They take pictures of the subjects, then they blend them using a variety of special effects and filters. For example, a retoucher has a black and white camera but takes pictures in both color and grayscale. Or maybe you’ve heard of something called HDR. It’s like HDR with photos. You take your photo, then you put in extra pictures to make it look even more natural and realistic.
It may sound like I’m talking about the color retouching that retouchers do, but in most cases, it’s very, very different. In fact, one of the best examples I’ve found of a photographer using a retouching technique is a young photographer named Chris Ware. He takes pictures of people – mostly children – and then he gives them a retouch. Some of the children just get slight skin tones and others get a great deal of extra skin. He then gives each one a single color layer, and these layers are added to the photo before the light is reflected off of it. What’s most impressive is how accurate these photos look compared with the originals. In my experience, the retouchers are able to produce a similar look to the way a professional retoucher would do it.
If you have never read the book, “A History of the New American Revolution” by Robert C. Martin , take a look at the excerpt he sent to me in response to my email to him, which was my question-for-view on how to write the introduction to the book for the American Historical Association.
“I have several questions for you, which are mostly rhetorical. What, in your eyes, is the place of the modern American Revolution in American historiography? As an individualist or a progressive, in your view, which of these two groups is best suited to the task of understanding American history?”
With good reason. American history in the nineteenth century had a great deal of continuity with the French Revolution. The French Revolution (which occurred in November 1789) was itself an episode-a single, sudden-change in history; in both countries, that change took place at the same time. This is true even of French history, which in many ways was more like American history than French itself. There was, however, in both countries, the French Revolution as a particular event that happened in a single moment, whereas it was the American Revolution that started all of the political changes that would eventually lead to the establishment of the United States.
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