Editor’s Note: With the Travel Photography Conference coming up soon, I wanted to re-share this 2020 post from instructor Serge Ramelli! You can get more info about the conference and register at KelbyOneLive.com.
15 Years Of Retouching and My “Over Retouching” Story
When I started photography 15 years ago, what attracted me to it at first was the post-processing process. I remember seeing some super strong HDR photos that I was in complete admiration of, hoping that one day I would be able to pull that off.
So I started photography using Photomatix and doing lots of HDR. I felt like a kid that was given a toy. And like any kid, I played with the latest toys until I got bored with it
I loved doing this kind of photography. But there was just one thing that bothered me. The first reaction I was always got was, “Did you use Photoshop?” All because I used a post processing software. It sort of meant to me that I was not any more a legit photographer, but more like a graphic designer.
At first this did not bother me. But after years and years of getting this reaction, I started getting a little tired of it.
In 2010 I went to Photoshop World for the first time in Las Vegas and discovered the work of Peter Lik. I was absolutely in admiration of his photography and the size of the gallery in the Mandalay Bay Hotel. I did some research on him and discovered that he had several galleries on his own. Since then, I visited the one in Soho New York and Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles (which is now closed). I spent hour observing the reactions of the public in the gallery.
What surprised me the most is that the public usually reacted with, “Wow! What a beautiful beach, what a great city,” etc… there was no mention of Photoshop.
It was clear to me that there was some serious post processing done on his photos. But it was good processing. Processing that made the photos very dramatic but with a natural flair.
I then realized that there were several issues in my photos.(more…)