Retouching is a necessary skill in photography that dates back to the film days. My dad did it with fine brushes when he worked at a lab back in the day, and today’s crowd can do it, too, through Photoshop. Is there an unsavory blemish in that portrait? Tap. GONE. It can be tedious at times, but once you master it, you can do some fairly interesting things with it. Something interesting has been happening with a friend of Noam Galai, a writer over at FStoppers. The friend uses his retouching mastery on photos of cats, not exclusively mind you, but it’s a part of his business.
It’s a curious practice. In some of the images, white patches are filled in, cats are slimmed down, and tails are adjusted. The anonymous retoucher told Noam that in some instances that the cat doesn’t even look like the same breed anymore after he’s done with it, but some of the most ardent cat lovers strive for perfection. Part of a cat’s appeal, I think, are its little idiosyncrasies, whether it’s a white patch or a crooked tail, but there’s a market for fixing those idiosyncrasies, it seems. The retoucher, though, would never advertise it.
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