Wednesday, February 10, 2010

who'd you rather....



I've been working on a new portfolio recently as I haven't had one if 5 years, and the agents have been bugging! Spending the time and money to do it right while it's winter....anyway, working with my retoucher Bianca on a lot of images, and we had a fun little back and forth conversation about retouching, womens self image, the good, the bad, and the ugly of it all. I've posted these before and after images of a model I shot a couple of years ago for Mens Fitness for a story about sex. This image is the one that got us to talking. We had a good laugh about the fashion mag business and the mens mag business and how they want different things from the same image. The fashion books (think vogue and glamour) really want the skin to look flawless and the women look skinny. While the lad mags like mens fitness and maxim just want bigger boobs and ass! I'm not a big retoucher as I think the picture really starts to lose its soul if you do too much, but at the same time if done right it makes the soul of the picture alot better. I asked Bianca to do my normal "clean up" on the image while leaving it raw enough to keep its soul. This is alot of retouching for me, but hardly any for a fashion mag. If you look closely at the 2 images, you can see the skin gets a better glow and less ruddyness and generally a crisper feel. But Bianca also evened the boobs out. If you look at the boob on the right (and i'm sure you will, both men and women cause lets be honest, women are harsher and more judgmental on other women than men are. Men are pretty simple: "big boobs. good." women are more like "her boobs are ok but look like they're starting to sag. I'm glad i dont have boobs like that." am i right or am i right? you let me know. I personally think my boobs are perfect), you can see the unevenness of the cleavage, so she built cleavage on the right to match the boob on the left. You can also see around her arm pits that Bianca sculpted a bit to remove the little bulge and make it a sleeker image overall. The genie really is out of the bottle when it comes to retouching. Its amazing and scary what can be done to an image these days. It's pretty much impossible to have a good self image if you're a 16 year old girl trying to grow up. Conversely, it's pretty hard for a 16 year old boy to find a girl who's as perfect as the girls he sees in magazines. Anyway, thought you might find this interesting, I think I will do it more often with other images as well as it's pretty interesting. Click the images and they will open bigger in a new window so you can really see the difference. So, if you had the chance to blow bubbles with one of these girls, who'd you rather...

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

if the agents are bugging, is that good? anyway, i'd go with the girl on top. :-)

jaydee

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Brant said...

I agree with you about women being tougher critics when retouching other women's bodies. The uneven boobs, in this case, is charming. Makes sense because one shoulder is back more than the other. I'm a little sad to see the cute chubby armpit go away as well. Having wielded a markup pen side by side with women I know that they point that stuff out and ask me "don't you think that looks weird? We should fix that". I vote option number one. Although I like the skin in Bianca's version.

Fred Marais said...

I would be happy with either of them :-) I just sometimes think that every single photo that is taken these days is manipulated and 'cooked'. I personally think that sometimes a little rawness is good.

Great article and thanks for Sharing.

Fred

grayman said...

cant say I noticed any problem with the first one until you said.I still prefer old school photos with all their flaws

Jay said...

I much prefer the original. The flaws are what give someone character and the first photo has more character and more sex appeal as far as I'm concerned.

Anonymous said...

I have to say that I prefer the original only because the photoshop work done on her left arm (camera right) creeps me out. Her armpit line is so straight -- that's sent off alarm bells in my head without me knowing why at first. Straight lines don't exist on the human body.

RayPlay said...

Great photog and great (commercial) PP. But it could, because of her straight armpit line, easily be in photoshopdisasaters.

Elysabeth said...

As a female photographer in the maternity, boudoir, and wedding business, I definitely feel the pressure to retouch my female clients photos to make them look their best. Women clients are extremely critical when it comes to photos of themselves, and are quick to notice their imperfections. Though I probably wouldn't have done as much to the skin, my editing eyes immediately honed in on the lop-sided cleavage and armpit- Would have done the same corrections myself. My husband often criticizes my retouching as being unethical, but IMHO I would appreciate the work being done on photos of me so I don't mind helping my clients feel beautiful by fixing the small imperfections (especially if they're due to imperfect lighting, clothing, or posing). I think this attention to detail is why female photographers are making advances in the wedding and portrait industry.

Anonymous said...

Comment on the retouched image, if you're looking at the image, I think you can see a photoshop flaw that's done on the subject's right armpit area.

Anonymous said...

Colour fix on the face is good and necessary, others, especially boob job is not. They look unreal, fake.

Kim Letkeman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kim Letkeman said...

Second post, removed first for misspellings. I'm a huge fan of "beauty" processing and the job done on the image on the right is excellent. I believe in striving for the best image possible, and the capture is only half the issue. It is literally impossible to see every tiny flaw during capture and to correct it by shifting the model ever so slightly or by adding more makeup in areas that need it. You would be there all day long for one image. So these corrections must wait until post. And there is simply nothing wrong with giving a woman lovely skin. My opinions of course. My own processing experiments include images such as those in this series of posts: http://kimletkeman.blogspot.com/search?q=crombie

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Charles said...

A little bit of sag is OK. This lady is nice.

John S. said...

I love Bianca's work! Just visited her website the other day.

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