The Unreal World of Retouching

I always find it interesting why creative directors feel it necessary to retouch certain images. A great collection of photos showing before/after retouching are below. Some obviously need it, like 50-something Madonna trying to look like a twenty-something. However, shots like the Jennifer Lawrence example are something of a mystery. Beautiful woman with a great body made to look rail thin for no real good reason… other than the anorexic look is what everyone aspires to. Sad. Here’s a link to all the images (the two mentioned are below, but there are a couple dozen on the Imgur page):

madonna retouched

Applying Makeup Like a Ballerina

Very cool new video series from Racked about how top performers apply their makeup. In this one a ballerina for the New York City Ballet goes through her routine. Check out the double wide eyelashes she dons! Of course, stage makeup is a bit different than what you might do in real life… unless it might be to blow everyone away at the next costume party. As always the transformation is impressive.

I love the sign on the wall: “Do it with passion or not at all”

Words to live by!

Applying Makeup like a Pro

Taking Great Photos at Sunset

taking photos at sunset, the magic hour, portraits

Sunsets (or sunrises) are a beautiful time to take photos. The sun casts warm, soft light that gives that time of the day the nickname ‘the magic hour’. If you take a photo of someone who’s facing the sun, they’ll have a warm, glow to their skin (as the woman above does).

But what if you want to get a photo of someone with the sunset in the background?

This is a problem. The camera typically exposes for the sun, which means your subject is underexposed sometimes to the point of being a silhouette. How do you expose the subject normally AND still get the beautiful sunset? Use your flash!

If you ever see pro photographers taking photos at sunset and the sun is in the background, they’ll always use a flash. The flash won’t affect the sunset, but it will expose your subject correctly making for a great photo! Your friends won’t be silhouettes and you’ll still capture all the beauty of the setting sun.

backlit photo at sunset with flash, silhouette, ocean

In Beauty Box Photo (and most camera apps) there’s a Flash button with three settings: Auto, Always On, and Always Off. If you have the sunset in the background, set the Flash to Always On. This will make sure both your subject and the sun are correctly exposed. It’s a very easy trick for taking great photos.

iOS photo app Flash setting, Beauty Box Photo, Camera Awesome

Of course, there’s always reason to not use the flash. Sometimes getting creative with silhouettes is a way to take some awesome photos. In that case you want the flash off.

backlit silhouette photo at sunset, magic hour, beautiful artistic photos

Same goes for if your subject is facing the sun (as with our reading girl at the top). You want the flash to be Always Off. You don’t want to ruin the beautiful light from the sunset.

Whatever you choose to do, the setting sun offers lots of opportunities to take some amazing photos. You don’t even need a fancy camera to do it. Your iPhone (or small camera) is more than enough to get some beautiful, creative shots! Post them on so everyone can see them!