Back from Paris with a souvenir from the plane ride home: a stomach flu that has made the rounds through our whole family. Nothing conveys the spirit of giving like a virus. Getting sick is kind of a holiday tradition for us. Other people open advent calendars to find sweet surprises, we start each day with a new symptom. On the first day of Christmas, my daughter gave to me, a fever of one hundred and three. On the...wait, where was I? Oh yes! The December Monthly Special!
I know that the month is half over, so I'm going to get very specific and work on an end-of-the-year goal: tackling the dreaded question of skin retouching. How to retouch skin is the number one question posted in forums devoted to photo retouching. OK. I just made that up, but still...it sounds true, doesn't it? I mean, what else would it be? How to add a fake tattoo? (Clients ask for this all the time, don't they? I don't know, Marc. That portrait of my baby is beautiful, but it seems like something is missing. Perhaps some angel wings, a full sleeve, and her name in Kanji just above the diaper? What do you think? No? Too much? A butterfly on the ankle then?)
When I first began my "starters" section, my intent was to build up steps that could then become a recipe. The first recipe was meant to be the portrait retouch workflow. Most of the elements are already there—color correction, whitening teeth, brightening eyes, and so on—but skin retouching is the dreaded beast that I have saved for last. I had a mega-post in mind: the ultimate skin retouch tutorial that goes over many possible methods and evaluates each one, but a more realistic goal might be to break it down into multiple posts.
Wait! Did I say "realistic" and "goal"? And in the same sentence? That won't do. I prefer challenges. I haven't done more than 10 posts in a month since May, and I just noticed that it's December 13, which just happens to be twelve days until Christmas, so I am going to do Take-Out Photo's version of an advent calendar: 12 posts in 12 days. Not every post will be about skin retouching, but many will. I won't bother with the shared linkies this month, but they will be back in January.
Who knows what surprises you will find? One thing I do promise: no viruses.