a digital post

For the as long as digital has existed there have been haters. As with anything else, something new and easy comes along and people talk.

“Why are you using Photoshop? The real way is in the darkroom”.

It has been a while since digital has become the standard. It is now so hard to not only find a store to purchase film from, but even harder to have it processed and printed.

Personally, I love to shoot with a Hasselblad. The sound it makes when the shutter fires, and the clarity of every single image that it produces is incomparable to any digital out there today. Or is it? Now you can shoot a Hasselblad and go straight to a computer. Is this cheating?

I think not.

In my opinion it is the photographer that makes his/her image good. It is his/her knowledge of the gear, tools and materials. My definition a photographer must understand Light. You may ask yourself at this point, “Where are you going with this?”

Here it is folks.

It is about to become the year 2009 and there are cameras out there that can take beautiful digital photographs. I have been using a Nikon D3 & D700 to capture my images and have been so pleased. The clarity, tonal qualities, lack of noise & response is unbelievable compared to what a Nikon D1X used to produce. With the ability to send the photographs to a client, or to a lab for printing, or to Adobe Lightroom for organizing in a matter of minutes is a beautiful thing.

It is true that most of what people do in Photoshop can also be done in the darkroom but most Photoshop users know that most great photo work needs a lot of skill in Photoshop.

This photo of a tree was captured with my Nikon D700 on RAW. I was walking through a park in Colts Neck, NJ with my girlfriend and her friend when I saw it. With my naked eye I saw a vision of this tree glowing from the sun. Behind it was the moon in all of its glory. With my Nikon 50mm f/1.4 lens attached I got my position and took the shot. I knew within that exact moment that I captured my vision.

That night when I got home I loaded the image to Lightroom and saw this beautiful digital photo of the tree. Where is the glow? I knew it was there because I saw it myself? Would film have captured it better? I
highly doubt it. So now what do I do? I want the glow that I saw in person. That is where Photomatix comes in. I loaded my RAW file into Photomatix and made an HDR (High Dynamic Range) out of the one file.

Change a few settings, adjust a few things and there you have it. So now the tree glows as I saw it, but the moon looks more like a dust spot since my 50mm lens can’t capture it in detail. I brought my HDR photo into Photoshop, choose the clone tool and with one click I removed what was the moon. The photo is done and the glow I saw is finally captured and ready for printing.

So could this be done in the darkroom? Of course it can. Look at all of the great photographers from before the digital age. They all did it. But look how much time I saved by doing in Photoshop. I still needed the
knowledge of photography and the skill in Photoshop and Photomatix.

Scott Wyden Imagery - the tree

post written for WeAreJustCreative.com

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. “It is true that most of what people do in Photoshop can also be done in the darkroom but most Photoshop users know that most great photo work needs a lot of skill in Photoshop.”

    I agree with the first part of the sentence but not the second. Are you suggesting that great photo work can’t be done without an expensive piece of software like Photoshop?

    1. Khurt,

      This was my first blog article ever – strange coming back to it.

      The statement is being compared to the darkroom. A photo can be processed in Photoshop or the Darkroom without too much effort. Heck, a photo can be processed without Photoshop (or Lightroom or Aperture) completely. But there is a big difference between (in my opinion) between a photo that has been cared for, toned, tweaked and processed to the fullest extent and a photo that has been shared right out of the camera.

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