A lot of it depends on your OBJECTIVES, and what you need or want to accomplish. A lot of times, simple photo editing programmes often included with the purchase of a digital cam would do the basic jobs fairly easily, I suspect, though I have never tried them.
Like the old days of film, trans and darkroom magic, PS has now put that entire process into the hands of a capable (and hopefully discerning) XX (Photographer? Digital Imaging Expert? Graphic Artist? Digital Darkroom Tech?).
For many photographers, (myself included :embrass: ) PS is only a tool to improve some pix, do a bit of touch ups, add some special effects and borders etc.
In the hands of a capable Art Director or DI expert, it becomes an entire universe of possibilities.
Pressing the shutter is only half of the job done. Even with film, folk who were really serious about the final output would tweak the negs in a darkroom. Of course, not many people would put in that kind of investment in terms of dollars and time. Now with PS, post-processing has become accessible to most people and is a skill well worth learning, IMO.
quite agree with u , some looks really good and smooth but very unatural looks more like a painting then a photography or some CG effect . me still in the process of learning ps so pai seh to ask such question and yet got people reply with their view ;p
in the past ppl shot say colour film...all they hav to do is print it out.... assuming tt exposure is correct .... no need to edit coz properties of film are all there...diff films give diff colours and have diff iso etc.... buten ppl still use correction filters...coloured gels etc to do wat u can do so much more conviently on PS now..
talking about mono .... u shoot and expose as to how u want to print it later.... as in the zone system.... u have to shoot with the end in mind in this case...darkroom stuff are similar to digital PS too wat... USM originated from the darkroom...they juz brot it over to post processing digitally tt's all.....
PS is juz an extention of processing techniques as it changes with the times.... with digital images there muz be a way to process the shots to enhance them wat...wat better way then to couple it with the computer...
i dun say PS is a must... but i tink we muz shoot with the end in mind...every shot should not only take into effect composition etc...but also how much say +1EV will affect post processing at the end of the day...... for digital stuff still cant match the quality of film imho...