This is a photo that I took a few years ago and used as a retouching demonstration for my Studio Photography class. It takes about 20 minutes per portrait to do the things I think need to be done, though I have Photoshop actions and filters that would do some of the same things in seconds. But while I think automation is generally good, the personal, discretionary touch of the photographer is usually better.

A general retouching philosophy of mine is to avoid the temptation to “Photoshop” a photo too much. I told my students that I think that when the retouching is finished, the “real person” should remain. Skin texture, teeth color, beauty marks and scars are part of who we are. This photo of Emily is a fairly low resolution copy, but I think the an 8×10 print of this picture would reveal the “real” Emily.

Canon 5dII 1/640s f/3.5 ISO400 135mm Canon 70-200 2.8 Lens

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