I have some strong feelings about Photoshop, to be honest. I know it has been abused by some photographers– just think back to the Dove commercial from 2006. It has undoubtedly been used by some to sculpt the “perfect” woman, a standard that is crushing to those of us that exist in the 3D world. But I guess that isn’t really the fault of the software. I do use PS to remove stray hairs and the odd blemish. I try to refrain from making anyone look plastic, though– I like my images to actually reflect reality. Good exposure, white balance, focus and composition can go a long way to creating beautiful portraits!
However, I must say that I do appreciate PS for it’s ability to remove distracting elements from the image. I try my hardest to make sure that I am shooting thoughtfully– I avoid trash cans in the background, make sure there aren’t branches sticking out of the tops of anyone’s head, etc. But there are times (especially when shooting little kids!) when you don’t have the luxury of asking your subject to move a few feet to the right. And that is when I am thankful for PS.
Look at this shot– it’s SOOC (straight out of camera). It’s kind of an out-take, I guess. I just loved the difference in expressions between mom and dad who are making great eye contact, and the boys who are sooooo over having their photo taken by this point. Now, I’m all about rustic and I thought this brick was nice and textured. But holy cow that’s a lot of green icky stuff! I decided to try and see how much I could get rid of in PS and was very pleased with the result.
Much better. Now the focus is on the family and you aren’t thinking to yourself, “I hope they brought loads of hand sanitizer with them.” That is my goal with PS– to remove distracting elements so the focus of the image is where it should be. In this case, the focus is on this adorable family. Love.