Jul 012008
 

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Some people feel that using Photoshop (or other image software) is cheating. Their view is that pictures should be exactly as they come from the camera. My position is that you can use Photoshop to recreate what the eye sees. And you can use it to stretch what the eye sees into an artistic interpretation.

Let’s look at the point – recreating what the eyes sees. They eye has an incredible ability to see wide contrast ranges and adjust its exposure and focus as rapidly as you can scan a scene. The camera does not. It has one exposure and one focus per shot. You see this when you photograph a scene or setting with a lot of contrast.

Without adjustment of the image in Photoshop, you either get highlights that are blown out, or shadows that are so dark you cannot see into them. Also, daylight and artificial light are different. Unless your camera adjusts, you may see incandescent light as yellow, or daylight as blue.

Take the image of the restful and intimate setting above – in the delightfully designed, relaxing Coronado Island Marriott Resort at San Diego. For this image, I needed to tone down the brightness of the windows, and bring up the darker areas. I also had to darken the sconce lighting to show the interesting details. The result is the larger top image – a relatively “normal” look, resembling what I saw when I looked at it.

Look at the other image here on the right – the scene with daisies and cloud in sky – taken in March in the precious Ballona Wetlands in Los Angeles. When the image came out of the camera, the sky was pale and washed out, and the daisies were rather flat looking. The way I saw the scene at the time was with vibrant daisies and an azure sky!

So, I darkened and saturated the sky, and boosted the saturation and lightness of the daisies. The end result here looks the way I saw it when I was actually there.

Using Photoshop, or other software, actually makes your images truer to the original.

For more images of Ballona Wetlands, visit the Ballona Pages at my James Gordon Gallery

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