The terms editing and retouching are used often in photography but are wildly different. In fact, there’s a big difference between the two based on the post-production sessions of digital photography.
After the ecommerce and social media boom, editing and retouching found new vantage points. Whether it’s professional growth or online selling, you can only get great images by editing or retouching.
Yes, your clients can’t still find the differences and would be happy with anything as long as you cater tailored solutions. But as a photographer, are you aware of the differences between photo editing and photo retouching? If not, then you’ve arrived at the right spot. This blog breaks down the difference between photo editing and photo retouching.
Defining Photo Editing:
Making or bringing some changes to the captured images with the most basic techniques falls under the photo editing quota. The alternations are minor but certainly impact the visual appeal of the photo.
Usually, photo editing includes:
- Adjusting the exposure.
- Color contrast.
- Temperature and white balance adjustments.
Photo editing doesn’t always ensure the final draft, but it provides a nice and clean base for further processing actions. Depending on the digital treatment, image editing can make photos soft, crisp, or sharp.
Editing an image can take seconds or minutes, according to the desired effect. It may not take much time, but it could mean hours of labor when applied over hundreds or thousands of photos. Usually, editing is used for magazines, brochures, logo design, and digital media promotion.
Defining Photo Retouching:
When simple editing fails to do the trick, you might prefer retouching to upgrade the quality of your pictures. Generally, editors use Photoshop or other advanced photo editing software to polish the images perfectly.
For instance, you might need extra tools for your portraits to enhance the skin with features like removing wrinkles, eliminating blemishes, airbrushing, and the never-ending list of actual photo manipulation. Usually, it takes professional editors 15 minutes to retouch a photo. But if you lack the knack for editing, AI-driven tools like autoRetouch strut in to save the day. Powered by machine learning algorithms, the software lets you automatically retouch the images with just a button click. However, extensive retouching is still a red flag in the photography world.
The Kinds of Retouching:
Basic retouching refers to the simple changes applied to an image to create high-quality photos. The features include:
- Teeth whitening.
- Blemish removal.
- Eliminating distraction.
- Pimple/Scar removal.
- Removing stains from clothes.
Basic retouching is simply adding effects to promote an artistic style from a professional photo editor’s point of view.
Usually, advanced retouching is applied over a handful of images, and these techniques typically transform ordinary photos to perfection. In general, advanced or extensive retouching takes about 30 minutes for a picture. Besides time and patience, advanced retouching requires skilled hands and eyes for perfection.
The primary photo manipulation techniques include:
- Compositing images together.
- Background removal and customization.
- Smoothing skin.
- Slimming the body.
- Applying digital makeup.
- Adding depth to images.
Advanced photo retouching is used for specific genres like weddings, newborns, headshots, and product photography. The manipulation techniques will vary according to the photo shoot genre and final copies.
Photo retouching requires you to be specific with the style because your clients might be looking for something different. So, before starting your way with photo editors, make sure you are discussing the level of enhancements you will be using. Whether the modifications are minor or drastic, you still need to make the photos look professional and surreal. At the end of the day, you want to make the retouched images clear and straightforward.
The Differences Between Photo Editing and Photo Retouching:
Though photo editing and photo retouching fundamentals appear similar, they have distinctive differences. Here are some of them:
- The goal of editing is to have a sharpened picture, accurate exposure, and cropped at the correct size.
Meanwhile, retouching aims to achieve the editor’s artistic vision based on the photographer’s perspective or imagery concept.
- Photo editing is an easy process, and anybody can do it with a bit of training.
Photo retouching is complicated and requires an advanced level of expertise.
- Usually, image editing requires a couple of minutes, depending on the quality and requirements of the client.
The strokes of photo retouching are profound. From a simple 15 minutes basic touchup, it can take about an hour to reconstruct the images perfectly.
- The most common application of photo editing is to improve the quality of product photos on ecommerce websites.
On the other hand, photo retouching is intended for industrial use, weddings, travel photography, events, and more.
- Simple manipulation is required for photo editing, whereas high-level photo manipulation techniques comprise photo retouching.
The demand for photo editing and retouching can differ based on the photo shoot. If you only need to enhance the quality of your images, photo editing is the only way to go.
Which of the services do I need?
The selection of photo retouching or image editing will vary according to your needs. If all you need is an enhanced photo with the essence of the original one, photo editing will work just fine. But, if you are looking for ways to bring some significant modifications, retouching helps you to keep up.
For instance, you can tweak the exposure and color contrast if you need to bring out the blue of your picture. Yes, the process does demand paying attention to detail. So make sure you are rubbing the image sparingly.
On the contrary, you might need to transform your day shots into night scenes which you can only accomplish with retouching. The solution? Use photo retouching to apply actual photo manipulation and create mesmerizing views out of thin air.
Editing and retouching can mean different things based on the editor and what is essential to ensure you understand what your clients expect you to deliver. Hopefully, the guide helped! If you still need to master the retouching techniques, give the AI-driven autoRetouch a spin! The self-operating software will let you retouch your images like an editing wizard in just a few seconds.