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Photography Retouching. Another reason why you should hire Jeff Kolodny

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There is so much more to photography than simply clicking the camera.


Photography by Jeff Kolodny -retouch example.
Check out this before and after example. This picture was taken in the middle of August at a park in Fort Lauderdale. Given the heat and humidity there is no way she would not have shiny skin. Further more, the wind caused some hair to stick to her face.  Actually only a few dark hairs stuck to her face, I have seen much worse.  When retouching this picture, I used a special technique called Frequency Separation.  By using this method, I could separate the texture from the color and work with two different layers.  Most less skilled photographers or retouchers simply blur the skin, or stamp out the bad parts which results in poorly retouched looking faces.  


BELOW: Screen shot of Frequency Separation.

As a photographer, taking nice pictures is a necessary skill.  Having the ability to capture special moments, combined with posing skills & the ability to compose pictures correctly are all critical elements of any successful photographer.  When people hire a photographer for a wedding, engagement photo session, family portrait, Bat / Bar Mitzvah, model session or any other type of imagery that includes a person, there is one underlying factor to consider.  People want to look good!  It’s not just that people want to look good, people also want their pictures in general to look good.  

Sunburn on a girls arm.
This picture was taken during a family portrait session at a Boca Raton beach. Many South Florida vacationers don’t realize how easy it is to get sunburned. As a result I often find myself fixing sunburn marks. In the above picture, I had to turn the red sunburned skin back to normal skin color, then blend the two tones together.


In photography, what you see is what you get.  Until the image is enhanced or retouched by a skilled Photoshop retoucher. 

BELOW:  This picture was taken my another photographer, the couple in this picture loved this picture and was devastated that this picture was shot with this aweful light streak.  When they reached out to me, they told me that would be willing to pay anything to have this picture fixed.  As a South Florida professional photographer, I find delivering pictures like this unacceptable.  Lighting streaks such as this could be eliminated by changing the camera position. there are several different ways to do this without greatly changing the shot.  One option is for the photographer to move back and them zoom in, or move to the side, In this case a move to the left would have solved the problem.  Of course the family would have to shift their position.   In addition a lens shade would have eliminated the glare.  At a recent family photo session I had experienced the same problem.  However, I checked my work, saw the glare and changed position.   Fixing this photo required several steps.  First, I removed the lighting effect on the woman’s outfit by utilizing a combination of color adjustments and cloning the color from her dress.  This was tedious because of the fine detail.  The much more difficult part was fixing the guy’s shirt.  This was accomplished by cutting parts of the top of his shirt and then relocating the pieced to the glared part of his shirt.  The detailed pattern of his shirt was a challenge to reproduce.

Before and after retouched photo
I did not take this picture. I was hired to fix this picture which was taken by another photographer.



Shinny skin is very common in South Florida portrait photography.  The humidity and warm weather can make anyones face look shinny.  Lucky I can remove skinny skin, enhance eyes, adjust teeth, fix stray hair and so much more.  Play the video below and watch me remove shine in this portrait.

BELOW: One of the biggest requests I get is for slimming of body parts.  In this case her arm was requested.

Today every fashion magazine and celebrity picture has retouching.  In life most people can’t compete with the perfect figures, flawless faces that grace the cover of print magazines and fashion blogs.  The mark of an excellent retoucher is to perform the retouch work without having the finished image look retouched.  This is a skill that takes time to master.  In photo retouch there is no one way to retouch a photo.  For this photo I used a the liquify tool in Photoshop and then further corrected the shadows with the dodge and burn tool.  When re-shaping body parts it’s important to remember that you only want to re-shape the body and not the background.  In this case I had to re-build the dress in the area in which the arm used to be located.  Below is the video of the retouch work being performed.

BELOW:  Play the image below and you can see how I was able to fix the wind blown hair, Fix the guys jacket and remove the people from the background.

Portrait taken on a South Florida beach.

Shooting pictures on the beach could present a wide range of issues.  Some days on the beach are just amazing, with only a slight breeze and perfect lighting. Other days are more challenging.  As much as everyone would like to think every day in South Florida is perfect for beach photography, this just is not the case.  This means that blowing hair could sometimes be a problem.  I have had many couples tell me, I love the windy look.  I also love the windy look, however, getting that great picture perfect windy looks depends on many different factors.   The type and color of ones hair, the direction of the wind, the position of the sun, all play a role in beach portrait photography.  In the case of the picture below, the wind was not that bad.  However, it was hot and humid and her dark hair loved sticking to her face.  In this case retouching to remove the hair from her face was required.  If you play the video below, you can see how I used the clone stamp tool to remove the hair from her face.  Below that is a close up of her retouched face.  In order to be the best South Florida photographer, I believe retouching skills are required.  In many cases my picture need no or very little retouching.  However, the beach on a windy day sometimes requires photo retouching.