Photoshop: Good or Bad?

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Stephen F. Dennstedt

This young photographer, Scott Dumas, nails it when discussing the pros & cons of Photoshop. Photoshop has become the generic term for digital post-processing, much like Xerox has become the generic term for copying or Kleenex has become the generic term for tissues. I’ve written on this subject before but this short 4-minute video sums up my opinion nicely. Photographers who claim the exalted title of Purist are both ignorant and a royal pain in the ass. Processing photos has been in existence since the very first images were captured. Fact. There is no such thing as purist photography. Fact. Ansel Adams was never a purist and should not be presented as such. Fact. Adams was an innovator.

When people say they hate Photoshop what they usually mean is they dislike images that are over-processed. You will get no argument from me on that score—I do too. Or they hate images that are contrived and fake. Again, you will get no argument from me. There is a point where photography and graphic arts can come together to create a hybrid piece of work but that’s something entirely different (in my humble opinion). Ansel Adams would have loved digital technology and processing—guaranteed. Adams and his peers helped to create many of the techniques we now use in digital post-processing: dodging, burning, contrast, saturation, filters and even sharpening. The only difference is we now do these things in a “dry” digital darkroom and not in a “wet” chemical darkroom. Enjoy the video.

 

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