It doesn’t happen as often any more but the word “Photoshop” used to elicit snickers and snide remarks about two headed dogs, alien encounters and sightings of bigfoot… all of which could be made up out of whole cloth as it were, using Photoshop. Computer Graphics, in general, is a field of art undergoing explosive growth, and we are all familiar with films like “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”, depicting a man aging backwards (!) Fascinating. But, the question is often asked (echoing the old Memorex commercial…) “Is it real or is it Photoshop?”

A lot has been written on the subject and people have even made a moral issue out of it… Is it ‘morally acceptable’ to use photoshop to enhance a photograph? To summarize the emerging consensus most people agree that creativity is indispensable in Photo-art but inapropriate in Photojournalism. I wouldn’t want a police photographer to Photoshop my face on a ten most wanted poster… for art’s sake (!?) But I would most certainly appreciate a Landscape Photographer using photoshop to remove a power line, or aircraft contrail, from across an artistic view of a beautiful mountain bathed in sublime light.

So how far do we take this? How much removing and altering is OK to do? I can only answer that question for myself… As I am often asked… How much “Photoshopping” do I do with my images and what kind…

Actually I prefer the term “Digital Darkroom” to “Photoshop.” Just as in the old days nobody would consider a photograph ‘finished” unless it had been ‘developed’ in a darkroom, likewise my images are not finished in camera. The camera only gives me essentially what amounts to a ‘digital negative.’ Photoshop (the digital darkroom) then helps me ‘develop’ a photograph to match the mental image that was triggered in me when I first saw the original scene.

But, enough with words… Since this is a photo-blog, and a picture is worth a thousand words… I will share two… See below… A picture of a beach scene as it came out of the camera, followed by how it looks now, after I finished developing it in Photoshop. That is typical of how far I, personally, may take an image…

As Paul Harvey used to say… “And now you know…” etc.

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