Last weekend I had a pleasure to be taught advanced high end retouching techniques by Solstice Retouch. Solstice, based in New York, is one of the best retouchers I know. His portfolio includes covers and editorial work for such magazines as FHM , Maxim, Marie Claire, OK! Weekly, VIVID, Playboy, Viva and many more. Ah, not to mention the extensive list of celebrity photos Solstice retouched. The list is pretty long but some of the names are Halle Berry, Paris Hilton, Cameron Diaz, Rebecca Hardy, Ellen Page, Xavier Samuel, Sarah Mclaughlin, Brooke Hogan, Ursula Mayes, Dania Ramirez, Marcela Pezet, Fatima Siad, Arcelia Ramírez, Ari Borovoy, Annalynne McCord, Katheryn Winnick, James Purefoy, Fernanda Romero, Sharon GlessSo.
So it was not surprising that I was beyond excited when I was able to bring Solstice to Chicago for him to pass along some of his amazing high end retouching knowledge and skills on a one-on-one workshop at my studio. Solstice is usually fully booked way ahead of time so I booked our weekend workshop as soon as he was available. I knew it would be a fantastic way to learn some advanced techniques but Solstice exceeded all my expectations. This guy is truly passionate about retouching, extremely friendly, easy going, and an extremely patient teacher.
The workshop was two day, Saturday and Sunday. The first day Solstice spent analyzing my portfolio, sharing some overall recommendations, watching me retouch, and then showing me his workflow and techniques. We started with proper workflow because without proper organization it's very easy to create Photoshop anarchy of layers:) I often end up with that anarchy so I knew this will help me a lot already. Surprisingly Solstice high end retouching techniques are not extremely complex. It all comes down to proper painting through heal & clone, split frequency, dodging & burning, and other adjustments layers.
The second day we spent Solstice watching me applying all the techniques we learned the previous day. I thought it would a be a boring day me sitting in front of my computer for endless hours. I was so wrong! This was fun! I was totally shocked how after couple of hours of Solstice sitting next to me and correcting me, my tablet painting skills got so much better. I definitely retouch now with a lot more confidence having the final look in mind vs experimenting with different techniques and seeing what I am going to end up with.
Ah… I forgot to mentioned that both my and Solstice passion for photography made us work Saturday from 10am till 2am and on Sunday from 10am till 11pm! Below are some of the results of my second day workshop of high end retouching.