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Pratik Naik: Lighting for Retouching

This week we've teamed up with famed retoucher and photographer Pratik Naik for an in-depth look at how big of an impact lighting has on your RAW files and how you can achieve the final look you are going for.

"We often think of using lighting to make people look as flattering as possible. I wanted to take another approach and show people how lighting choices can change how you process your images at a pixel level."

“I am a commercial and editorial retoucher and all-around opportunist in the photography world - I also teach retouching, shoot a range of genres related to beauty and body work, and develop tools to help creatives improve their work with my digital Photoshop tools! I absolutely love to be involved in the creative world, and photography is my favorite medium to channel my creativity and ideas! With the experience on all of these ends, I’ve been able to grow stronger and spend time helping others through my own experiences! I want to share this magic with everyone.”

“We analyze how hard light and soft light can impact image quality and sharpness. Working as a retoucher, people used to ask me why their photos were soft and how they could get more detail like the references they would show me. It turns out that they weren't as aware of how big of an impact lighting can make for the results they're looking for out of their raw files.”

“I had that experience retouching for so many different photographers and seeing these differences first hand! Naturally, when you’re just shooting, you only see the files that come of your setups, so that can be limiting for growth. This video will add another layer (hehe) to their skillset and decision-making process! Not only will you think about using lighting for the sake of making someone flattering, but also what can be possible with your raw file and what the choice of modifier can do for the mood of the photo as well!”

“Watching other people at work is great, and so is learning, but take those concepts and try them out yourself. Through the process, you'll definitely get some things right, see some things you'd like to improve on, and also find some things you discovered on your own! And that is the zone where the magic of growth happens.”

We are so grateful to break down this process with Pratik and hope you find it useful as you continue to grow your lighting knowledge!

To see more of Pratik’s work and to keep up on his future projects:
Find him on Instagram at @shotbypratik and @solsticeretouch
For his retouching educational content, photoshop panels for photographers, and retouching portfolio, check out these links:


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