TWiP #253 – The Retouching Debate


This week on TWiP we're discussing possible entry-level full-frame dSLRs from Nikon & Canon, a teenager petitions Seventeen magazine to publish non-airbrushed images, the Olympics is looking to ban the sharing of photos via social networks, and home furnishing giant IKEA is getting into the camera market.

Also, an interview with the founder of GlamourCon – Bob Schultz.

Part I

Part II

The interview with Bob Schultz, Founder of GlamourCon

We record TWiP every Wednesday at 6pm Pacific, so be sure to circle Frederick on Google+ to catch the show.

Hosts: Frederick Van Johnson, Martin Bailey, Doug Kaye, Ron Brinkmann

Episode Overview

This week:

  • Are Canon & Nikon working on entry-level full-frame dSLRs?
  • A teenager petitions Seventeen magazine to publish more non-airbrushed images.
  • The Olympics planning to ban the posting of photos and videos from the games on social networks.
  • Is IKEA getting into the camera market?
  • Plus Frederick sits down for a special interview with Bob Schultz to talk about GlamourCon.

Doug Kaye, Martin Bailey, and Ron Brinkmann join Frederick Van Johnson to discuss these topics and more on this week's episode of TWiP.

Book Recommendation

The iPad for Photographers: Master the Newest Tool in your Camera Bag by Jeff Carlson

Please Support our Sponsors:

This episode of TWiP is brought to you by Carbonite On-Line Backup. Automatic and secure backup for your home and small business computer files – starting at only $59 a year.

Try it free at Use the offer code TWiP and get 2 bonus months with purchase.

Connect with Our Hosts & Guests:

Bob Shultz: GlamourCon Website or Twitter

Doug Kaye: or or Google+

Martin Bailey:  or or Google+

Ron Brinkmann: or or Google+

Frederick Van Johnson: or or Google+


Pre-production by: Bruce Clarke
Post production by: Suzanne Llewellyn
Bandwidth provided by: Cachefly
Intro Music by Scott Cannizzaro
Photo Credit: Zach


  1. Looked on the BBC News sight the IKEA camera is a limited promo give away not for sale unfortunatly.

    1.  These would be fantastic to give to very young children in school and start teaching them early!

    2. Here you have everything about the IKEA camera (it’s a campaign and it’s going to be offered as a promo in selected stores): 

  2. About the discussion on GPS – I have the EZ tagger GPS unit which can either attach to the hot shoe of my D7000 or I can attach the unit to my black rapid strap and it links to my camera via a bluetooth dongle. Very handy since the camera hangs upside down. The unit has it’s own battery and rememebers the location when you go inside a buiding and continues to geotag. Also has a mini SD card which records tracking. Not bad for half the price of the Nikon unit.

  3. Enjoyed the episode as always (and you knew this was coming) but… Fred, I must defend Ron’s argument regarding crop sensor vs. full frame and your distortion of history.
    As I recall, You made the argument that full frame sensors were the future of DSLR cameras and crop sensor bodies would soon be the stuff of legend. Ron’s counter point was that crop sensor cameras are not going away any time soon and the two formats will continue to live in harmony for the foreseeable future. At no point did Ron state that crop sensors were the future and would replace full frame as you decided was the case during this episode.
    Oh, and your points regarding Seventeen magazine and retouching of images in general were just plain odd. Maybe Have a listen back and hear what you’re saying!

  4. I love having the ability to throw this hangout video on my HDTV and watch it as a TV show while I’m working on other things. Keep including the video!

    1. Thanks Dennis… we plan to keep recording them (barring any technical glitches). I think it adds an interesting new dimension to the discussions. The only negative is that I have to put on a decent shirt and brush my hair before show time. 🙂

  5. I just finished listening to this episode and must disagree with the conclusion that full-frame will replace crop-sensor. A Nikon or Canon “entry-level” FF camera priced at $1500 would be great, but still way beyond the means of most amateur photographers. More so when you consider the significantly higher cost of FF lenses, which aren’t getting any cheaper. 

    Plus, even as FF sensors get cheaper, small sensors keep getting better and better, to the point where, for most intents and purposes, it hardly matters what size sensor you have in your camera.

    Finally, there’s also the size and weight factors. I’m sure an FF camera can be made in a relatively small package (especially a mirrorless FF), but the lenses will still be large and heavy.

  6. Not sure that full frame sensors on lower-end cameras makes sense.  The manufacturers would be eating to their investment in crop sensor lenses.  

    EF-S and DX lenses are generally targeted at the lower-end cameras, so making these cameras full frame leaves these lenses in no-man’s land.

    A mirrorless full frame, than takes a new type of lens would be interesting though.

  7. I often listen to the podcast when I am walking and heard this one ear lie tonight.  I decided  comment on the retouching debate.  My work is mostly families with young children, but I occasionally do small events, seniors and what I call legacy portraits, of people over 80 or so.  I retouch EVERYTHING.  I tell my clients that when we look at the people we love, we don’t see those little puffs under their eyes, or the tiny lines around the mouth or the spots left by long gone pimples.  We see an image of a person filtered through the eyes of love.  In my opinion there is absolutely no reason to create a portrait that shows every “flaw” a person has – the portrait is not a snapshot, it is a work of art.  

    1. Great comment Cynthia, and thanks for listening. I feel similarly. I even “tweak” my iPhone shots before texting them. Is that wrong? 🙂

  8. On one of the past Episodes(maybe this one) somebody explained why 1.5/1.6 crop Sensor Image is not the same as a full frame image that is cropped. But it actually is. But what is different is that an image with a cropped sensor with a 50mm lens and a full frame sensor with a 85mm lens, although the 50mm *1.6 is roughly 85mm on a fullframe.

    The conclusion is that you can have a longer lens on fullframe but still be at the same distance, thus having a different depth of field, and a different look to your images.

    Since 2009 i shoot weddings with my 5dmkii and it is just awesome.

    As a sidenote to Frederick: Seriously, you should work with >=18mp. Its so good. And i dont retouch heavily.

  9. I just viewed the video about the IKEA camera. Did you notice that when the announcer said that it had a zoom feature, the model moved the camera closer to the subject. When the announcer said that the camera had a image stabilization feature, the model moved the camera to hold it against a chair back. I am just wondering if this wasn’t a tongue in cheek  video.

  10. Got to ask the question that I’m surprised nobody else has asked. FVJ said that retouching is acceptable providing you’re not representing reality, ie photojournalist. Is a cover of a magazine of Madonna or Kardashian not presenting reality? I don’t think it would be considered ART by a regular person on the street. They expect it to be reality (albeit with a bit of make-up). I am a teacher in an all-girls school and touch on this with issues of self-worth and they are amazed when they find out how much is done.

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