Category Archives: Retouching

He scrubs up well!


Here’s another photo from The Suitcase. I wasn’t going to retouch this one as it’s a bit blurry to begin with, plus it’s very badly scratched, but it’s such a handsome photo of my dad, I thought I’d take on the challenge (original below).

It was taken in ’57 in his RAF barracks in West Germany. He’s all dressed up for a demob party which ended in a nightclub. He thinks he’s still got the waistcoat (which wouldn’t surprise me) as well as the suitcase with wooden strips you see on top of the locker. We’re not sure who the pin-up is – possibly a German film star – but he hadn’t met my mum yet so we’ll let him have that!


If you’ve got any old photos you’d like saving, email


The Suitcase



Here it is – the Suitcase mentioned in my previous post. My Dad says he’s had it since 1949 (those are his initials near the handle). The new (tape) hinges were added in 1995 and are holding out pretty well!

Below, you can see the contents. I was looking for a particular photo of my mum as a child, standing on a chair. We didn’t find it but I came home with an envelope of casualties that need some photoshop love.


the-suitcase-put-backI did say they weren’t in any particular order but they’re even worse now – I could barely fit them back in. Maybe we should have a ‘suitcase weekend’. We’ll pass a handful of photos to mum and dad, they write who, what and where it is on the back, then we’ll lay them out in groups all over the floor until the case is empty. Then we put them all back, in labelled envelopes. It would probably take all weekend!

Or maybe it’s more fun just the way it is!

Good as new…


…well, as new as old can be!

I found this cute pic of one of my cousins in ‘The Suitcase’.  The Suitcase lives at my parents’ house and is full of old family photos. Some order is maintained with a few surviving packets and wallets but there are lots of loose photos too and it’s always fun to look through. Even if there’s something specific we’re looking for, we always allow time to be distracted and to ‘ooh’ and ‘aww’. There’s also something special about handling old photos instead of them all being stuck down in albums. However, it does mean some come with battle scars. That’s good news for me though as I love a retouching challenge.

I’m visiting at the weekend and will have a rummage and see what else I can find to fix. If you’ve got any photos that could do with some tlc, please get in touch ( – I’d love to see them.



Macs and Adobe are amazing – the things we can do! But how many of us change our settings?

I was watching a retouching class, full of top tips (CreativeLive – Pratik Naik – brilliant!), but I wanted to share this one because the whole room went ‘oh yeah, why don’t I do that!’

To speed up your photoshop retouching, go to edit/keyboard shortcuts and change the default settings to suit you. Allocate the actions you use the most (heal, clone, zoom, brush, brush size…) to keys close together on the left side of the keyboard, leaving your right hand free to draw (if you’re right handed). Here’s the best bit though. Make one of the keys the rotate command. Yes, you can rotate the canvas. This is the thing nobody was doing! When you’re using strokes to retouch, your hand has a natural arc. Now you can easily rotate the canvas to fit your stroke, not the other way round. And when you’re done, there’s a button at the top to reset it straight. Who knew!


‘The camera never lies’.

This is another post rescued from my old blog – well worth repeating.

A few of the papers picked up on this story back in September 2014. Maybe you saw this catchy headline in the Metro?

Student fakes five-week dream holiday using Photoshop and Facebook

The story is about Dutch student, Zilla van den Born, who told her friends and family she was having a five week vacation around south east Asia.

She was, in fact, at home having photoshop fun, creating and sharing her ‘journey’ on social media (Link to the full Metro story below). I love this project. What a great challenge and she’s done it really well! Personally, I’d rather do the retouching than the travelling! So, where shall I go this summer?

In the Metro:

Zilla’s design site: