Tag: dpreview

Photoshop may seem bloated to many users but…

This post is in reply to a post by Triumph Steve on the dpReview “Olympus SLR Talk” forum: http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1022&message=33925392 where the poster said:

This is my personal opinion.

I have only bad feelings about PS, and I have been using it for years, since version 3 or 4 came out, up until my current version 7. Just way too many (useless) tools. I only like its “digital asset management” (DAM) feature where you can make convenient identifiers to your photos, according to specific catagories that you define. However, PS works extremely slow on my very decent computer.

My response:

While I understand where you are coming from regarding PS, I really must disagree with some of your comments.

I agree that to a many users Photoshop seems bloated with “useless tools”, as it has come to be far more than a tool for photographers. But, having said that, there isn’t a tool I haven’t used when working with my photos. Perhaps I don’t use them all directly on a photograph, but I appreciate the ability to create things using my photos like notecards and portfolios with text, books and calendars.

Perhaps it is due to my background as a film photographer who worked in the darkroom, but to think that photography ends with the uploading of images is like saying photography ends with the production of a negative or slide. While I agree, photos from digital cameras have the potential of being very good at the upload stage, there is so much more that can be done to enhance the image, to make it sing. To quote the venerable Ansel Adams: “The negative is the score, and the print is the performance” or, in todays terms, “the raw file is the score, the final image or print is the performance.”

As an artist, I endeavour to create a photograph that recreates my experiences when I made the capture (or negative) out in the field. This requires a level of finessing that can only happen with the right tools, whether they be in the darkroom or in a program like PS.

That being said, I now use ACR to a very large degree to finesse my images. ACR has reached a stage of maturity that makes PS itself much less significant to my image-making. PS Elements has Bridge and ACR as part of the package making it a far more powerful tool than its low price suggests.

I encourage anyone who wants to deepen their knowledge and abilities in photography to explore the capabilities of ACR and PS Elements, Lightroom and even PS itself.

–Terry www.luxborealis.com

dpReview Challenge – My Own Backyard

Be sure to vote on the submissions to my latest dpReview Challenge in the Art of Nature Series: My Own Backyard. There are some truly beautiful images submitted from around the world.

Reality Check

I just read an unbelievable post on dpReview…

Format Wars?: http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1022&message=33831269

Here is my response… (also found on dpReview):


I know I’m going to take a lot of heat over my post below, but here goes…

Jim Stirling’s post is well thought out and certainly is all true, but the reality of history and context are completely missing.

I can’t believe his original “Format Wars?” post – how did we ever take photos before this guy came along? Three camera systems needed to do photography? – give me a break! I want to say “More money than brains” except that he can probably write off his equipment against income.

Before digital…

  • * How did National Geographic ever produce the kind of images they did with just one system and numerous bodies. It’s a rhetorical question because I know how they did it: some of it was supreme darkroom work, but really, the photographers (not he cameras) were the basis of the great images they produced. Yes, they used specialised equipment for some of the well-publicised shots, but for the vast majority they were using out-of-the-box film cameras and lenses.
  • How did Karsh or Adams ever cope with an 8×10 camera and glass negatives whether it was in front of dignitaries or up a mountainside?
  • How did any one of a thousand photojournalists ever capture such amazing images of momentous occasions? Not to mention the legion of wedding photographers who worked for years creating truly memorable images.

You would think that this would all be impossible with what Jim Stirling has written.

I realise I’m referring to days gone by, but we need to stop and think that if they could do amazing work with simple, manual mechanical film equipment then maybe it’s not the equipment, but the photographer! IQ has more to do with capture technique (exposure!) and post-capture processes than the sensor. And even more importantly, its being in the right place at the right time with the right knowledge to take advantage of the situation – equipment actually comes secondary – unless you are of the techno ilk that thinks equipment is supreme; then your photos will be technically perfect but still not be compelling.

Bottom Line: The vast majority of people reading these posts are not cutting edge professionals who can write off their expenses against income – they are regular people on a limited budget who just want to learn and improve upon their photography. To get great pictures buy any dSLR system and get out there and shoot. Then spend some time analysing not just your images, but those of others. Ignore what system was used and concentrate on what focal length was used and why and how the photographer made use of visual design elements and “the moment” to create a compelling image.

In fact, if posters spent less time posting and more time photographing and looking at, really analysing and discussing compelling photographs , we would all be better photographers!