Glamour Photography & Retouching
Posted Date : Wed, Aug 8, 2012, 4 : 41 PM
Glamour photography is a much sought after field, and many budding photographers hope to leave their mark on fashion and glamour over the years. Glamour photography takes planning, skills, practice and dedication like any other career. One aspect that however distinguishes fashion and glamour from other genres of photography is the fact that the photographer is hugely dependant or stylists and makeup artists during the shoot, and on a retouching artist during the post processing stages. In fact, glamour images probably go through more retouching than any other form of photography. In this article, we’ll be looking at some of the classic retouching techniques used to enhance glamour images. Since this is a technical article on advanced Photoshop techniques, we assume that the reader already has a good idea on basic Photoshop tools. Still, all care would be taken to include maximum details within the limitations of space.
Planning Before the Shoot
So how did photographers manage glamour photography during film days, without Photoshop? With make-up of course! Make up and styling is a crucial part of glamour photography. Why not try and organize the best that you can with makeup, and minimize post production retouching? A few additional minutes in the makeup room can mean hours saved on computer at a later stage. Now, it is understandable that it is difficult for a photographer to be a makeup artist as well! On the other hand, a photographer should have at the very least, enough know how so as to be able to guide and approve the work of the makeup artist or stylist.
During the Shoot – Lighting
Your choice of lighting can and does affect the glamour appeal of the image, and this is one department where the photographer is completely in control. Usually, fashion and glamour photographs enhance the linear form of the model’s face, in other words lighting such as butterfly or Rembrandt lighting is used. Also, do keep in mind that the more the light strikes the model’s face at an angle, the more texture does it bring out (and thereby accentuate every little mark, scratch and scar on the face as well). That said and done, one also needs to think about the softness of the light. Hard light is rarely ever used with glamour photography because of the fact that it highlights every little detail on the skin, which is not always a good thing. Some photographers like to use a ring flash with glamour, and this adds an interesting shadow all around the model (if the background is close enough). Coming back to the topic of this article though, soft directional light from about 45 degrees above the model usually makes for good, pleasing portraiture.
Photoshop has revolutionized the way photographs are post processed, especially so with digital cameras taking over the industry. While some may like to claim that Photoshop gives photographers a ‘cheat sheet’ to correct shooting errors, let us accept the fact that it is today a vital part of the creative photo process.