When to stop Photoshopping - where do you draw the line?

Discussion in 'Graphics Programs and Photo Gallery' started by davidbeckphoto, Aug 28, 2017.

  1. davidbeckphoto

    davidbeckphoto TPF Noob!

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    When I do edit, I have a list of things I fix and a list of things that I think are too far. Everybody has different limits - what's on your lists? Here are some things from mine - agree or disagree?

    Fix:
    Spot blemishes
    Skin color issues (grey under eyes / redness)
    Stray hairs
    Weird wrinkles
    Acne scars
    Spotty spray tan
    Stretch Marks
    Cellulite
    Awkward lumps (light liquefy)
    Awkward shadows
    Dark circles
    Facial feature symmetry
    Fill in hair / brows
    Nose hairs
    Background distractions


    Too far:
    Birthmarks
    Large scars
    Beauty marks or large spots
    Tan lines
    Tattoos
    Skin smoothing brushes / algorithms
    Eye color
    Changing facial feature shape
    More than ~5lb change in liquefy


     
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  2. idcanyon

    idcanyon No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    A list for non-portrait focused people would look a lot different. Perhaps for landscapes--don't blend elements of photos shot on a different day?

    I'm surprised you are against touching up tan lines.
     
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  3. john.margetts

    john.margetts No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I photograph a lot of medieval churches but never people. I do not have a no-go list as anything that produces a good picture is ok. I frequently remove items such as modern notices on walls, electric light switches, bat **** on altars and other incongruous things. I am open about doing this. In situations where I am documenting the church I do not use Photoshop at all, restricting myself to adjusting dynamic range and cropping in Lightroom. I am open about this as well.
     
  4. DanOstergren

    DanOstergren Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    What I do:

    Get rid of blemishes, rashes, flakes, noticeably out of place hairs, lint, dirt, and general grooming of the set and clothing if something was missed before I start shooting.
    Fix makeup if needed.
    Sometimes I liquify to get straighter lines on clothing or to sculpt hair.
    Some light dodging and burning on the skin to even out the skin tones in a subtle way (still trying to figure out where to draw that line though), and sometimes to enhance the facial contour/highlights.
    Brighten eyes a bit.
    Whiten teeth.
    Color correction and some toning, usually by using a selective color adjustment layer or curves adjustment layer.
    Curves for contrast.
    Sharpen.
    Remove neon red skin tones from the ears, eyelids, nostrils, bridge of the nose, lips, etc.
    Remove cellulite.
    When it comes to stretch marks, it depends on the client or the intention of the photo.

    What I wont do:

    Remove scars and moles.
    Remove freckles.
    I'm too lazy to do composites, so I'll add composites to this list.
    Drastically change eye color.
    Change the frame of somebody's body.


    Pay me enough and I'll likely do anything on my "wont" list. I'm sure theres more that I could put on both of these lists but I can't recall.
     
  5. ClickAddict

    ClickAddict No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Depends on the shoot. I have a certain level of photoshoping I would do for a typical client portrait, vs something I do when shooting a personal fun project. One, the person represents themselves and thus a reasonable amount of truth should be maintained, the other they represent a character and the concept of that character should be achieved. When it comes to the portrait I keep it reasonable. (They dont get to drop a size or two or go from a B cup to a D, but I will take out temporary scars, blemishes etc... I always ask about any prominent ones, especially in the face as some people want them removed, some want them kept and others dont care.) When it comes to a character, anything goes.
     
  6. dennybeall

    dennybeall No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Every photo is different. I have no "absolutes"! NO always shoot raw, no always shoot in Manual, NO Absolutes.
    Each shot is different just as each Photoshop effort is different.
    Well, I won't do anything illegal, like add a signature to a document. Also won't make unethical changes to Real Estate photos.
     
  7. Gary A.

    Gary A. Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I used to be a photographer in the film only days. I recognize there is this wide gray line between being a photographer and being a digital artist. For me, I arbitrarily decided not use Photoshop tools beyond what I would normally do in a wet darkroom.

    1) B&W Conversion
    2) Crop;
    3) Contrast;
    4) Global Lighten/Darken;
    5) WB;
    6) Selective Lighten/Darken; and
    7) Dust Removal.
     
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  8. Flash Harry

    Flash Harry No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'm with Gary, they either want a photographer or a disney cartoon, minimal PS on pretty much everything though I have taken the odd head from one photo to place on a more aestetically pleasing one where the bride decided to pull a mug at precisely the wrong moment lol.
     
  9. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    No list. My goal is to do nothing in edit other than crop and size. I view any editing I do as a repair of something I should have done better in the camera.
     
  10. Matt Friedman

    Matt Friedman TPF Noob!

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    I do very little in Photoshop itself (with an exception that I'll address in a minute). I mostly shoot film, and mostly black and white, so I tend to use it for basic photo retouching (blemishes, dust, etc.) of scans from negatrives: the kind of thing that I do with a brush and dye on a silver-gelatin print.

    I do most of my actual image processing in Lightroom. And there, I only adjust things that I could adjust in the darkroom -- contrast, exposure, etc. -- and stay away from the more invasive filters and features (mostly).

    But that's for photography, qua photography. I see my art as something I do primarily with the camera, leading up to the point where I hit the trigger. This is as true (for me) with still life and landscapes as for portraits. I guess I fell in love with the work of Paul Strand, Andre Kertesz, and the rest, and the idea of straight photography, and decided long ago that that's what I want to do with my art.

    Having said all this, graphic and web design pays more of my bills. (It's nice to sell prints, but I can't bu groceries or pay my rent with it!) And there, I will do it Photoshop whatever I need to do, and whatever my client (or a particular project) demands, from filters to colour to composites... But I tend to think of this as more of a function of prepress and publishing than photography.
     
  11. DGMPhotography

    DGMPhotography Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I will do just about anything to make it a good looking photo in my subjective eye.

    When it comes to people, I use photoshop to make them their best possible self, and then some.
     
  12. Light Guru

    Light Guru Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Why do you need a list of dos a and don'ts?

    Just edit the image until it matches the image you had in your mind before you took the shot.
     
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