You know the saying that “beauty is only skin deep”? Well it is not quite accurate. More fitting might be, “Don’t believe everything you see.” Why? Because Photoshop or some other method of retouching images can have a lot to do with how things looks and the distance between “the final image” and “reality” can be great. How great you ask? Well, the above picture actually looked like this before it was “worked over”.
Now don’t get me wrong, the woman in the second picture is far from unattractive but from picture number two to picture number one is a world of difference. Photographer, M. Seth Jones, who is offering lessons on retouching images via Skype! explains,
“Who sees the human face correctly: the photographer, the mirror, or the painter?”
In these selected images, you can witness first hand the impact that retouching has the potential to make on a single image. Every image presented to me has an ideal state, that I’m attempting to reach; retouch is so completely subjective, that it is likely that no two retouchers will approach an image in the same manner, or reach the same finished outcome. At this stage, it’s clear to see that retouching, at least the way I approach it, is not so much about tapering necklines and re-sculpting facial structure; but rather, sculpting light, and the way it falls on the subject, as well as clarifying the distinctions between the individual colours of the image’s palette. This ensures that every element sits harmoniously within the final frame, enabling that ideal state to be presented to the viewer with little-to-no visual distractions.
Here are a few more “before” and “after” photos. Pretty amazing huh?