Retouching Mistakes Beginners Make

You don’t become a professional retoucher overnight. It will take a lot of time, practice, and patience to learn how to effectively deal with photo editing. In this post, we have collected the most common mistakes that beginner photographers make when retouching photos. Keep them in mind – and you will polish your skills and get your hand trained at photo editing much faster.


Mistake 1 – Applying a Lot of Effects

It is pleasant to look at photographs reflecting harmonious colors that match each other. The main thing here is to use filters and to do color correction correctly. Applying lots of effects will hardly work for you. This principle is effective in some cases only, and retouching is no exception. Even when slightly overdoing hair or skin smoothing, you run the risk of getting an extremely artificial visual or a plastic face. It is important to find a balance and do not go to extremes.

Mistake 2 – Blurring a Big Part of the Visual

In an effort to make the skin look porcelain and smooth, beginners arm themselves with blurring tools and often apply them unevenly. As a result, the retouched zones differ sharply from the rest of the visual and make a photo look unprofessional and cheap. Therefore, it is better to avoid playing with a blur effect as it will never work for you.

Mistake 3 – Whitening Teeth

A Hollywood smile looks great if it is the result of dental care and not the miracles of photo editing tools. The artificially whitened teeth in the photo can look creepy as they will contrast sharply with the skin tone. If this is not the effect you are aiming for, do not go overboard with whitening.

Mistake 4 – Making Perfect But Unnatural Faces

Nasolabial folds and wrinkles on the eye corners when smiling are normal. Every person has them, regardless of age. There is absolutely no need to get rid of these elements without leaving a trace. Otherwise, the face in the portrait will look unnatural.

Mistake 5 – Being Unattentive When Retouching

All of you have seen the photos where the doors and walls in the background bend from the muscles of men. This is a good example of bad photo retouching. To prevent this from happening, you need to carefully monitor what elements you increase or decrease on a photo and how you do that. A solid background in studio photos is your savior, but when you make your waist slimmer in other situations, make sure that the background remains unchanged.

Mistake 6 – Incorrect Color Matching

Be extremely careful when working in photo retouching applications. Thoughtlessly manipulating the brightness and saturation sliders results in the photo being blown out. Adjusting the exposure can lead to unpleasant consequences. The loss of halftones and highlights makes the photo blank. On the other hand, overly saturated clothes or grass in the photo does not look cool either. It is better to increase the saturation slightly, having previously adjusted the layers. Otherwise, you risk damaging a photo in just a couple of clicks.

Mistake 7 – Using Wrong Programs

Photo retouching in professional programs can be rather tricky for newbies. To begin with, you can opt for a simpler program, for example, Retoucher. Its retouching tools are quite easy to understand and use. Click here to read the guide and see what the program can do for you.

Mistake 8 – Applying Excessive HDR

The main purpose of the high dynamic range is to make the shot visually the way the human eye sees it. However, it is important to be careful when playing around with HDR as it has some side effects: creating harsh colors and reducing the level of natural light. In any case, it is worth experimenting with HDR by taking a few frames with and without it, evaluating the result.

Mistake 9 – Overdoing Contrast

Overly detailed shots look good on magazine covers when they highlight the juiciness of food or facial features. However, in ordinary shots, dark skin with a halo will look inappropriate against the background of overly detailed grass.

Also Read – 10 Free Photoshop Alternatives You Should Try

It Can Be Easy

You do not need to have extensive photo editing experience or special talents to create outstanding images and portraits. Just stick to the above recommendations – and everything will be possible for you!


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