If photography is an art, so is retouching. While there are school teaching photography classes, fewer offer retouching programs. Many photographers starting out seem to be looking at the same tutorials over and over again, without ever actually getting anything out of it. Frequency separation, dodging and burning, or curves will only get you so far before you hit a wall. In past the two years, I’ve been looking at other crafts to step up my retouching work. Here are five things I have spent time on that you should look into and why.
Articles written by Quentin Decaillet
TTL, HS, and HSS have pretty much become a standard across the flash industry today. Every manufacturer is releasing new units on a regular basis with more features than any photographer could ask for or even need in. Following the trend, Nissin just announced a new TTL transmitter, the Air10s.
Grids are probably amongst the best pieces of equipment a photographer using flash can own. Alas, they are often either underrated or misunderstood. On one of my recent shoots, I decided to create a lighting setup with grids on every single strobe. My goal was to create a somewhat complex setup, that once broken down step by step would be easy to recreate by any photographer starting out in studio photography.
So many photographers dream of shooting the Pirelli Calendar, but so few make it. German Photographer Peter Lindbergh shot the 2017 edition, and he’s probably someone we can all learn from. There must be a reason as to why he is working with all the big names in the cinema and modeling industry. For those like me, who love watching other photographers at work to learn, you must watch this hour-long behind the scenes video of his work for Pirelli.
I’m sure many of you have wished at times that you could decrease your presets' opacity in Lightroom. There isn’t any real option existing, or so I thought until I stumbled upon The Fader by Capture Monkey. It's a simple plugin which allows you to increase or reduce your presets' strength.
Pixellu released SmartAlbums about two years ago, and it was a game changer for wedding photographers. Creating albums was made easy and affordable, even for those who don’t know a thing about design. They are back with a new product this year and aim to change the game again. This time, they bring a slideshow solution called SmartSlides. I had the chance to access the beta in its early stage and wanted to give you a first impression. Wedding photographers, be sure to read this article. You may find a new product to sell while not doing much more work!
In the past few years, flash manufacturers have put a lot of efforts to let cameras’ x-sync fade into obsolescence. However, the current solutions are not perfect and aren’t always intuitive to use for non-tech-savvy photographers. In 2016, I made a comparison between Hi-Sync and HSS. Since then, I have had the chance to play with a Phase One XF and give the beautiful Schneider Kreuznach leaf shutter lenses a try. With more experience using Hi-Sync as well, I thought a follow-up article was well overdue. So let’s dive in and see what solutions are currently available to go past the x-sync limitation.
Competitions are fantastic to push yourself and create the best work you’ve ever produced. It’s also a great way to compare your imagery to others and see how you could improve your craft. Broncolor announced their NextGen contest for photographers under 30 a few days ago, and now it’s Hasselblad’s turn to open their traditional Masters Awards 2018.
Karl Taylor is a name you’ve probably heard of if you look for photography videos on YouTube. He’s been working with big brands such as Hasselblad and Broncolor to create comprehensive content helping beginners as well as advanced photographers. In his latest video, he shows us how he created a beautiful lighting setup yielding photoshopped-like results.
It’s become a tradition: every year, Broncolor offers select young and talented photographers a chance to access some of the best strobes and light modifiers for free for two years. The lucky ones are chosen through a competition called "Gen Next," which is now open for 2017.
When we think about removing something in post-production, more often than not the clone stamp tool and the healing brush come to mind. We have been used to seeing these tools as the ultimate ways to erase an object from images. However, it's not always the best, or even the fastest way to do it. Greg Benz, the creator of Lumenzia, shows us in a quick video how we can erase a shadow in a few clicks using luminosity masks.
Apple MacBook Pro is without a doubt the laptop of choice for most photographers on the go. However, I've heard of many encountering heat issues when working on it for a prolonged period of time. After recently experiencing this problem myself and having my computer shutting down on its own, I started looking for a solution. It turns out that it's not complicated to control the heat. If you retouch or edit videos quite often on your Apple laptop, you should definitely read the following article.
Changing a single particular color is easily done in Capture One, but it can prove to be a little bit more complicated in Photoshop. None of the tools found in Adobe's image editing software target colors such as orange, violet, azure, or other tertiary colors. However, there is a very simple trick to make it happen. I'm not talking about curves here, but an approach that will be extremely easy to understand, even for beginners.
It’s become a tradition for Phase One to announce a major new version of Capture One during the last quarter of the year. 2016 is no exception, and the tenth edition of the professional image editing software was just released today. The already fast and very complete application is now even better thanks to a couple of new tools and enhancements.
Canon has always been known for its fabulous portraits lenses: the 85mm f/1.2 and the 135mm f/2. I used to own and love both of them, with a preference for the first. When I bought into the Nikon system, I was afraid I would miss these two optics. But truth be told, the Nikon 85mm f/1.4 is at least as good as its Canon equivalent if not better! Regarding the 135mm, that’s a whole different story as the Nikon’s is quite old now. However, they recently announced the 105mm f/1.4, and I had the chance to put my hands on it for a few weeks! Let’s see how it compares with other portrait lenses and if it could potentially replace a 135mm.
Only two months after it was released, the Elinchrom Skyport HS for Olympus is getting an update and now supports Panasonic cameras. It still does not support Fujifilm, but it seems like the Swiss flash manufacturer is heading in the right direction by adding more devices to its supported cameras list.
Drones have grown into a standard item to own not only for videographers, but also for many photographers. Most have used them to capture images from the sky or places hardly accessible otherwise. A few have played around with these small machines to light their subject in a unique way, just like our very own Patrick Hall did when lighting a lighthouse with a DJI Phantom and a Nikon strobe. Photographer David Robinson took this to the next level and strapped an Elinchrom ELB 400 to an octocopter.
Color management is probably amongst the hardest things there is to understand and learn when it comes to retouching and photography. So many elements are to be taken into account to create the perfect final print that it can be extremely complicated and time-consuming. Part of that process is to have a raw converter software able to match your vision and your needs. Capture One is known for its modularity and customizable features. Let’s see how we can use it to help us get the colors we want out of all our raw files.
Affinity Photo was released over a year ago on Mac OS X. Its success on the App Store definitely shows how great the software truly is. It is also proof that people are looking at different options than the traditional Adobe workflow. Until now, one thing refrained many: Affinity Photo was available only on the Apple platform. But today is a new day and the software is now Windows compatible.