The key to retouching, believe it or not, is subtleness. The less retouched the final image looks, the better. Less is more in many ways!
When retouching in Lightroom keeping the mask on in the sharpness panel, is crucial for a simple realistic look. That and Clarity.
The clarity slider in the develop module increases contrast in the mid-tones only. It emphasizes texture when increased and softens texture when decreased. Keep in mind that the brush, gradient and radial tools also have clarity sliders. So you can localize the sharpness and contrast without touching the whole image. Keeping the clarity at a realistic level will help make the image stay as natural as possible.
Now, I’m not saying that I do not enjoy making or admiring artistic compositions. Many great photographers retouch their negatives to the fullest and the outcome is nothing short of amazing. But, there are certain subjects, certain projects and certain places to use minimal retouching. Or no retouching at all.
** These videos are not meant to be tutorials, just fast retouching so that you can see how I do it. There are many ways to retouch an image. This is the way I do it when I want something simple and neat. There is no wrong way of doing this.
And most recently, an engagement photo shoot in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico.
** Each video is 10 minutes long with no audio. Took around an hour and a half to record each, they are sped up 8x. Please remember to play some music in the background to keep it interesting. 🙂