photo retouching



We explain what photo retouching is, what it is used for, why it can be controversial and the applications that are used to do it.

Photo retouching allows you to obtain a modified version of an image.

What is photo retouching?

Photographic retouching is the digital treatment of a Photography or an image already taken, using different computer tools that allow obtaining an improved, modified or totally different version from the original. It is a very common procedure nowadays, which is usually used by advertising and the social networks.

Photographic retouching is not something new, and previously it was part of the mechanisms of the so-called “post-production”, that is, of the ways of altering the image taken to obtain a greater expressive effect or to correct a mistake. This has been done in both photography and movie theater since its inception, but it has gained greater strength today thanks to the digital photography and the rise of Software of design.

However, these types of mechanisms are still controversial in certain areas, since they can be used in order to deceive or defraud, altering the frozen reality in photography. Something especially important when it comes to reports graphics, news photography or documentary.

Even in the promotional or advertising field, it is often viewed with suspicion, since it allows the dissemination of unreal or implausible content as true. Thus they create unattainable standards of beauty, since Models The photos have been retouched to look much better than they actually do.

However, photo retouching can be a useful tool for photographers and filmmakers who seek perfection in the image taken (and not the apparent perfection of the photographed model), that is, who wish to “polish” or eliminate imperfections in their photographs and achieve a much higher standard of beauty: levels of brightness, contrast, saturation of the color, etc.

Thus, a certain level of digital intervention is increasingly accepted in artistic photography, since it is understood that the beauty captured by the photographer's eye can be further enhanced by certain digital processes. In other cases, even, the work of art is impossible to obtain without photographic retouching, as in the case of collages and fantastic compositions or avant-garde.

Photo retouching programs

Some of the best known applications that allow the digital retouching of a photograph are the following:

  • Adobe Photoshop, developed by Adobe Systems Inc., is one of the best known on the market. It was launched in 1990 and its most recent stable version dates from 2020, so it remains among the most demanded.
  • Corel Photo-Paint, specialized in editing raster graphics (map of bits or bitmaps) is part of the suite room computer science Corel DRAW Graphics, from the company Corel. It has a highly customizable work environment and its 2010 version is the most recent.
  • Adobe Lightroom, another computer program from Adobe Systems Inc, was released in 2006 for both Macintosh and IBM computers, and quickly became a favorite among designers. Its most recent stable version dates from 2017 and there is a newer version in development.
  • GIMP, another bitmap editing program, whose name is short for GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a free and free program, part of the GNU project with a general public license, also available in various Languages. Its most stable version is from 2020 and is constantly updated by its own users.
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