Photography Information


Photo Retouching and Touch Ups.

Is photo retouching cheating?


The human brain fills in elements that it cannot directly interpret. A simple glance or interaction can only gather so much literal visual information, the rest is filled in by the image processing mechanisms of our brains. This holds true hen assessing facial features. When we look at a person we are not looking at every single skin pore or every facial wrinkle, but rather a conglomeration of all the major features glazed over by our own interpretation and biases.
When a photograph is taken, it distills and freezes all of the details (and consequently flaws) of a scene. Elements that would be normally overlooked by a face to face interaction with a person become apparent and many times magnified. Loose strands of hair, small crows feet wrinkles, minor skin flaws all come to the surface and are stopped in time. When viewing a still image we have more time to examine and scrutinize all of the flaws we would normally overlook.
Proper photo retouching can eliminate al of the flaws that the eye would normal overlook anyway. there must be a delicate balance in the amount and severity of the retouching. Too much digital manipulation can lead to images that appear false and dated. When employed in experienced and delicate hands, subtle but deliberate retouching can reveal all of the natural beauty as the human eye would see it.


Skin retouching:

Retouching the skin is a delicate balance of removing the minor skin flaws while keeping the final image as natural as possible. Using very subtle density shifts and digital cloning almost all skin imperfections can be remedied.


Morphing and Molding:


Morphing and Molding is the technique of liquefying elements of a photograph in order to reshape or resize certain body parts. This is done by professional retouchers when the final image calls for reshaping , pushing or pulling elements of a physical form to better represent natural human symmetry. The most common areas addresses in typical situations are thinning of the thighs and arms as well as pulling in the belly to reveal a more defined physical tone.

Tom Hawkins does not Morph or mold any photographs unless specifically requested. In most cases proper posing, lighting and camera angle will do wonders for displaying the body at it's absolute best.



The overall clarity and snap of an image is defined and enhanced by proper image sharpening. The average photo is quite sharp to begin with but further clarity enhancing procedures can make a photo appear more realistic and vibrant. The essence of sharpening of sharpening is in the micro contrast which is the difference between light and dark areas of an image on a small scale.



Tonality retouching is one of the most overlooked facets of the retouching process. When executed properly a proper tonal balance will produce an image that is very natural and pleasing to the eye. Tonality is the overall representation and relationship of light and dark areas of a photograph. The way that light flows from dark to light is also considered tonality (or tonal range). The main instruments of use when controlling the tonal range in post production are those tools that control dynamics.



The overall balance and realism of colour is very important in producing timeless images. Minor misplaced or misrepresented hues will distract from the purity of the photo. With misrepresented hues the mind will not be able to pinpoint the exact element of imperfection but will dismiss the image as false and less realistic. By employing finite and subtle hue and tint shifts, the natural elements of colour realism will be achieved. In some cases hand tuning individual colour casts is necessary.











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