What is Your Photoshop Tolerance Level?

Retouching is routine in a a professional portrait. Rescupting via photoshop, Portrait Pro and other facial recognition software is a matter of preference. I have had requests to remove all lines, freckles and spots. The result is something like creating a picture of an egg with lips and eyelashes.

On the other hand, some clients want only what could be achieved with light and makeup. I would call that, “ordinary retouching”. Also, anything that isn’t permanent, like a blemish or a cold sore is automatically removed. I leave in freckles but take out anything that the client was trying to cover with makeup.

Here is a sliding scale to compare how things can be. I have used myself as guinea pig. These three photos are all using the same image as their source.

Please reply in the comments: what is your Photoshop Tolerance?

Introducing: Portraits Without People

If you have ever looked through all of the art at Bed, Bath and Beyond, or Winners or anywhere else where affordable art is for sale and hoped for an image that reflects you. Maybe just an element of it, for example, a grey cat standing on a sidewalk, reminds you of your own grey cat, but the street is unfamiliar and the cat looks lonely. Also, the portrait doesn’t say anything about you. It just says a lot about a cat that isn’t even your cat.

If you have ever thought, I will go get my portrait professionally made and the photographer will understand your essence. You hope that it will be the true you. But in the end, you weren’t super comfortable and your mouth looks weird.

If you have ever thought, “OK, the cat thing and the pro portrait thing didn’t really work out for me, so maybe if I combine them”, and you get an awful photo with your cat.

Then maybe this is for you. Enter the world of Portraits Without People.

This is my self portrait:

Here are the elements:

  1. the objects are sitting on a table that I refinished
  2. the vase was a gift from my husband
  3. those are three of my favourite books
  4. those peonies are from my garden and they are my favourite flower
  5. the gauzy thing in the backdrop is one of my daughter’s wedding veil (all of my children are married as of last month)

I bet that you can think of things that you would put into a Portrait Without People. Your Grandmother’s locket, the lace glove that you wore at your wedding, your favourite book or a piece of music that you could play over and over.

Just for fun, I tried arranging the elements of my self-portrait and grabbed a shot they way I might have done 20 years ago. It looks like a picture of some stuff. Here is the comparison, side by side.

I am wondering if you would be interested in creating this type of art and if you would like help. I am considering doing a workshop or even individual sessions. Not sure yet but I will give it more thought if I think that there is some interest. Kelowna residents only. Best way to let me know is to contact me through my Instagram @wendymcalpineperson or facebook. I am interested in hearing what you have to say.


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