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Photoshop may seem bloated to many users but…

Wednesday 9 December 2009

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 http://www.luxborealis.com

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