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  1. #1
    Pentax Forum Moderator
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Platteville, WI, United States

    Question for Tom Sparks

    Hi Tom, While previewing some of your swimsuit photos, I had a question and was wondering what your position was on touching up your photos. I have one photo in mind. It is Three Exotic Sirens Pt 2-9573.

    My overall thought on the photo and your description in your blog is "fantastic". I like how you stretched her out to accent her musculature and her feminine features. A couple of things that distracted me though were a dark area under her arm that looks like she needs a shave, many blemishes on her legs and one big one on her knee, and finally the stomach seems to be blown out with the sun directly overhead. Of course, in your description, you did state the sun was "high noon".

    My thoughts, do you leave the blemishes, or do you use makeup to cover up as much as possible or photoshop them out? What is your opinion? How would a magazine editor look at these blemishes?

    I've never shot models, but something I've thought about if I ever get good enough.
    Thanx in advance for any advice.

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  2. #2
    Light and Shadow Samurai
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Murray, Utah, USA

    Re: Question for Tom Sparks


    Those are some great observations. This photo has many flaws. I took it a little over a year ago, but I liked the pose for illustrative purposes.

    I have a better grasp of how to deal with the sun now. I also have a better sense of timing for finding more optimal times to shoot.

    As far as retouching goes. I'm for it to a point. I do more retouching now days than I did a year ago. There was a time when my models skin looked like plastic because I did so much.

    I tend now to do minimal retouching, very little skin smoothing. I will sometimes enhance the eyes, but not much and not often. I do take bruises, pimples, scars, and other small blemishes out. I will also smooth out arm pits and other rough skin.

    I'm not shooting for magazines at the moment. I am building portfolios for beginning models. Their early portfolio needs to show how they look. For this reason, I don't alter their appearance much. I will always remove or reduce temporary blemishes. I think that if I was shooting for a magazine, I would do much more work before snapping the shutter, to reduce blemishes and then hire a better editor for post production work.

    My personal preference is to appreciate the body for its natural beauty as much as possible.

    Servant of Light and Shadow

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