Photo Critique: Retouching Techniques

In this members’ image critique, Karl reviews photos submitted by members, focussing on good and bad post-production practices and the retouching techniques used in each.

As Karl works through the different submissions, he explains his approach to retouching and offers advice on problems such as smoothing out backgrounds, removing creases from material and how to control highlights and shadows. He also explains why less is more when it comes to retouching, and why burn and dodge are the most valuable tools for Photoshop retouching.

In this critique:

  • Photoshop retouching and techniques
  • Correcting colour in Photoshop
  • Using the liquify tool in Photoshop
  • How to achieve smooth backgrounds in Photoshop
  • How to remove creases in clothes in Photoshop
  • How to control highlights and shadows

Questions? Please post them in comments section below.


  1. Personal putting my work alongside all those other Photographers/Retouchers is nerve recking. But I’m pleased with your overview of it Mr Taylor

  2. Sorry I missed the live show anyway, thansk Karl for your comments which I got the benefits for my shot and the others as well.

  3. Karl, huge fan of your work and I have been following your tutorials for almost a year. I am thrilled with how much I got out from every one of them. It is so random for saying this cuz we have never even met in person. But honestly you have been my biggest inspiration.
    It’s really a shame I did not go through any professional training. I chose photography as a career purely out of my passion. Now I’m running a small studio in China. Anyway, I found myself lacking skills basically at every aspect, from planning out the set to post production. I crave to take my work to the next level. I know there’s no shortcuts other than keep on practicing. Still, I sincerely wish you can give me some advice because I know you did not go to school for this either.
    And thank you for the feedback you gave on my work, it’s really useful. It is the first time I submit and leaving comment. Btw, are you coming to China or Asia in the near future? Otherwise I have to try to catch you in England next year for the workshop. Have a delightful day! – Adam

    1. Hi Adam, thank you for your comments. I will be running a Workshop with Tim Flach in Tianjin near Beijing at the end of September in co-operation with DIN21 studios you can contact them at or +86 1390284020 Cheers Karl.

  4. Great show!! I love the critiques. I had missed the deadline for this image entry but still have learned from others work or techniques that were critiqued.

  5. Come on guys! … More than 24 minutes before the program started. A late start. Very unprofessional. Bad karma.

    1. Hi Christopher, I hope you are well. The show started at exactly 6pm UK time and 1pm EST which is when it was scheduled to start. I think you are confused by the 24 minutes of silent broadcast time that happens before the scheduled start time. This is absolutely necessary to test broadcast systems and make sure the live feed is working correctly. The following day when the recording of the video is ready we cut off the silent broadcast part and re-post the show as a replay. For the first 24 hours before that happens the replay of the show will have the silent part of the broadcast. I hope this answers your query, all the best Karl.

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