The Welder

PHOTO RETOUCHING

This fellow is perhaps the poster child for proper planning and using a good photographer in graphic design projects. I was asked to retouch this image long before I owned Wallace Company. They needed a good retoucher because this image needed a lot of help. It really shouldn’t have been considered for publication, in my opinion, but this is the reason retouchers exist in the first place.

This image was eventually posterized and screened back on the cover of a brochure for a welding company. Because of this intended use, the front part of the mask was handled so that the posterization would work well.

As the story goes, the welding company that was to be the subject of the brochure was a family business. The owner-patriarch wanted to be on the cover. No real preparations were made for the photography and the photo was rushed. This has to be the strangest photo that ever made its way into the studio for retouching. With the artistic effects used on the cover, it actually came out nice though. The brochure was a 2-color job, black with orange accents, so everything went together well.

Quite a bit was done here. The welding mask was cleaned up and softly outlined for eventual posterizing, the shirt was buttoned up, the unsightly pens sticking up out of the pocket were removed, as well as some general clean-up. Clearly, more needed to be done, but budget constraints had to be considered.

Don’t look too closely at the before image. The original photo is long gone, but this photo needed so much help, I used it as a retouching exercise for my Photoshop students at the Cleveland Institute of Art. To that end, two “scratches” and some white spots were added, but the rest is all original. This “before” version is all that is left. The Welder was almost cut from the lineup for this version of the website, but I did not have the heart to kick him to the curb. Not yet.

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