Have you ever seen an image that was beautiful yet cluttered and you couldn’t figure out why? I’d place my money on the table that the background did not receive as much attention as the foreground resulting in conflicting emotions. For a flawless image, it is not only essential for the photographer to be aware of the background, but also for the retoucher. Sometimes there are obscurities that cannot be avoided in production, but they must be dealt with in post.
In the first image below you can see that there are cracks and discolorations on the wall, an assortment of foliage on the ground, and even people in the upper right corner. Although the decaying effect of the wall is intentional in this image to contrast with the model, the bumps and bruises can be distracting from the focus point which, in this case, is the garment. I removed what was necessary to maintain the balance of the image while keeping the effect in tact. As you can see in the Before image, it’s mildly cluttered and a bit distracting, but in the After image the model takes her place on the pedestal.
To my clients: Win a 15% discount on your next retouch by listing the 6 main background adjustments in this image in the comments section! First person to get all 6 right wins! To my retouchers: Just remember to clean any background debris and digitally plaster any holes that may be prominent in an image to ensure a 100% retouch!
Share your thoughts in the comment section!