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When I had a point-and-shoot film camera, I wondered how cool it would be to have an SLR. When I had an SLR, I just wanted the developing-printing monkey off my back and so bought a digital camera. I now have this digicam which is half-way between a normal, unsophisticated, idiotproof camera and a proper, amateur SLR. Before I again could begin wondering how good it would be to have a digital SLR, I found the power of Photoshop.
Having long gaped at perfect photographs and imagined the equipment behind it, the importance of photoshopping became clearer only with time. Three clicks of the mouse can make a dull image stand up and find itself on the wall. Your face can still be seen without the snow-clad mountain whiting out in the background. And thanks to the simplest, yet most important of all features, you can keep only that rectangular part of the photograph which you need.
Most photographs in this photoblog have come through the process of photo editing. They could easily be dismissed as boring photographs, but for Photoshop. Now that it was established, the advantages of photo editing, and I began using it unquestioningly in various ways, one of my friends saw this photograph. He quite liked it and before moving on to the next one, he said, “The moon looks great.”
Well, I had photoshopped the moon. For a moment, he was just so disappointed. Like a vegetarian would be if told that the biriyani he ate had had chicken in it. He thought it was just unfair to change a photograph digitally. “Use your skills. That is the essence of photography. This is just botox.” Again, in keeping with the topic, not all of these were his words.
To think of a photograph as just an output from the camera is so limiting an exercise. You’d never be able to shoot anything well apart from the Himalayas perhaps. Take for instance the moon in the above picture. I remember it was a moonlit night and there probably was a full moon out. However, my camera wouldn’t get it as big as I could see it there. By using the brush tool, I just brought the photograph closer to reality. This small moon, by the way, was shot in the afternoon and the rest was photoshoppic history.
There are of course limits to everything. You cannot be selling photographs with obvious photoshopping effects. You shouldn’t draw Elvis sideburns on your granddad’s picture unless he is still a true-blue fan. And don’t make the moon pink, ever.