If you´re used to old cars like I am, blinking warning lights might not be a cause of alarm. After a while, they just blend into the dashboard… For everyone else out there, warning lights exist to tell you that there is a serious problem in your car which requires your attention. If only warning lights appeared for photographers on images that have been badly retouched!
Nowadays, image editing programs offer limitless possibilities for creative retouching. While this is a wonderful tool for the photographer, it is also absolutely necessary to verify that the results of the retouching/manipulation are acceptable. If an image has been retouched incorrectly, you might find cloning blurs or “clouds” and many other surprises hidden within the image. You should experiment with the tools in your image edition program and discover which ones are really useful. For example, some of the filters which clean up image blemishes also reduce the image sharpness overall, so they might not be the best pick for a photographer with sensor spots. Also, it’s quite easy for strange results to appear with the cloning tool, such as blurry areas without real texture or outline echoes. That’s why you should always check over your adjustments and retouching to make sure that you haven’t left in ugly, little surprises behind.
Here is an example of noticeable retouching:
Example. In this image, the photographer has probably tried to distort the player’s identity by cloning his forehead. The results are utterly bizarre.
We hope this information will help you to avoid some of the most common mistakes that show up in the images we receive from photographers. If you have questions that haven´t been covered in this information, please feel free to ask.