Describing her work as the creation of “moments that didn’t happen”, photo retoucher Amy Dresser speaks at Luminance 2012 about her thoughts and views on her profession. She discusses her process and techniques which “blur the line between photography and illustration”:
As far as portraits go, the key to Dresser’s philosophy of retouching is to not make it perfect, and to only get rid of what’s distracting. Focusing on evening out the tone and saturation of the skin will enhance the image while keeping the integrity of the person’s character.
In her method, the three things to work on in an image are:
She shows composites in both realism and fantasy, laying out step-by-step explanations of how images are made, and for what purposes.
Giving in-depth insight into the many, many types of problems that retouching resolves, she says,
“I see the marriage between photography and retouching as, like, kind of a limitless relationship; we can make anything happen between the two of us. And if I can give Weird Al’s horse Weird Al hair, then we can kinda do.. we can take over the universe, assuming the universe can be taken over by an image.”
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