Tag Archives: Retouching

Does my bum look big in this?


On the way to a meeting, I was standing in front of this poster on a tube platform. It’s nice enough – the locations all look quite appealing, especially when you’re waiting on the underground. I wouldn’t normally pay much attention to it but, on this occasion, I had time to stop and stare and couldn’t help but notice that the young lady on the left has 2 bums!


It’s a weird distraction (for the few that even noticed) but it wouldn’t stop you getting a South West train to the beach so I hope they weren’t too hard on the people responsible. After the stomach dropping realisation, there’s an opportunity to look at why it happened, improve some procedures and move on.

Incidentally, I came across this while trying to find out how far underground I was standing. 150 fascinating Tube facts I didn’t find out how deep the eastbound platform at St. Pauls is but I did find out there is only one tube station which doesn’t have any letters from the word ‘mackerel’ in it!

Live and learn.


I wonder where this road goes…

I’m on an exciting journey.

I’m adding retouching to my Design Services but just knocking up an extra page on the website isn’t enough. Looking at how to share this exciting news is proving to be a fascinating journey.

I’ve been making any number of excuses not to share my retouching work because it’s new. I’m quite comfortable with design and art direction as I have lots of experience and lovely testimonials to back me up. In contrast, I only have one client who uses my retouching skills. She says I’m great and is behind me all the way and always encouraging me to get it out there but you don’t just wake up one morning, braver. Luckily, some perfectly timed podcasts have introduced me to some tools that are helping.

A friend told me about the Being Boss podcasts last year and I’ve been listening in for a while now. In one episode, they interviewed Brene Brown and she talked about being vulnerable and her book ‘Daring Greatly’. I don’t have a self-help section in my book case, nor do I have much time for reading, but I found it as an audio book and have been listening to it while I work. She makes some very good points about ‘being enough’ and owning it when you’re not, so I have started to Dare Greatly.

The other tool I found is a book called The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. I got hold of a copy from 1995 but I think it’s timeless. I heard about it via The Jealous Curator. I love her weekly inspirational emails ‘Art for your inbox’ but this was from one of her artist interviews in her podcast ‘Art for your ear‘. Anyway, back to the book – I just started reading it without realising it’s a 12 week course with exercises. I’m only on week 2 and already have some new habits. My favourite is the morning brain dump or ‘morning pages’. Write three pages, long-hand, stream of consciousness, grammatically incorrect outpouring of whatever’s on your mind that nobody is ever going to see. You don’t even have to worry about your hand writing because even you are not supposed to re-read it. I’ve been throwing them away (which in itself I’m finding quite liberating!). I have already had some interesting new thoughts and have made notes on the side to keep so I’m fascinated to see where I am in 12 weeks.

So the journey continues. I have a portfolio to pull together, a website to realign and some social media channels to refocus. Watch this space. In a bit (how brave am I!).

21 again

Here’s another little repair from my family archive.


This is my mum, sat on my Dad’s lap at her 21st birthday party. I love this photo.

And just for fun, here’s me at college, in a Maidstone cocktail bar, celebrating my 21st birthday. I haven’t got any photos of my actual 21st birthday party but it was a riot! It was in my student house and I had a jelly and ice cream party (in contrast to the grown up cocktails night out!). My room was on the top floor. There were four other bedrooms between me and the bathroom and kitchen at the bottom. I had a bean bag which I carefully hid on top of a cupboard out of harm’s way. Unfortunately, somebody found it and poked their finger into a tiny little gap in one of the seams. The hole got bigger and a few polystyrene balls escaped. Then a few more. Before I knew it, a single mattress with a student on top was surfing down the stairs on a sea of polystyrene beads, all the way to the trifles at the bottom. The next day, after a mammoth clean up, we were spotting the little beads in the streets down in the town centre. Turns out somebody thought it would be fun to put the beads in all the pockets in the coats room too. A few days later, they did have a whip round though and bought me a replacement bag of beads to repair it. Can’t say fairer than that!


For the bottom draw


This is my mum and dad’s engagement party in 1959. In those days, as well as wedding presents, you got gifts on your engagement too, for your bottom draw (a place where valuables are stored, especially the linen, etc., that a ‘woman’ might store in preparation for her marriage). That’s a big drawer to hold all this booty!

These gifts were mostly household items and included towels, a toaster, glassware and an alarm clock. I know for a fact they still use the cutlery that’s behind them on the table and mum says they still have the glass coffee jug and some of the glasses. They celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in 2011.

I showed mum this photo to check some details. She said she loved the retouching but could I just make the tablecloth longer to cover the packaging stored underneath. I said no, but perhaps I will, another day! Here’s the original photo below.


Photography cannot be any easier


This photo is of my dad’s mum, ‘going to work on an egg’. She isn’t, actually. She’s visiting the Ideal Home Exhibition in 1962. This photo came in a little yellow wallet (below) and was a promotion for Polaroid (or acrobatic lions. Or eggs).




“You have just seen how the remarkable Polaroid Land Camera works. This amazing camera shortens the entire photographic process to just 10 seconds. You click the shutter, count slowly up to 10 then remove a beautiful, finished black and white print. Photography cannot be any easier!
We are sure you will want to keep this picture of yourself for many years. That is why it was sealed under plastic with the Polaroid Print Coater. This Coater comes packed with every Picture Roll and with a few quick strokes it makes a Polaroid Land Picture a lasting print that will not discolour or fade.”

Unfortunately, some 50+ years later, the polaroid was looking a little dishevelled but I enjoyed restoring it.


Family day out


Here’s another great photo from The Suitcase. This is my mum in the centre with her mum and dad to her right and my brother in front. I’m not around yet.

They were in Epping Forest, celebrating my brother’s first birthday. The dog belonged to her parents. The car was my grandad’s. What a beauty. He always had nice cars as I remember.

I wanted to retouch this one as it’s such a lovely shot with only my mum noticing the camera. As well as some scratches, it had some double exposure issues down the right hand side (below). The original was smaller than 6″x 4″ but I scanned it in at 1,200 dpi so I should be able to do her a nice 10″x 8″ print.