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Thread: Photoshopping.. or not?

  1. #1

    Default Photoshopping.. or not?

    I'm shooting film, and i see others like me around still using film.

    Some of them produce fantastic colors on their photos and with the same lens, my results are somewhat disappointing at times. I'm wondering if they actually photoshopped their images or it's simply due to the wondrous work of slide film. (Take note i have not tried slide film yet).

    I would probably try slide soon since i have gotten more familiar with exposures and i like to deal with night scenes with great color. I especially like cool bluish tones for my photos in most cases.

    Do most people photoshop their pictures? Apart from simple cropping, are there more people who believe in raw pictures straight off the emulsion or do most cases require the photog to boost colors and such to really give character to a photo? I don't really have any good photogs as friends so i can't ask anyone i know of either.

    Just a question itching at the back of my head.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Photoshopping.. or not?

    i am very new to photography and just picked up film as well. i do adjust the curves a bit when i shoot b&w cos after scanning, the photos look washed out. but color neg and slides i don't really touch up at all.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Photoshopping.. or not?

    First off, I'm not a film shooter, so maybe my views will be somewhat different. I think "photoshopping" has some really negative connotations that imply that the resultant image is somehow fake. Yet I think using image enhancement to a reasonable extent (as is artistically sound) is acceptable and even desirable. Something like developing pictures in special ways, burning and dodging in the darkroom? I think that's essential in bringing out what you wanted to see in your pictures.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Photoshopping.. or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by xylestesins View Post
    I'm shooting film, and i see others like me around still using film.
    Some of them produce fantastic colors on their photos and with the same lens, my results are somewhat disappointing at times. I'm wondering if they actually photoshopped their images or it's simply due to the wondrous work of slide film. (Take note i have not tried slide film yet).
    There are so many contributing factors to colour rendition. Those producing better colours might just be better at reading the ambient light better than you.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Photoshopping.. or not?

    Well, it's true that experienced photogs are excellent at reading light.

    I'm actually looking at Tommy Oshima from Flickr. He's a great photog with an excellent eye, but apart from the composition, his colors are.. somewhat hard to believe apart from his other HDR work. For the very same lenses he used, many others don't get the same results.

    Perhaps it's his film? I don't know right now because i'm still new to all this.

    Not saying that PS-ing is a bad thing, but i'm just curious on how most photogs release their photos. Raw or edited?

    "Yet I think using image enhancement to a reasonable extent (as is artistically sound) is acceptable and even desirable. Something like developing pictures in special ways, burning and dodging in the darkroom?" - Great comparison

    Same as how i usually think of film vs digital, they are two different art forms.
    It's like comparing the difference between drawing with a pencil or drawing on a tablet pc.

    PS-ing can probably save an otherwise bland photo with great composition, the way i see it. It's not all bad if done in moderation.
    Last edited by xylestesins; 5th November 2008 at 12:04 AM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: Photoshopping.. or not?

    Definitely edited...

    you still need to adjust the balance, contrasts and saturation esp if you have left it to neutral in the camera settings... All these will make the shot jump out bettter....
    Michael Lim
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Photoshopping.. or not?

    I see.

    Very interesting. How much would it cost for a decent editing software though?
    Nothing too fancy but at least serving most photogs well enough.
    Part of the reason i'm not too keen is that i've always been a PS idiot. hahaha.

    But i guess it's another element needing to be learnt to make the best of a photo.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Photoshopping.. or not?

    to get the best out of film without post production work, i'd recommend looking into 2 basic areas. Film choice and the use of filters. Fuji velvia and provia are my choices. warming filters and ND grads are great for a start.

  9. #9

    Cool Re: Photoshopping.. or not?

    i guess in this day & age, one cannot escapre from photoshop. it's taken over our lives.

  10. #10
    vince123123
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    Default Re: Photoshopping.. or not?

    You may be starting the beginnings of a PS or not debate again :P

    Anyway in my view, it doesn't matter what you use, film/slide/digital/super DI enhanced photoshop etc. The main thing is what do you as an artist want to convey/project/show?

    If what you want to show can only be done with photoshopping, then go ahead and do it.

    Don't let those pseudo-purists tell you that things must be right out of the cam. These people are fooling themselves because nothing is truly "straight out the cam". The choice of type of film, lens etc already makes nothing a true capture anyway.

    Hence, detemrine what you want to convey, then see the tools available, and use the tools to do it.


    Quote Originally Posted by xylestesins View Post
    I'm shooting film, and i see others like me around still using film.

    Some of them produce fantastic colors on their photos and with the same lens, my results are somewhat disappointing at times. I'm wondering if they actually photoshopped their images or it's simply due to the wondrous work of slide film. (Take note i have not tried slide film yet).

    I would probably try slide soon since i have gotten more familiar with exposures and i like to deal with night scenes with great color. I especially like cool bluish tones for my photos in most cases.

    Do most people photoshop their pictures? Apart from simple cropping, are there more people who believe in raw pictures straight off the emulsion or do most cases require the photog to boost colors and such to really give character to a photo? I don't really have any good photogs as friends so i can't ask anyone i know of either.

    Just a question itching at the back of my head.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Photoshopping.. or not?

    people keep forgetting that even when shooting film you need to post process your photos.
    contributing factors to the colours:

    > film: different films (brand, day light - artificial light, ISO, slide, negative etc etc) give different results. Kodak used to be very good in orange red colours, Fuji negative film was famous for the greens
    > format: larger format (medium format) can give impression of better colours due to better contrast
    > exposure / filter: the correct exposure (slightly over for negative and a bit under for slide), the right light (late afternoon against early morning) and the use of filters (polarizer etc) can change things dramatically
    > development of film: here the lab can screw up but should not happen with modern machines, unless you pushed your films or underexposed them deliberately and did not tell the lab
    > paper: different papers give different results, also the combination of paper and film makes a difference
    > exposure and colour correction during enlarging: here the lab can make HUGE mistakes and screw your prints completely... or they create the fantastic exposure.... black, mangenta, yellow and cyan are for each print individually adjusted... check the back of your print for the settings.

    you see... many opportunities to do things different...
    Never forget rule 5
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  12. #12
    vince123123
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    Default Re: Photoshopping.. or not?

    Yup, Michael's elaboration underscores my point that whether you use film or digital or photoshop or not, at the end of the day, you are just trying to fulfil what you see in the scene and what you are trying to create. Hence, there is no right or wrong as to PS or not or otherwise. All are just tools for you to realise that vision.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Photoshopping.. or not?

    If you want some editing software to try to see the results, try GIMP, or even Adobe Photoshop Elements. If you happen to work in Education you can buy the full version of Photoshop quite cheaply.

    But basically yes, PP and PS seems to rule photography. And we are not just talking about brightness, contrast, dodging, burning and cropping. We are talking "airbrushing" whereby blemishes are removed from skin, eye-bags are removed, eyes are highlighted, colours are enhanced and even scars are removed while liquefying or slightly blurring the skin to smooth out complexion. This is the reality, and in none so more an area than "model" shoots.

    You can either see it as a good thing or a bad thing. It's either technology helping to create a better image, or its a raid on the temple of photographic purity. But one thing is true, while PS might help make an above average photo good, and might make a good photo better, the very best photos, the ones that really make us stop and think "WOW" have very little PP done, they instead are the result of a good eye, great timing, and an artistic vision that most of us lack.

    Photoshop and PP has made this a hobby in which a moderation of success is possible and open to us all and so we return to it, and enjoy it.

    To make a living from it requires something more.

    To be remembered for it, even more than that.
    Canon 400D + BG-E3 . EF-S 17-85mm 4-5.6 IS . EF 75-300mm 4-5.6 IS
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  14. #14
    vince123123
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    Default Re: Photoshopping.. or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by aselley View Post
    But one thing is true, while PS might help make an above average photo good, and might make a good photo better, the very best photos, the ones that really make us stop and think "WOW" have very little PP done, they instead are the result of a good eye, great timing, and an artistic vision that most of us lack.
    I agree with the first part, but not the second part. WOW photos can have a lot of PP or very little PP. As you mentioned in the first part, the WOW photos start out with a high base point rating, and PP can either add more, or add nothing. But it would not be accurate to say that all WOW photos have little PP done.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Photoshopping.. or not?

    Point taken.

    I think I meant it from the POV that when I think of the "WOW" photographers and their art it was pre-photoshop and so they did not have that luxury. Just think about it...what could have Ansel Adams have produced if he had access to a good scanner and Photoshop?
    Canon 400D + BG-E3 . EF-S 17-85mm 4-5.6 IS . EF 75-300mm 4-5.6 IS
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  16. #16
    vince123123
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    Default Re: Photoshopping.. or not?

    Heh my view is that he would have produced even greater WOW works at lesser effort.

    Quote Originally Posted by aselley View Post
    Point taken.

    I think I meant it from the POV that when I think of the "WOW" photographers and their art it was pre-photoshop and so they did not have that luxury. Just think about it...what could have Ansel Adams have produced if he had access to a good scanner and Photoshop?

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Photoshopping.. or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by aselley View Post
    Point taken.

    I think I meant it from the POV that when I think of the "WOW" photographers and their art it was pre-photoshop and so they did not have that luxury. Just think about it...what could have Ansel Adams have produced if he had access to a good scanner and Photoshop?
    Well, he was the one to make the darkroom what it is known as today - more than just turning silver halide into a developed negative. He was the first darkroom artist.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Photoshopping.. or not?

    a neighborhood lab also produce different result from a pro lab

  19. #19

    Default Re: Photoshopping.. or not?

    Thanks everyone for the advice.

    I'm neither a worshipper at the temple of purists nor a champion of the photoshop legion, so..

    I think photoshopping in moderation should do it for me. I'm not planning to do modelling, although i have quite a number of friends who are in this field and have volunteered.

    But, i'm more into artistic portraiture. Only one girl i know of cuts it the way i want.
    PS-ing would probably help me cast in the correct mood i want the photo to have, and i'm grateful for it.

    I just ordered a Pentacon Six and i hope i can be able to capture more satisfying moods and colors with slide film. (Apart from composition).
    Travelling to South Africa end of the year, i hope i'll be able to get hold of many interesting subject matter.

    I talked to a white man in Singapore who was formerly from there. He scared me a little when i asked him "how's the people there?". He said "they'll cut off your head and hang it on your door."
    Fierce. Makes me somewhat wary of doing street photography.
    Last edited by xylestesins; 5th November 2008 at 08:02 PM.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Photoshopping.. or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by aselley View Post
    Point taken.

    I think I meant it from the POV that when I think of the "WOW" photographers and their art it was pre-photoshop and so they did not have that luxury. Just think about it...what could have Ansel Adams have produced if he had access to a good scanner and Photoshop?
    Ansel Adams was a perfectionist... it would take him days to make a single acceptable print of a negative... if he would have had access to DSLR, scanner and photoshop then he would have been the first one to use them....
    Never forget rule 5
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