Frequency Separation in Photoshop
Great video from TWiP about Frequency Separation for retouching portraits! For me this technique of retouching images was a real eye opener, not to mention a time saver. What I like most is the versatility, since you’re working on several layers it’s possible to make a very clean (plastic looking some might say!) image, and you can then dial it back to add in something more.
Retouching is allowed!
For me retouching is something that I don’t shy away from. But every thing can be overdone and it’s the same with retouching. I heard a neat explanation, which I’m sadly only able to paraphrase. But this one photographer said that for him retouching his wife had nothing to do with blemishes or wrinkles. Because of the love for his wife, she’s this perfect being, and by retouching her image he’s only trying to show what he sees every time he looks at her. I think that’s because one tends to look past these things with family, friends and loved ones.
Don’t overdo it!
That made sense to me, but as mentioned, at one point you could overdo it, and it’s so easy to be a bit heavy handed when applying different methods of retouching. As a general rule I feel like after you’ve retouched any picture, it’s a good idea to leave that image be for a day and come back to it. Most likely you’ll see your earlier excessive use of effects and dial it quite a bit back.
Retouching is cheating!!
And for all the nay-sayers and “purists” out there. Retouching has been a part of photography probably as long as photography has existed. Take a look at this article from PetaPixel to learn more about it.