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Ask the Pro Q&A - John Ross on Photo Retouching


In the past I have mentioned that in order to go from a snap shooter to a good photographer you have to edit your images with some kind of photo editor. While some may argue if you work at getting it right in the camera you won't need to 'photo shop'* the image. I disagree. All images will benefit from some type of correcting whether it is to increase saturation on an otherwise dull image or boost up the black levels to make an image pop. Making these corrections elevates an image from a snapshot to a photo. (Well, not the only thing...)

If you want to go from a mediocre photographer to a good photographer you will take your editing to the next level. That means spending a little more time with the software to tweak the image to a level that regular camera users don't bother with. While it is time consuming--specially if you are not fluent with the editors--the results are worth it and if you are aspiring to go pro it is a necessity.

But, if you are looking to really stand above the rest you need to seek out professional image retouching services.

John Ross is a local professional photo retoucher with years of experience and an impressive list of clients. This past weekend he was kind enough to sit with a small group of our members to discuss the art of retouching and its benefits to working photographers.

The evening started off with John pointing out a variety of photoshop errors he discovered in print ads in magazines. Some were very noticeable while other were subtle, giving us a hint to his keen eye for image flaws. Along the way he gave us tips on how to correct these flaws turning it into an impromptu retouching class.

Because we were a small group John asked the members to provide him with one or two images for critique. It was nice to see the process one would use to start working on editing an image. Specially if you don't have experience with photo retouching. Not only did he explain what he would do, he also talked about some of the tools to do it with. Again, this was a great learning session.

The final part of the evening was a walk through of actual client images John has worked on in the past. He showed us, layer by layer, how to take an image right out of the camera and, through the magic of photo manipulation, turn it into a work of art. It was amazing seeing the development and ultimate transformation of these images.

About John Ross

John owns and operates The Art of Retouching Studio, a full service photo retouching and pre-press design service. Aside from his photo editing services, John also teaches photo editing, studio workflow techniques as well as Adobe Photo Shop classes. Classes are offered periodically throughout the year both as hands-on classroom sessions and through remote learning sessions.

You can contact John through any of the links provided below.

If you want to take your images to the next level you have to have the tools to do so. John Ross and his Art of Retouching Studio will help you attain that next level.

NOTE: While I use the term photo shop throughout this article it by no means refers to the popular photo editing software by Adobe. It is simply the popularized vernacular used to describe the act of digital photo manipulation regardless of what software is used.

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