Editing and Retouching has always been a major part of my photographic process. My philosophy for retouching is very simple; if the retouching can be seen, it was done wrong. I want my images to feel as though they emerged from a fresh roll of film straight out of the camera. Of course this is an unrealistic idealism as we all know the camera can never capture our exact expectations, a little help is always needed.

My process is simple in theory but has taken a long time to perfect and is still constantly changing to accommodate my own personal tastes in how images should finally look. I started using Photoshop when it was first released in the early 90’s and I’ve been using it on a regular basis on a professional level for my job. But in the last 5 years I’ve been using Lightroom more and more for the initial processing of the images and then completing the final retouch in Photoshop.

The following are examples of my own images which I have retouched for various stock photography agencies. My intent was to keep the images as clean as possible to invite any possible sales and leave the wild post processing to the Instagram crowd.

Feel free to review the full resolution by clicking on the images below and then clicking on the fullscreen icon in the upper right corner of the pop up….


An outdoor head shot for a local actress. I underexposed this to keep the whites from blowing out the background and lifted the shadows in the skin tones during the post processing.


This was bought by Apple as a stock image. It was originally shot on from the top of Mt Diablo in Walnut Creek, CA on a Spring morning with bright backlighting. Processing concerns were to lift the shadows in the foreground and find a good white balance.


Shot in The City under a bridge. Major concerns were to balance the contrast and clean up the distracting elements in the background, like the woman walking into the frame from behind the model.


Taken in Alameda…Read a full write up of the post processing here on my blog: http://terryschmidbauer.com/more-than-luck/


Early morning light through a window. I was going for something edgy. The White balance was a main concern trying to balance the indoor and outdoor lighting in order to to get the skin tones to look natural.


Taken very early in the morning at Pike’s Market in Seattle. Lots of mixed lighting! My main concern was to strike a balance with the different colored lights and create something edgy.


Taken in The City under a fire escape. Great natural light, just need to balance the foreground and background. In the final I needed to clean up a lot of distracting skin blemishes plus I removed the tattoo on the arm.


This was shot on a cloudy day on a beach in Half Moon Bay. The cloudy skies were like having a giant softbox in the sky but it just wasn’t bright enough and as a result I created a flat image. My concern was to bring the model’s face forward and out of the shadows. Then balance the tone with the hands so they appeared to be on the same plane. I finished up by removing distracting elements on the beach in the background.


Shot on the beach in Half Moon Bay on a cloudy day. My concern was to balance the skin tones of the couple and clean up any distraction blemishes.


It’s always a challenge to shot at Yosemite and come away with something unique. I originally processed this as a color image but then finished up with a Black & White conversion. After all this is Yosemite!


I shot this from a kayak a couple of yards away. My first concern was to straighten out the horizon line. Then I removed the stump to connect the angle of the sunlight the paddles. Finished it off with a color balance to give it the feel of a warm summer afternoon.


This was shot from the water’s surface while wearing a wetsuit! Main concern was to lighten the figure and draw attention to the splash. I finished up by removing the second boarder in the background which really brought the viewer’s attention to the splash.


In this shot I needed to pay attention to the skin tones and remove the distracting background elements. Finished up with blemish removal.