All Posts By

Chris Barker

Why Photographers Need Digital Photo Retouching Artists as Much as We Need Them

Professional photographers often approach digital photo retouching artists to visually enhance briefs to satisfy client requests.

It’s true, you know. The ‘you scrub my back, I’ll scrub yours’ (professional) relationships/mentality actively encouraged between lensmasters (photographers) and image editing wizards (digital photo retouching artists) really is a ‘thing’.

As traditional double acts go, the working relationship fostered between professional photographers and equally professional digital photo retouching artists is as important (if not necessarily as lightly entertaining) as those historically forged betwixt the end of pier likes of Cannon & Ball, Laurel & Hardy and Morecambe & Wise.

Being based up here in sunny Lancashire, it’s only right and proper we make references to nearby Blackpool, in case you’re wondering.

Yet we could also wax lyrical about other famous double acts. More overtly musical ones, for example. Such as Michael and Ridgeley, Renée and Renato and the Irimia twins (Gabriela and Monica).

It matters not really. As the point we’re stressing is the importance of the almost intuitive nature of two individuals so in-tune with the vocational needs of t’other. OK. I may be over-egging the Lancashire terminology here, so I best decist so as not to risk alienating our readership of a non-northern demographic.

Regional brogues aside. Just why is it that Digital Photo Retouching Artists and Professional Photographers work hand in glove?

Returning to the very gist of this week’s blog though, and I’m addressing the often overlooked – yet keenly furthered– collaborations noted between the likes of us and them. The ‘us’ referring to digital photo retouching artists. The ‘them’ contingent being the photographers (in the capacity of lens-wielding pros). The latter of whom make it their business to capture blushing brides, snazzy new products, the beautiful people generally and pretty much anything else which they’re booked to do. And which best illustrates their particular portfolio.

The thing is this. Sometimes even a consumately professional/experienced photographer needs a little bit of additional help to create the finished visual article. Either as per their client’s demands, or because they’re pre-empting any questions that may arise shortly after from a client. And it’s us who they turn to when the chips are down, deadlines are to be met and said clients are requiring impressing still further.

But just how did it arrive at this, you may ask?

Which you did, in the above line. So let us explain a hypothetical situation or two.

All manner of issues might have arisen somewhere between the photographer clicking away on the day, and the emergence of the compositional piece de la resistance. Such as bad lighting, shadows cast, wind blowing, etc. To name but a few unwelcome attentions mischieviously triggered by Mother Nature herself from time to time. Any of which could result in advanced level histrionics across all parties.

Thankfully digital photo retouching artists are equipped with the neccesary tools/skilsets/experience to correct these more natural – yet wholly unplanned – interventions. Divine, or not so. And set about redressing the balance.

And most importantly, ensuring that the photographer’s client gets what they’re expecting to see.

Which in turn means our client (the photographer themselves) is also cock-a-hoop. And their client – the third party to us, in this creative platform-sharing/skill cross-fertalisational conundrum – is none the wiser as to the ways and means. Unless of course the photographer wishes to describe the entire journey to them. That’s their perogative.

Because let’s face it. The end product is ALL that matters. ‘Journeys’ are something X Factor contestants go on. And providing it looks the part, then the bits inbetween are largely immaterial.

So why does a photographer need to enlist the services of a digital photo retouching artist?

You mean, aside from what I’ve summarised in the above paragraph?

Well, they don’t always. As some professional photographers are relatively adept at image editing themselves, and may well have some form of background in it. However most don’t, and rely on digital photo retouching artists like ourselves to work with them at various times. Especially if the retouching necessitated amounts to more than merely simple visual ammendments. These unscheduled revisions can use up a significant timeframe, so as to complete to a client’s more exacting brief.

As far as many photographers are concerned, the more time spent on Photoshop, the less time they can dedicate to being out in the field, so to speak. And focusing on what they do best. Which is of course, capturing that often elusive money shot. The National Geographic-esque, career-defining moment they’ve long dreamed of. Or alternatively, an awesome shot of a bride and groom on their big day, in the guise of wedding photographers. And everything else in between.

Also time is money. Why dedicate extra curricular hours to tweaking photographic details while compromising your 9 – 5? Not when you can approach/brief digital photo retouching artists to weave the additional aesthetic magic. Or iron out the creases in a party dress, courtesy of the virtual image editing tools we’re rather good at plundering as a key part and parcel of our typical working remit.

Can’t photographers muddle through image editing themselves, though?

Some can. Hypothetically.

And should they possess some rudimentary online image manipualtion skills, as I touched on above. And if they have a spare decade to master the art of what we do for a living, then yes. More than likely in the long run.

But back in the real world time is money. And our core experiences and attributes – while widely acknowledged and respected by both camps – aren’t as easily interchangeable as the casual observer might like to think they are. Hence why digital photo retouching exists as a standalone industry, obvs.

In the guise of experienced and established digital photo retouching artists, we will achieve a whole new degree of sharpness, colour adjustment and quality; and routinely rifle through a whole compendium/back catalogue of other tricks, unique and indicative of our specific trade. So as to ultimately offer a seamless link in the process that begins with a photographer’s shutter speeds and ends in a digital photo retouching artist’s image enhancing fettling.

I’ll tell you what digital photo retouching artists do for photographers….

That was your very next question, right?

Covering everything from object, people and background removal work through to skin tone and red eye-correction, as digital photo retouching artists we are extremely useful at improving the seemingly – and hitherto – unimprovable. Identifying the otherwise most infinitesimal of visual detailing which could, effectively, make of break the deal/bond between a professional photographer and their client. And by default affording a photographer a different retouching perspective on something that they themselves might never have otherwise considered or observed was awry in an original piece.

Yes, we’re THAT accomplished.

You see there’s no doubting a photographers’ ability to compose and manipulate a scene. Nobody can get anywhere close to having their ‘eye for a shot’. Not just seeing it, but sensing it. Before the image presents itself to us mere mortals.

Trust us.

We’ve collaborated with some of the best in the business.

Yet they are not, by their own admission, beauty, wedding or product retouchers. Not to our same standards. Which is a very specialised set of skills that even Liam Neeson doesn’t possess to the best of our knowledge. Which goes a long way in explaining why digital photo retouching artists habitually strike up mutually beneficial associations and work at engendering the kind of business relationships which pay dividends to both parties in the long run.

Digital Photo Retouching Artists and Photographers need an almost intuitive understanding of one another. And where each is coming from. Like a sixth sense (but NOT the Haley Joel Osment type)

The way we see it is like this.

Digital photo retouching artists should always compliment the work of a photographer. Enhance it. Not detract from it. But work with it and pictorially embellish what already exists within the very fabric of the original image. For our part, and to do what we do as digital photo retouching artists, we must always bring four core ingredients to the table if we’re to compliment the photographer’s work. An eye for (and understanding of) art, a natural feel for compositonal values and an enlightened grasp of what factors underpin visual art. Oh, and an appreciation/knowledge of the rudiments of photography.

If we’re going to be instructed by our photographer clients as to how they wish us to graphically elaborate on what they’ve already created, then we certainly need to be up to speed with regards to how they see the world, visually.

Personalised Family Pet Christmas Card Design

Get Personal with your Family Pet Christmas Card Design this season, by using a Digital Photo Retouching Business to deliver the professionally Photoshopped goods.

Personalised Family Pet Christmas Card Design, eh?

There’s no use denying their existence. We’ve all seen them and can never unsee the horrific ones, more’s the pity.

You know exactly what we’re talking about.

Persian cats draped in tinsel/Christmas fairy lights. Lurchers made to don pretend reindeer antlers because their owners think it looks vaguely amusing. Which of course it does*. For precisely 10 seconds. Or until you’ve observed your tenth example of the genre that Christmas. That’s when the novelty factor starts to wear thin.

But it needn’t be like this.

This same old story with all the surprise elements of the traditional nativity play. Or entertainment values personified by your typical pantomime.

No. If you really, REALLY wish to immortalise your pet within an overtly festive theme-ology then why not afford them a bit more class and individuality (not to mention, dignity) this year. Courtesy of our personalised family pet Christmas card design. Trust us when we say that turning to a professional digital photo retouching company to do the honours will make your beloved pet’s year.

Bark Humbug. A Personalised Family Pet Christmas Card Design Could Be a Thing of Untold Joy This Year!

Rather than hand over a photo of your precious pooch to one of those (gulp/deep intake of breath) personalised greetings cards companies to superimpose them beneath the predictable santa hat or worse still; give them to us to REALLY personalise. God forbid, anything to save them from being reimagined as eight lords a leaping and/or the seven swans a swimming. And whatever else they get up to annually. i.e, to bring INDIVIDUALITY to the offering this season of goodwill. As opposed to adopting a more festive sheep mentality.

As in following the crowd.

We’re not advocating having your pet sheep captured for posterity against a decidely Yuletide-y backdrop. Although if that’s your sort of thing, then we’re happy to oblige all the same. And your confidentiality is assured.

Surely to goodness picturing your cat or dog looking au naturel in a less contrived surround/background would appeal to you more than randomly picturing them clad in the sort of paper hat you discover in a cheap Christmas cracker. Projecting a look of disdain only a few degrees of seperation away from full ‘kill mode’.

Have Yourselves a Yappy Christmas

Well if so, then get in touch with us right now.

And if nothing else we can save your pet the ignomy of being made to appear like a slightly pathetic (and crestfallen) interpretation of ‘The Snowdog’ on your personalised family pet Christmas card design this year.

We can create just about ANY personalised family pet Christmas card design you envisage, irrespective of genre. With genres available to you being, well, pretty much anything and everything (within reason/taste/decency/legal obligations). From comedic to cute and from classic to corny, we can picture your dog, cat, rabbit, hamster, gerbil, tortoise, horse or even pet fish in an array of different seasonal scenarios.

I’m sure those trendy primary schools have kids dressed as a Christmas haddock in the school nativity play these days.

Providing you email us a good quality digital photograph of your furry or scale-y best (animal) friend to work with, together with a rough idea of what backdrop you want them to feature prominently in. And then we’ll set to work on crafting a unique, memorable (and let’s face it, probably vaguely amusing) personalised family pet Christmas card design for you.

You’re (Dog) Walking in the Air. Well, You Could Be If That’s How You Fancy Portraying Yourself and Your Canine Friend During the Festivities

It could be that your pet will be visualized acting the part of themselves; or conversely portraying an instantly recognizable festive character lifted from the worlds of fiction, history, fairy tales or popular culture.

The sky really is the limit in terms of what you wish you personalised family pet Christmas card design to look like. And if you’re a bit sketchy on Yuletide concepts but desperate to send your family and friends a bespoke Xmas card from you and Rover/Tiddles this December, then let us make some suggestions. It’s all part of the service.

Like we said, the only thing you need bother yourself with is supplying a decent quality snap of your furry friend and we can see to the rest.

*or a bit like Santa’s Little Helper offa ‘The Simpsons’.

**and which means we’re MORE than happy to professionally superimpose/sensitively Photoshop said reindeer antlers onto the top of your Golden Retriever’s head, if that’s your brief

Everything’s Gonna Be All White This Christmas: As We Are Amazon Photo Background Removal Experts

Amazon white backdrops are our digital photo background removal speciality.

Last Christmas, we gave you our art. But the very next day you gave it away (admittedly, to your customers). The product you specialise in, that is. The one we worked on religiously for you in the guise of digital photo background removal experts. And as you’d briefed us to do.

Yup. We’re talking about the image which you asked us to remove the non-plain white background on, so as to adhere to the well-documented Amazon guidelines. Because that’s what companies who sell their products through Amazon have a habit of doing. Another recurrent habit many of them subscribe to, is approaching professional digital photo background removal experts like Digital Touch. Especially right now.

Did you know?

Fact: Did you know that in the run-up to Christmas we tend to receive an overwhelming raft of enquiries from business clients who are looking to advertise their wares on Amazon? In recent years the online retailing behemoth has experienced a significant increase in turnover in terms of customers both buying and selling products in the guise of Christmas gifts. Via its hugely successful ecommerce platform. Which has had a subsequently profound knock-on effect for digital photo background removal experts across the board.

Your White Christmas, All Wrapped Up

And the reason businesses approach us in their droves here and now is simple.

White space.

Acres of the stuff. They’re after it, knowing that we can deliver it. Whenever and wherever they instruct us to.

Annually meteorologists struggle to guarantee us the prospect of a white Christmas. Despite ready access to a wealth of cutting-edge, weather-orientated mainframe computer programming models and algorithms at their disposal. DT on the other hand can confidently predict our Amazon-using business client’s seasonally adjusted backgrounds will be whiter than white again this year.

Just as they were Last Christmas. And the ones before that.

Don’t fret. We’re not about to channel our inner Wham! again. You’re safe to read on.

Facts Not Fiction

Would you like another couple of facts, as we’re feeling generous on the fact front today. Well if so, here’s a few fascinating Amazon-themed examples for you.

Were you aware that each month a staggering 197 million people globally facilitate their devices and visit Amazon? A mind-blowing figure which equates to more than the entire population of Russia.

Or that Amazon sells some 12 million products and counting?

Or that Amazon is the largest online retailer in the world generating a brain-melting $232.9 billion in revenue in 2018 alone?

And how about this one.

A whopping 95 million people around the world are now Amazon Prime members. 95 million.

Just think about that.

But not for long, because as someone who makes it their business to sell on Amazon, the bigger picture is that you are able to tap into this incredible virtual network of dedicated Christmas shoppers searching for your product as one of their gifts for loved ones. That’s what you should REALLY be thinking about when reading this.

That, and the consideration that there’s nothing stopping you having a slice of this ecommerce action yourself. Well, apart from the underlying fact that you’re not currently advertising your product on a box-fresh plain white background, as stipulated by that nice Mr Bezos. Who only really lays down the law when preaching his strictly white background ethos.

All of which reminds you as to where DT comes into play.

With Amazon picking up 1,029,528 new sellers this year (according to reputable media sources), chances are you might number one of these folk keen to expand your business still further. And therefore you’ll probably require our much sought-after/professionally-honed attributes as digital photo background removal experts to launch you into the major league.

Of course, not everyone chooses to use an established image editing company with 20 years experience under their belts and more positive Trustpilot reviews than most have enjoyed hot dinners in that time. Choose us that is, to address the previously mused white background issue which needs resolving ASAP. So you too can jump aboard the Amazon Express/gravy train.

You may instead opt to go it alone. And try to work out how to master background removals in the next few days. Alongside all the other far-reaching technical rules and regs Amazon insist that sellers abide by from the outset. And if you believe for one minute that you can grasp digital photo background removal practices in that short space of time, then with respect, the finished results risk leaving a little/lot to be, how can we politely phrase this; desired.

From sizing individual images, framing, file formatting, electing colour modes for them and generally following a very strict code of practice demanded by Amazon, time is most definately not on your side. It’s never really on ours for that matter either, as our services are very much in demand. But because we’re so good at what we do*, briefs such as this come as second nature to us. So our turnaround time for business clients’ requests is typically nothing short of super fast. Yet never compromising on high quality visual work, obviously.

Allow DT to provide blanket Amazon coverage as your digital photo background removal experts this Christmas

You see, there’s much more of a skill to this white space-creating than perhaps first meets the eye to those unfamiliar with the illustrative script. Faux pas committed by the uninitiated are commonplace and unfortunately can have a negative affect on a potential customer’s would-be journey to their website. Aesthetic appeal is still very much key, even on a white background. Take for instance sellers who juxtapose their product isolated in an absolute sea of white, as they haven’t quite appreciated the need to balance the compositional appeal.

Paying more than just lip service to the edges of your photos is markedly important. You want to fill the frame, yet avoid cutting off the subject of your image. Which can easily happen. And then there’s lighting, shadows, shade, reflections, hues, saturations and a multitude of other equally pivotal concerns which should only be ignored at the seller’s peril. And if they’re not wanting to compete with their nearest rivals for their market share.

Tis the season of Good Will Ferrell to all men and women at Amazon. Providing the image is depicted on a white background.

Don’t Let Your product Be Left On The Elf This Christmas

Thankfully these are amongst the core elements that Digital Touch turn our exacting eyes to, and have done for Christmasses past, present and that other one you often hear about around about now. To save you both the time and trouble of attempting to work out all the intricacies for yourself. When your business has already got a million and one other things to otherwise prioritise in the run-up to Christmas.

So don’t take a chance and ‘wing it’ when it comes to digital photo background removal this Christmas. Or be ill-advisedly swayed by any amount of online video tutorials which profess to show you how ‘easy’ the task is, via supposedly foolproof step-by-step instruction. Not when you can easily get in touch with digital photo background removal experts with our reputation, in the time it takes you to log into your YouTube account.

This way you can keep everyone happy this Christmas. Your customers, your family (given the time it would take you to learn the basics of DIY background removal), Mr Bezos.

But most importantly, your customers. Those millions of buyers out there in AmazonLand looking to purchase what you’re selling. Just as long as you’ve presented it on a lovely white background, capturing it in its best light and engaging with its full potential.

Put it this way, we’ll remain on your Christmas card list for years to come you’ll be so chuffed with our work.

*digital photo background removal services

Let us Create a Corporate Christmas Card Design for You!

As a Digital Photo Retouching Company we offer a Corporate Christmas Card Design Service.

Calling all businesses! Have you never imagined how a professional photo retouching company could transform your festive image by way of having them (for ‘them’ read ‘us’) create a corporate Christmas card design for you?

Well if not, now’s the time to think again.

You know the script.

All year round you’ve had to keep a corporate lid on your excited inner child in the name of keeping up business appearances. Towing the LinkedIn line and generally projecting the sort of commercial image and ethos which keeps you one step ahead of the corporate competition. In whatever sector you choose to successfully go about your business.

However Christmas is now on the distant/hopefully snowy horizon. And that means everyone is entitled to relax a little and reconnect with their more playful side. And yes. That includes all you corporate movers and shakers and captains of industry out there.

C’mon now. Do we REALLY have to remind you of the tale of Scrooge and a Christmas Carol?

We thought not.

Christmas is the one time of year we can all afford to let our (collective) hair down and look forward to partying like it’s 1999. Again. Bearing in mind we’ve got to fast forward 20 years, obviously. ‘Partying’ and not ‘parting’ too, just to clarify.

And of course one of the most tried and tested ways of spreading a bit of festive cheer and goodwill towards all men, women and most importantly at this time of year, clients; is to send them a corporate Christmas card design.

But not just ANY Yuletide-themed stationary offering, but rather a personalised company Christmas card.

Or as we’re keen to refer to it as hereabouts, a corporate Christmas card design. The type that will resonate with your clients and make even the hardest-nosed business types a bit squidgy on the insides.

Perhaps make them chuckle to themselves. Maybe trigger the shedding of a seasonal tear if the subject matter is heartfelt and not humourous.

Whether the recipient laughs, cries, is shocked or simply smiles and senses a warm, fuzzy feeling growing inside of them, eliciting an emotion from someone you’ve conducted business with this past 12 months is what it’s all about come this time of year. And what better way to achieve this very human notion (and subsequent deed), than to create a bespoke corporate Christmas card design.

One that will strike a chord when opened by your client and remind everyone else of what Noddy Holder steadfastly reminds us to this very day. That “It’s Christmas!!”

OK. That’s what you want to happen. But what you DON’T want to happen is this.

What you don’t want to do/happen/transpire however is to venture down the predictable route. And opt for one of numerous animal name-inspired personalised greetings card websites who make a seasonal habit of trying to tempt the unwary into parting company with their hard earned in exchange for a glossy uploaded Christmas card depicting the management team looking altogether sheepish beneath a collection of superimposed santa hats.

Nobody wants or needs that in their lives.

Yes pigeons and pigs, we’re looking at you. There’s no escaping the fact that some of these concepts are more awkward than the direct aftermath of the office Christmas party.

Instead you need to be thinking outside of the box.

And of companies who imagine and craft something a little more, well, personal to you. An individual corporate Christmas card design which captures the zeitgist of the message you want to promote this year. And one that is, (photo) graphically, as far removed from the HR department dressed as elves as can be. Unless that is, your brief instructs us to create just that image. And if so, then that’s perfectly fine by us. As the client is ALWAYS right.

And yes. We will imagine you with reindeer antlers atop your head (maybe a teensy bit reluctantly), if that’s what you brief us to do.

Corporate Christmas Card Designs needn't be predictable and boring. Instead use a Digital Photo Retouching Service to Create Something Memorable.

Anyway. Here’s what else we can do for you.

Being past masters (but as well as Christmasses bygone, we’re resolutely present and future-focused) of corporate Christmas card design we are very adept at picturing management and employees in all manner of seasonally-adjusted scenarios. Which can then be transferred onto a Christmas card and posted out to the ones you’ve loved reaching out to during 2019.

Themes can be anything you desire them to be. From witty, zany and (tastefully) religious through to traditional, creative or thought-provoking.

And we don’t just remove backgrounds and imagine staff on new/alternative snow-encrusted ones either. We’re equally at home manifesting more illustratively-led visuals to cards, where ‘Beryl from accounts’ doesn’t even get a photographic look in, if that’s what you want.

Take a recent corporate Christmas card design request for example. When one client asked us to photographically superimpose a Christmas tree in front of a frozen lake. Think very Nordic/Northern Lights-esque. Which turned out incredibly arty/moody, as you might imagine it would.

That’s correct. We’ll do (almost) anything for the love of a corporate Christmas card design. But we won’t do that (plural)

Basically, whatever you want us to do, we’ll do for you.

The only difference being, our photographic interpretations of your ideal/envisaged corporate christmas card design will be absolutely flawless. As we’re not in the business of creating a job lot of pseudo-Christmas card templates. But we ARE in the business of seamlessly juxtapositioning an image of you (and/or your employees) within any festively appropriate scene you see fit. Providing it’s not something that demands PG certification, nor perceived as blasphemous in any way.

It’s fair to say that pretty much anything nativity-based is probably off limits on the grounds of decency. Same rule applies if in your mind’s eye you see four of your best precision engineers dressed in oversized white parkas and recreating East 17’s iconic ‘Stay Another Day’ Christmas Number 1 music video from approximately 1994.

Only joking.

However if you request that we photographically drop key members of the company’s bid team into the video for ‘Christmas in Blobbyland’ by Mr Blobby, then the odds are we’ll draw the line roughly about there.

All we want this Christmas is you. Well, your photographic likeness

Not in person, we hasten to add. But in photographic form. So that we can then sprinkle our very own digital image retouching fairy dust over Derek the lab technician and set about placing him in a still frame from the movie, ‘Love, Actually’*.

So what are you waiting for?

Get in touch with us and let us know how we can help you create a corporate Christmas card design for your business which will leave a lasting impression on your clients. Unshakeable, if it centres around Malcolm from the buying team being reimagined as a be-permed David Essex in a ‘Winter’s Tale’.

*other Christmas movies and/or pop videos are acceptable

Photo Retouching Artists Capture Very Essence of Celebrities Via Medium of Renaissance Art

Kim and Kanye West Depicted as Grant Wood's American Gothic Couple.

What’s that, you want celebrities AND Renaissance art in the same blog? Well then, you best pull up a pew, as our very latest virtual scriblings comprise both. Courtesy of the creative endeavours of a gaggle of photo retouching artists like us. But NOT us. Not yet, anyway. Not until next year.

In a world seemingly gone crazy over Photoshopped versions of themselves, it’s always refreshing to discover that there remain some who don’t take themselves (or their lives, for that matter) too seriously. And while some of the more narcissitic persuasion choose to selfie themselves to within a mile of their natural, there are others who instead envisage Mick Jagger as Ludwig Van Beethoven.

Albeit with a little visual nudge in the right direction from their friend and ours, Adobe.

Actor Christian Bale Having Being Photo Retouched as Renaissance Art Portrait.

So basically these are the celebrities reimagined in Photoshop you mentioned in the title?

Yes. But please read on. We are going somewhere with this.

For the record, we’re not* about to draw attention to those of us (ahem, photo retouching artists) who might occasionally decide to Photoshop their cat’s head onto the body of Horatio Nelson. Because as amusing as that sometimes transpires, the joins aren’t always seamless as we like to believe.

Plus it’s a bit odd.

However the same can’t be said about the following examples of the non-pet Photoshopping genre. Which all look incredibly professional in execution.

Put simply, there’s no way on God’s green earth you could accuse any of this lot of being amateurish. Especially not in their approach to immortalising the likes of Kim and Kanye West as the devoutly stern couple pictured in Grant Wood’s instantly recognizable 1930 composition, ‘American Gothic’.

Although we’re assuming that many of the entries were submitted by individuals with no formal training in the art of Photoshopping. Along with many more who, like us, are pretty well versed in the dark arts. Primarily because the competition is open to anyone and everyone with ready access to Photoshop. Pros and not-so pros alike.

Raptor Dinosaur Reimagined In Classic Renaissance Art Composition by Photo Retouching Artist.

Celebrities Reimagined in Photoshop as Renaissance Beauties. And not so Beauties

Created by the guys over at designcrowd.com, their annual ‘Celebrities in Classic Portraits’ competition attracts interest from far and wide. From the hugely talented, through to the passionate would-be photo retouching artists. And every level of skillset/pay grade which falls in between the two stools.

The brief is a straightforward one. Stating that anyone participating answers the following question to the best of their ability. And obviously via the gift of Photoshop.

If the Renaissance took place in modern times, and the models were famous pop culture celebrities, what would the artwork have looked like?’

As you might imagine, this affords most people carte blanche to REALLY go to town. And use their mind’s eye to picture just what Vin Diesel would look like as Michelangelo’s ‘David’. And any transient thoughts of a similar ilk which many of us photo retouching artists (practising and long in the tooth) muse over on a daily basis.

The only rules of engagement decree that entrants transpose the prominent figure found in the foreground of any famous or iconic work of art with any contemporary actor (or popular culture figure) they see fit. In terms of a physical substitute.

For example, replacing the head of the character in Edvard Munch’s ‘The Scream’ with that of Seth Rogan. Just for a laugh. And because they can. Providing that their Photoshop skills are strong.

As it happens someone saw Seth Rogan’s head better served attached to the torso of what we believe to be one of Henry VIII’s various ex wives. Ruffle and all. And we have to applaud their majesty.

Photo Retouching Artist Portrays Star Trek's Spock as Renaissance Art Man.

OK. So it’s just Renaissance-themed photo retouched artwork that’s accepted?

No, not at all.

And to avoid any confusion, the peeps over at Design Crowd said/say (for future entrants) budding Photoshop experts can use any old painting or work of art. Not just those from the Renaissance period.

Speaking of future entrants, and having only just stumbled upon this competition, DT is hell bent on making our mark next year. As you might have expected us to admit/get stupidly excited about.

Why wouldn’t we?

So, watch this space as they say. Well, in 12 months.

In the meantime, take a ganders at some of this year’s Photoshopped wonderment and let us know which is your favourite. And yes. As you might have guessed. There are numerous counts of President Trump being reimagined as someone he isn’t.* Together with a job lot of Mona Lisa (plural).

*Although we actually are, because that’s one of the CATegories (officially acknowledged as ‘Animal Renaissance’) we’re about to explain. Along with ‘Modern Renaissance, Punk-a-Ren, Holiday ModRen, DinoRen’ and ‘Club Medieval’.

**Ours is the catchily titled, ‘Death by Fire or by Raptor’. Which has been pictorially inspired by Renaissance artist, Raphael’s ‘Fire in the Borgo’. Two images directly up from here, for those not in the Renaissance Art loop. That being said, it was a toss up betwixt this and Kim and Kanye being all American Gothicised.

***Pretty much anyone vaguely human

Will New Photoshop Camera App Signal Death Knell for Professional Photo Retouching Artists?

New Photoshop Camera App announced this week, sounds like a very big deal.
Psssst. Er no. But please read on, anyway……

So, our good friend, Adobe has just announced it’s launching a dedicated photo retouching app for smartphones called the new Photoshop Camera app. It’s not actually prefixed with the word ‘new’. We’ve just added that for good SEO measure, obvs.

And geeks are obviously getting a teensy weeny bit excited at the prospect of this. Probably the sort who decamp outside Apple stores for a week ahead of the launch of the latest all-singing, all-dancing iPhone. And that’s their perogrative, of course. Each to their own and all that jazz.

Question is, as bona fide professional photo retouching artists; people are already asking us if we should be quaking in our boots at this latest news?

And the answer is….(no drum roll required)….a great big no. As in NO. And a resounding no at that.

And here’s why we’re not packing up our own cutting-edge Photoshop software packages, closing the window blinds and placing a ‘Gone on Extended Holiday’ sign on our door just yet.

Brace yourself; there’s an analogy heading this way.

Think of it like this.

In theory, you could shoe-horn your averagely-skilled car driver into the cockpit of 6 times Formula 1 Driver’s Champion, Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes, and ask them to take it for a spin. Put it through their paces. See what they can get out of it.

But does that mean they’ll perform in it like the our newly re-crowned champ? Or vaguely akin to any motorsport professional for that matter? Are they likely to set a new lap record around Silverstone?

Er, no.

The chances are they’d keep stalling it until such time as Hell froze over. And even if they did get it started, they’d likely plough it straight into a pile of tyres.

You can see exactly where we’re going with this now, can’t you?

The key word you’re looking for above is ‘professional’. Because that’s the different between someone who knows what they’re doing, because they’ve been doing it since they were knee-high to the proverbial grasshopper. And someone else who thinks it’s a lot easier than it looks.

That’s not to make us sound too big for those aforementioned boots we confirmed we weren’t set to quake in any time soon, mind. At the mention of Adobe letting the cat out of the bag and announcing its much-anticipated new Photoshop Camera app. Merely to address the fact that it takes a lot more than a piece of snazzy filtering kit downloaded to a phone to make you a whizz at image editing.

It also takes many, many years of practice to make (picture) perfect too.

But we’re only saying all this in jest.

As at the end of the day, this news is hardly direct competition for the professional photo editing sector. It simply means that every one of us with a half-decent smartphone can have a bit more choice when it comes to our phone filters. Once we realise that Instagram and/or Snapchat only has about four decent examples to choose from every time we try to make our latest pics pop. While the existing filters in-built to most smartphone manufacturers’ devices these days could hardly be described as being ‘all that’, either.

So truth be told, we’re actually cockahoop that our (very good) friends over at Photoshop are jumping on the mobile image enhancing bandwagon and offering something that will undoubtedly blow the competition out of the water. Not least because we have a good idea of just how good these filters will be.

Microfiching for information, before the superhighway was even constructed.
We still love our old original Photoshop. You can keep your new-fangled tech….

Clang. Sorry. I Think We Just Dropped a Name or Two….

But what they won’t be is us. Nor will the millions of potential users keen to give the app a whirl. Not to put too finer point on it (but we will all the same) because they don’t have over 20 years first hand experience in the professional photo retouching business. During which time our clients have included The National Trust and Channel 4‘s resident property guru, Sarah Beeney to name but two previous happy customers of ours.

Having said all this, we don’t want to come across as either killjoys nor smarta****. Plus it goes without saying that like everyone else, once the new Photoshop Camera app becomes readily available (sometime in 2020; precise details remain a bit sketchy) we’ll be rushing to download the app to see what all the fuss is about.

What IS All the Fuss About?

Well, we better tell you while you’re here, we guess.

Unveiled for the first time anywhere this week at Adobe’s annual MAX conference, critics are already colloquially describing the new Photoshop Camera app as a way in which to ‘democratise creativity’. And there’s no denying that Adobe certainly knows its onions in the image manipulation sector; whenever and wherever it drops new kit.

A byword for online photo editing supremeness amongst the great and the good who serve the image editing profession across the globe for as long as we care to remember now, Adobe’s Photoshop is without question the touchstone for anyone working in our business. But that’s not to say it’s easy to get your head around when using it. For most of us professional photo retouchers it can take years of fastidious dedication to the cause to master all of its unique facets and quirks. Quirks we said, not Quarks. Xpress is more old school than us.

Photoshop claims however that its new mobile-only app will be very user-friendly. Telling all and sundry that it will utilise Adobe’s Sensei artificial intelligence in order to instruct phone users which filters and lenses work best for each individual snap they’re in the process of digitally enhancing. Such is the searing intellect of the all-seeing ‘artifical one’, that it can readily identify the subject in the image as precisely what genre it’s defined as. Be it a landscape, food or portrait shot. And then proceed to give the user a virtual nod and a wink in the direction of which of its countless filters would best serve the purpose in this given scenario.

OK. We’re Admitting it. The New Photoshop Camera App is Pretty Neat

Which we’ll admit, is pretty darn impressive. But the future-proof smugness of the AI doesn’t end there. Because Adobe’s Sensei can also recognise the visceral tech content of the pic too, and automatically adjust accordingly. Think tonality, shadows, exposure, etc.

Hats off to Adobe then for inventing another slice of photo editing genius, yet we’ll continue to sleep easy knowing that DT will always remain the ‘go-to’ folks for all your serious digital image enhancing needs. Because we’re equipped with more than just a swanky bit of new tech. Coming as we do complete with a couple of traditional commodities that simply can’t be bought for love nor money. Experience and a natural creative ability. Not a pre-programmed version of events.