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Retouching

Every time we get into an argument (sorry, we mean “discussion”) about the ethics of digital imaging, we find that everyone has their own tolerance level of what can or should be changed in an image. We've heard photographers argue convincingly that each time you manipulate an image, especially when you add or remove real objects, it erodes the credibility of photography as a representation of the real. But we also recognize that people have to make a living, and sometimes (for better or worse) that involves improving the purported reality the photograph represents. We don't have an answer to this debate, but we urge you to at least consider the question.

We believe it's also important to make the distinction between “dust-busting” (removing specks of dirt, dust, mold, hair, and so on) and “retouching” (actually changing the content of an image). In this section, we want to relay a few key pointers that we've learned over the years about both dust-busting and retouching images, in the hope that they'll make you more efficient in whatever work you're undertaking.


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