I had the pleasure of being contacted by Andy Craps, one of the graphic designers in charge of press releases at Mons 2015. He needed me to do some professional retouching for the final images of their autumn campaign.

Required subject and professional retouching:

The theme of Mons 2015 this autumn is to plunge into Mons’ glorious history to (re)open your future, to pass, “from the Renaissance to rebirth”, with the slogan: “I dare to be reborn at Mons. And you?”

Pour illustrer cette thématique, ils ont décidé de rassembler dans une même image 1 référent de chaque époque : un portrait d’une femme dans le style Renaissance, sur le dos de laquelle il fallait « glisser » un tatouage pour le côté contemporain et l’idée d’oser.

The basic images:

The two following images were given to me:
– A portrait produced by Thibault Chappe.
– A painting representing St George and the dragon which was to act as a tattoo.

Constraints of retouching:

The main constraint I had to face during this retouching work was linked to the fact I’d have to depart from the already produced portrait (see above). This portrait was just the upper body of the model, whereas the client needed an image which could function as a horizontal image (for a website banner for example) as well as vertically (for posters).

So in order to create this image I had to integrate the painting and the portrait by creating a tattooed effect, but also by grafting on the missing, lower part of the body.

Part one of production:

The aim of the first stage was to recreate the lower body of the portrait.

For that, I had to find a dress which matched the ‘renaissance’ style of the portrait.

Once this had been found in a shop, I photographed it on a model from the correct angle, but above all with the correct lighting. If this hadn’t been the case, there would have been a terrible splicing on the montage, and therefore the image would have looked totally “fake”!

Here is the raw photograph:

Part two of production:

And here is the retouching from start to finish.

As you can see, to complete this job it was essential to be both a photographer and a professional retoucher. This image necessitated:

– Specific portrait photography skill to shoot the lower body (working with the lighting, angle … ).
– Solid, professional retouching experience to integrate the tattoo and the lower body in such a way no-one would realise they were once three separate photos.

During production of this kind of image, it is important to have a global vision of the project and a precise idea of the intended result. This meant I could make well informed choices during each stage, which brought me closer and closer to the final image.

Please don’t hesitate to find out about more “Making of” retouching projects on my blog or on the page dedicated to post production.