As a relatively junior ranker on GG I've been waiting for some of the bigger guns to comment on excessive PS work on several images posted on the various GG forums. As nobody has spoken up and many hide behind the 'maybe it's my old monitor' or 'this old laptop screen' cop out statements, I thought I should start a thread and see if it takes off.
To qualify myself I will admit I have been shooting models only since March this year and am very happy with what I have learned and the work I have done, and I know I've made a few models happy, too. I am by no means a glamour veteran or PS expert but I know the basics and I don't think an understanding of photography or PS techniques is required to pass judgement on whether an image looks fake or overdone. I have always tried to keep my images 'real' with the limited PS skills I have picked up this year. I've been fortunate enough to work with some skilled MUA's who can hide some flaws and what I have learned about lighting has helped with others. I also admit to owning Jeff Black's awesome PS DVD and to having paid attention to people I've been fortunate enough to work with including the amazing Robert Sanders at the Supershoots workshop, and to studying various books and articles about retouching. This is how I learned my PS skills thus far. Enough about me.
I am seeing more and more images of plastic, smooth, poreless skin, over whitened and oversharpened eyes, strange coloured skin and other signs where retouching has gone completely overboard, yet all I read in the threads is how great the pictures look. Am I missing something? I used to be constantly inspired when I logged on to GG. Now I often find myself frustrated when I see these way overworked images and nobody is saying anything. I expect constructive criticism when I post an image and I learn from that. I have gone back and reworked images based on peoples suggestions.
So. What happened? Are standards changing? I saw a cover shoot of Leanne Tweeden a month or two back that was so overwoked it looked like a CGI babe from a video game. I didn't get the mag so I'm not sure if that was the intent but it ties to this post.
I'm interested to see what others think. I also don't think we're doing models a favour by overworking them as they get hired many times based on their books and if all their shots are perfect and they show up and they're not, you're going to have at least one set of unhappy people.
Comments please. The Emperor has no clothes.
Here's Dani. If you've worked with her you know she doesn't need much PS.