Common Retouching & Photo Editing Misconceptions


Do you know the difference existing between photo retouching and photo editing? Are you aware about which of them will likely be included inside your photo package? 

The truth is that most people usually overlook this aspect. It is very crucial given that it enables you to search for a professional photographer who will give you the perfect final images. The big photo studios don’t usually pay attention to the little details like these even though they tend to charge over the top for their services. 

The world of photography, photo editing and photo retouching are used interchangeably even though they don’t mean the same thing. There are photographers who tend to make use of them to mean the same thing. Unless you ask some questions, there is no doubt that this can be very confusing. This post will be explaining in details what photo retouching and photo editing means. After reading the details below, you will definitely know the right context in which both can be used. In a nutshell, the content of this post will be able to help you understand how to use both terms in communicating without any confusion. 

Meaning of photo editing

During special events, many images have been photographed. For instance, ecommerce products can have about 300 images, which we have managed to handle. The lighting, exposures and angles are different. This is simply because we decided to think outside the box by being creative. Our performances and activities also have various coverage. Photo editing is a process, which involves taking photos in large numbers and trying to narrow them to a few which have been improved. It can also be known as culling. 

Photo editing can also be seen as a process whereby there is the adoption of various techniques with the aim of improving how an image looks. The primary aim is to improve a photo’s quality. Through editing, the viewer will be focusing on those images that are flattering. There is no need wasting time trying to filter through all of the images. This is what makes editing very crucial. 

When a photo is being edited, several adjustments are made. These could be contrast, color, brightness and other factors. It doesn’t imply the picture is bad and the photographer is trying to fix or correct it. Rather, the pictures are being optimized for them to perfectly fit into the conditions, which exist during such time. There are times when the conditions may be better while in others, the camera may be great. Any professional photographer will be able to make the needed adjustments to ensure that photo editing is successful. 

In case your photographer fails to cull such images, you may have to sift through all of the images on your own. Furthermore, anytime your photographer doesn’t cull such images, there is every chance that they haven’t been edited. This is because a major reason why images are culled is so that the time will not be wasted during the process of photo editing especially images that fall below standard.

Meaning of photo retouching

In a situation whereby normal editing doesn’t produce the needed effects, photo retouching will then be used. Basic retouching simply implies working on a particular image over and over again. Such could be removing blemishes, smoothening of skin, brightening of the teeth, and others.

Through photo retouching, an image is altered and ready to be presented. It is a process, which ensures that an image is adjusted or tweaked. Such adjustment can come in the form of color correction. A process like this will require lots of work on the part of the photographer. It could be:

  • Brightening of the subject’s eyes
  • Fixing teeth that is damaged while the subject is smiling 
  • Minimizing of scars or acne 
  • Swapping of features between pictures 
  • Softening of the bags which are beneath the eyes 
  • Enhancing the shape of the face, upper body, waist lines and other parts of the body
  • Removing of any distraction 
  • And others  

There are photographers who do basic photo retouching whenever their clients place orders on fine art prints. It can also be done on photo albums. There are those who usually carry out extensive retouching based on the demand and instructions of clients. These could be bringing various images together, altering an image’s background, removing someone or people from an image. A task such as this will take lots of time given that people don’t have to notice that some items have been removed or added to an image. 

Which of the services do I actually need?

Photo editing has to do with tweaking some sliders. It is just similar to what applies in Instagram editing. This is perhaps why it is a process every professional photographer should be able to get a spot on. Photo retouching on the other, requires time and patience to master. It is similar to creating an image using a paint brush. Of course, there has to be an in-depth understanding of geometry, light and color. It can take the form of improving facial appearance or even removing dust particles inside an image. It can also be in the form of removing people from any scene that seems complicated.

Pardon any photographer who can do simple edits but can’t handle retouching. This is because the latter requires high level of skills. However, it is a process that can make your picture look professional and impeccable.