Photoshop Not

Succulent, photo by Harold Davis. Click to view larger.

Despite what you may think, this photo owes nothing to Photoshop. I boosted the ISO late yesterday afternoon so I could take this image of a succulent in failing afternoon light at reasonable shutter speeds for hand holding.

With an ISO of 1,000, there was a great deal of noise added to the image (appearing as colored pixels if you look closely at the image in its larger size).

Also, light colored and lightly saturated areas in the subject went white–meaning they lost their pixels. In contrast to gaining the world and losing one’s soul, this pixel loss is a case of losing one’s pixels and gaining a pattern.

I am put in mind that all too often digital photographers think a photo can be saved (or essentially created) in Photoshop. Photoshop has many wonderful capabilities, which one should know about as one takes pictures. But there’s no substitute for properly visualizing at the time a photo is taken what the end result is likely to be.

A corallary: the built-in bracketing inherent in Raw conversion into Photoshop is just swell–but you’ll be happiest if you expose right smack dab in the middle of the range in the first place, instead of having to salvage an exposure that is at the tail end of the curve.

Meta information: Nikon D70, LensBaby 2.0 with +10 macro filter, ISO 1000, f/4.0 aperture ring, 1/250 second handheld.

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