in a good and bad retouching job is all the more evident in a large print. A web sized photo doesn't tell the whole story. The real test of a photographer's skill is to look at some 11 x 14 inch and larger prints.

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March 21, 2013
Updated April 10, 2013

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