The days of airbrushing, dye transfers, spotting, and etching are long gone, but the need to clean up or enhance photographs has never been greater. Every professional photographer is expected to know enough to do basic digital retouching. Of course, what is considered basic today would have been beyond the capabilities of all but the most-advanced retouchers of the celluloid era. These days clients demand even more because the general public has unlimited expectations. The phrase “We can Photoshop it” is clear to just about everyone.
People photography has always required a certain amount of retouching to flatter the subject, and this chapter will attempt to cover some of the basic and not-so-basic techniques.