Let me clear from the start – there’s nothing wrong with Photoshop, or any other editing software for that matter. A little bit of Photoshop is to be expected and is indeed, necessary, but a little goes a long way… I am not keen on the ‘Photoshop Makeover’, where images are liquified to within an inch of their lives and skin smoothed so much that it looks plastic. I am a firm believer in ‘getting it right in camera’, and using my knowledge of light, pose, lens choice etc. to make you the best you on camera. So I have a few rules of Photoshop that I apply to images:
- If something is a permanent part of you (e.g. a scar/mole/birthmark etc.), I won’t retouch it out unless you ask me to.
- If something is a temporary part of you (e.g. a spot or strap mark), I will retouch it out
- I generally apply a light amount of skin smoothing to bring things back to what I call ‘human eye level’. Modern lenses are designed to resolve a huge amount of detail that goes well beyond what our eyes do. This tends to be a bit unforgiving, so I pull it back just a little, but you’ll never look plastic, I promise!
The photographic community seems quite divided on how and when Photoshop should be used, and there are those who don’t touch it at all and others who go all out. I like to think I am a ‘light touch’ user – I hope you’ll agree!