I have been doing retouching for the past seven years. During this phase, I was able to find some beauty retouching problems that I was making, and that hindered me from getting a perfect retouched image.
In 2011, when I first started retouching, using pictures from my own collection, there were a lot of different techniques that I used like – dodging and burning, frequency separation, curves etc. As I was a beginner at that time, sometimes it even took me more than 15 days in processing of one image to get the desired touch.
But only because of all these several unsatisfactory editing results, I was able to learn the correct way. So, I hope this article will be useful for people who are starting out, or who are stuck somewhere in the middle while retouching. These are the ten ways that can help you a lot –
1- Be patient with dodging and burning & frequency separation
Take your time learning dodging and burning as this is not a technique that can be mastered in few days or even in few months. It took me several years to master this skill, so even you will get better with time and practise. However, you can always play with ‘opacity’ in Photoshop to get an image of your desire.
2- Every image requires different retouching
One size doesn’t fit all. Earlier I used to save all my retouching techniques and repeat the action on other images. I realized that every image is unique and would require different changes, unless the image is from a series. Although, you are free to experiment to get the image you want.
3- Pay attention to fine details
When you are doing beauty retouching, you are playing with the pixels and thus, all the small changes you make will drive you towards perfection.
4- Too much perfection is a mistake
I heard this line in a movie and till now I have always followed it. Don’t get too carried away by trying to correct all the blemishes. A fine tuning is always more important. Remember, flaws are acceptable. Moles, blemishes and even hair on skin look great. Period.
5- Set a time limit
With time I have learned that either giving too much or too little time can spoil your work, you have to set a time limit and stick to it.
6- Give rest to your eyes.
You don’t have to continuously work on any image. Give break to your eyes in between. As tired eyes will start deceiving you and you will start seeing faults, those are not even there.
7- Accept your retouching style
With time you will be able to find your own retouching style. When you do so, stick to it. Meanwhile, you can observe how other people retouch their images.
8- Critically examine your own work
Don’t get carried away if someone says that you are not even close to the kind of retouching they are looking for, or you are a great retoucher. Feel free to learn from the experts of this field. Whenever you are free, check out their work and take some time to absorb it. You should be able to criticize your own work and with time things will get clearer to you.
9- Less retouching is more
You don’t need to apply all the techniques of Photoshop you learned on a single image. Too retouched images start to look overcooked and also lose their details.
10- Retouching can not undo bad photography
One of the important reasons why you are not able to get a perfect image is because the image that you are working on is itself too flawed to be corrected. Retouching is used to enhance a good image to a great image.
If our article is able to solve your beauty retouching problems, let us know in comments.