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To Retouch or Not Retouch?

Updated: Feb 7

Professional retouching. Is it really worth it?

As a picture is worth a thousand words, let me share a few thousand words right away. Then I'll dig in deeper further below.

Example 1: Before and after crop: 2 sticks removed, brighten colors, add blur to the background.

Two ice hockey game images side by side showing before and after with professional photo retouching.
Example 2: Ice Hockey game action before and after professional retouching.

Thw photos side by side of a goaltender making a stick save, with and without retouching.
Example 3: Goaltender making stick save before and after professional retouching is performed.

These 3 examples highlight some of the typical retouching elements:

Example #1 suffered from poor arena lighting and a large range of action. Removing unnecessary players while improving the color balance, exposure, and clarity to the key subjects and adding blur to the background guides the viewer to feel the action in front of the net.

Removing unwanted objects that take the focus away from the subject, improving color balance and clarity, and overall photographic composition as in example 2.

Example #3 was dark and a little far and off-center. Professional retouching improved the lighting while also bringing the subjet closer to the viewer making this goaltender's stick-save really pop!

As I've captured over 100,000 ice hockey action shots, to deliver the most outstanding moments thousands of images substantially benefitted with retouching.

Think about the inconsistent lighting many rinks have from one side to another. Or around center ice versus in the dark corners. Compensating for lighting challenges and consistency are some of the key elements in retouching. Sometimes the lens captures a slight haze that hurts an otherwise awesome action shot. Targeting haze compensation will deliver an image that pops having more clarity, improved color, and sharpness.

As you know, ice hockey is fast-moving. Professional retouching, although time-consuming, truly does help with capturing player emotions, a clear puck, and preserving your player's game action for years to come.

A mystery stick or glove can ruin the composition of a perfect shot. Shooting to capture the fast action sometimes results in a tilted or unlevel image. These items will be removed or straightened with professional retouching allowing parents to compile professional quality work of their son or daughter's ice hockey experience. Making the value of professional retouching far greater than the cost.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss further I'm happy to discuss any time.

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