A Quick Word About Photoshop...

March 01, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

Saying that you don't want your images to be 'photoshopped' is like stepping 30 years back in time, and saying that you don't want your film developed.

 

Digital images require processing.  The information from the sensor is nothing but 1s and 0s.  In order to turn those bits into an image, requires processing; whether it's done in the camera or (being a little bit of a control freak like me) in a computer is irrelevant.  Data MUST be processed in order to become a picture.

 

Let's examine how your camera 'sees' things.  Each one of those pixels that manufacturers like to brag about, measures the brightness and assigns a value to it, 0-255 (0 being black, 255 being pure white).  Your camera is color blind.  In order to see color, the sensor is overlaid with a color filter containing red, blue and 2 greens.  This is called the RAW file.  It is what most professionals use to produce your images.  If allowed, your camera will convert this information into a JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) image by throwing away information that the processor in your camera deems expendable, and converting the remainder into an image using RGB color.

 

The issue to professionals, is leaving decisions like 'which bits to throw away' to a computer processor smaller than an average calculator...

 

The RAW file is also known as a digital negative, and requires specialized software to convert.  Photoshop is one of the best programs in the world for converting that file into an image that matches the vision in your photographer's head. 

 

As an image editor, I use Photoshop on 3-5% of images.  I do my best to ensure that I get the image right 'in camera' saving myself time later.  However occasionally, I will need to remove an item from a picture in order to focus the viewer's attention where it needs to be, and not where it doesn't.  I also use it to clean up problem complexions and acne.

If you dislike skin that has the texture of plastic, blame the editor not the program.  Photoshop is simply the best program designed for photographers.


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