Thursday, June 15, 2006

Still Photoshop Free

Hi, I'm Tim, and I'm a Photoshopaholic. I've been Adobe free for seven days.

I have to confess that I was pretty cranky about some of the responses to yesterdays photo. I was upset because I am trying to go without Photoshop right now, yet many of you encouraged me to cave in and use the cloning tool. I nearly gave up. I nearly posted an image that had been processed to high heaven. But instead I will remain strong; for one more day at least.

Having said that, I realize that if I'm going to abstain from the fancy software, I need to do a better job with my compositions. The bird growing out of Pigeon Boy's ear was probably unavoidable, but in the future I will be attempting to only include that which is necessary in the image. The battle with mediocrity continues...

This photo doesn't really need explaining. The thing that fascinates me about this image is the perfect sphere that is the droplet on the right. Unfortunately, I couldn't seem to get it in focus . I learned that I could have used a slightly smaller aperture and still had a good bokeh. This is one of those weeks that reminds you, the viewer, of my status as "rookie". Sigh...

Canon PowerShot S2 IS, 6mm, f/2.7, 1/80 sec, ISO 50


Anonymous Alice said...

Great opening line! :-) I totally agree with you that PhotoShop can be addicting. I decided when I started my blog that I was going to keep my PS work to a minimum, because I wanted to focus on teaching myself how to pay closer attention to composition during photo shoots.

At times, if I feel like I have to cave in and use PS for a photo, I make a note of it in my comments section. I've discovered that for me, personally, by not relying so much on PS for post-processing, it's made me a much better photographer I think. I look back at early photos (before I started my blog) and those shots are much weaker shots that my more recent ones in my opinion.

I do still love PS, but for me it's become one of those things that I'll do if I feel a shot needs it....otherwise I leave it alone.

But it's all about what you want to achieve for your end result and about what you enjoy doing. If you enjoy PS, then by all means, go for it. If not, that's certainly good too.

You're doing a great job with your photos. I really like this one. (Sorry for getting long-winded in my post) :-)

1:51 PM, June 15, 2006  
Blogger micki said...

Well, Tim, you know I do no post processing and even post most of my prints just scanned on my cheap printer/scanner/faxer. It was very hard in the beginning, because although my prints look great in real life, the scanned images are usually just mediocre compared to a digital image uploaded onto a digital medium. But, it has forced me to work that much harder on composition and exposure and proper choice of dof. Even if you do go back to pping tomorrow, I encourage you to do a lot of personal work without to help you to grow and learn.

5:03 PM, June 15, 2006  
Blogger Fraser said...

I like the way that the oval drop on the left magnifies the striations of the leaf. And I still think that pigeon-boy was good -- it really needed the invasion of the birds to give context to his joy.
PS is not evil, but you can so redo a photo that you don't grow as a photographer, only as a post-processor.

7:19 PM, June 15, 2006  
Blogger Ptelea said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I see that you use a 'point and shoot'. Your images are proof that the art is in the photographer and not in the equipment. I started out with a Nikon Coolpix 3100 which I replaced in Feb. with an Olympus E-1 with a 14-54 mm zoom lense. I love the outfit and chose it because it would force me to learn the mechanics of photography (aperture, shutter speed etc.) I am slowly learning and love it.

I like reading your own comments about your work - I too am always thinking of ways to improve each shot. I like the way this shot is composed with the two blades of grass curving away from the focus. I agree with Fraser about liking the drop that magnifies the leaf venation.

I am glad I found your site - there are so many wonderful photography sites! I look forward to watching you continue to grow - photography is such a wonderfully additive passion!

8:18 PM, June 15, 2006  
Blogger Laurie said...

Tim..I know I am very late with my commenting.

I want to remind you that even with film photography retouching a photo is a standard practice used to improve otherwise great photos. I was actually recently invited to a workshop about retouching techniques for film, but was unable to go. In the digital world retouching is done with software, as you already know obviously.

I agree wholeheartedly that editing software should not be used as a crutch. There is nothing more satisfying than getting a good exposure with good composition. But we cannot always control everything at that point in the process.

For example, in yesterdays shot you captured the boy in the exact right moment, you had a great exposure and a very good composition. The only thing wrong with it is the location of that one pigeon. So what do you do? You could have waited for it to move, but then the moment would likely have been lost, so the alternative is edit it out on the computer.

The shot that I posted tonight had power lines all over it, but the light was awesome on that side of the building, so my choices were; forget about the shot, or retouch it to remove the power lines. So guess what I did? I also did ever so slight curves adjustment to give it more depth in color since it was a tad flat. (I shot it in RAW, which is something new for me that I am experimenting with. I shot RAW+JPEG so I got the best of both worlds. RAW won for this shot hands down.)

Your shot tonight is fabulous; I really, really like it. It is a little flat though and could be tweaked but only slightly and I really do mean slightly to give it a little more depth. I usually do levels, very slightly, and I have been trying to figure out curves, I am still not sure of the difference between the two, but both seem similar and seem to add depth to the tones and lighting.

8:41 PM, June 15, 2006  
Blogger Laurie said...

I forgot to mention that, I used to use filters in the darkroom to adjust tones in images that I was developing into prints from film. I don't really remember the processes that well since it was so very long ago, I was just a teen in high school learning about it all the last time I played in the darkroom.

8:47 PM, June 15, 2006  
Blogger Ash said...

Beautiful shot, love the perfect droplets!

9:13 PM, June 15, 2006  
Anonymous rayts said...

i always feel a certain tinge of "artificiality" in a perfect image. at the back of my mind, i know that something has been done to improve it. of course, what i am saying is debatable but on the topic of re-touching photos, i think it's inevitable but overdoing is totally a different thing.

now as for your image today, i hope i'll see droplets as perfect as that because i've been craving for a shot like this. let's just say, this kind of image is close to my heart (for some strange reason). i like the angle of the shot for the simple reason that it put great emphasis not only on the round droplet but also the texture of the leaf blade.

9:49 PM, June 15, 2006  
Blogger Yanik said...

Im so glad your still not photoshpping, not that i have anything against it, its just that my computers messed up and i cant really photoshop myself..Keep at it...DONT give up...

As for the picture, i think its awesome the way it is..I love the fact that the bigger of the 3-4 droplets is in focus..I think it works a lot better..

Y'days pic you posted...hhhmmmmmm, i dont like that pigeon out of the ear at all..but you've got an excuse...NO its alright :) I really like the expression you caught..

12:24 AM, June 16, 2006  
Anonymous david said...

great capture today, like the clarity of the dropplet. what would've ps added to this one? yesterday's a different matter though, simply screams for a clone!

4:02 AM, June 16, 2006  
Anonymous sil said...

Well, I love this pic. Great focus on the droplet. Well done!

6:03 AM, June 16, 2006  
Blogger jj said...

love this shot...the layout and the composition is so nice.

7:21 AM, June 16, 2006  
Blogger Monterey John said...

I'm with you, I prefer shots that have not been Photoshopped.

They have a 12 Step program for that Photoholic problem of yours. I've been a member in bad standing, permanent slip, for the last twenty years.

7:29 AM, June 16, 2006  
Anonymous Matt said...

Nice shot Tim. Nice and sharp. I particularly like the water droplet in the lower right. That would have made a great macro.

7:42 AM, June 16, 2006  
Blogger Don said...

A very nice closeup. I like the drops (as is) and unprocessed in PS. I admire you breaking that addiction!
The comments are very interesting. We'd all be better off to concentrate on the iamge in the camera and making that better. Part of the problem for those with digital cameras is the ability to shoot so many shots...that tends to encourage less careful work.

7:57 AM, June 16, 2006  
Anonymous Suby said...

Timmy, you absolutely cracked me up with your comments above, Everyone at work was wondering why the crazy man was giggling all to himself in his corner.

You have created such huge discussion here haven't you :) Good one, Debate and different views is always nice.

I feel you when you say you are trying to stay away from photoshoping your images, I find it rather difficult sometime not to.
You know I have just put up a challenge to my fellow bloggers at Shutterchance that involved quite a little bit of photoshoping skills so one might be thinking Suby has sold his soul to the gods of Photoshop :)

What was the essence of this exercise, not to encourage all prosumers or photographers to photoshop to high heavens and back all their images, but to teach technical skills that I feel are VERY much required in these day & age. it enables one not only to have these skills, but to know (most important) WHEN THESE SKILLS ARE REQUIRED. A good example can be seen on your post yesterday. A very lovely capture, but come one, the bird growing from the head added nothing to the shot. :)

It has been pointed out somewhere in here that back in the days of film(I talk as if film is dead), retouching of film images was a norm, so why can't we do the exact same thing with a computer based software like Photoshop CS2?

I actually photoshop less of my images that gets passed on to my paying customer, 1st of all because of the time involved and the shere heart ache of getting it just right for PRINT.

I now know WHEN to use skills learned, I try to get it absolutely right while shooting, but you know, we do not all live in a perfect world, so a helping hand once in a while ain't going to kill no one.

So to all those photoshop/editing phobics, easy on the phobia, editing of images IS HERE TO STAY. Moderation is the watch word. So go out and multiply... (sorry wrong rant :) ) Go out, learn and then know when to use.

Here endeth the rant (hugh sigh the Subster detects from all).


8:20 AM, June 16, 2006  
Blogger Stardog Champion said...

Well, you've done a bang-up job with this one Tim. Absolutely beautiful.

I don't have access to Photoshop, so like you I have to focus on composition. I'm not particularly good at it however, so I guess I should work harder.

As for this shot, I can't think of any way to improve on it. It's simply gorgeous!

8:35 AM, June 16, 2006  
Anonymous Ashish Sidapara said...

Nicely framed, well done!

11:07 AM, June 16, 2006  
Blogger Azhar said...

Brave fellow Tim,
Loving loving loving the shot, Photoshop or not, love it.
I mean the framing, the blurry back, the crystal clear drops.The no photoshop :D.
I have to agree with Subs long comment, that editing is here to stay, but its WOW that you can get this without it.

12:01 PM, June 16, 2006  
Blogger Jasp said...

I agree with Suby and burn are age old techniques, same with filters etc.

9:24 AM, June 20, 2006  
Anonymous MrC said...

crapping hell mate, not only do you have plenty of comments, but they're long 'uns too!!

i like the simplicity of this shot, & i'm a huge fan of water droplets .. so a big thumbs up from over 'ere ;)

5:06 AM, June 27, 2006  

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