Beautifying is not tampering
Before I started on the fact of using Adobe Photoshop on my photograph, I would like to give you a simple insight which will help me explain as to why do I feel that using Photoshop on landscape photographs are justified and right.
To me, using Photoshop on photographs is like a beautiful lady wearing make-up. It does not tamper originality, but enhances it. This is very much like striking a word and writing another in its place when you have gone wrong in an essay. It is what post production is to a movie, garnishing is to your food. Adobe Photoshop is to a landscape photograph what a brush to a painter, it's an amplifier of beauty, a corrector and not a tampering tool that takes a picture away from reality!
Have you ever wondered as to why we do not eat meat raw? Because man has found better way of eating it, better way to cook it which makes it even more appreciable. Originality can be modified; can be bettered too! Improvisation is constant.
In the past four thousand years or so, man has always been changing for good. From an imbecile Ape, he changed into half-wit Man, and then to an intelligent Human. Throughout his history, change has been the only constant phenomena and it has always been for good.
I sometimes wonder why change something if it is already perfect? Well, it's true when they say that nothing is perfect. There is always the scope for changing it to better. Same thing applies to your digital photographs.
As a premier landscape photographer, I have always wonderred and constantly researched as to how to take an outstanding landscape picture. What is it that makes a landscape picture so beautiful! Apart from the most obvious things, which are composition, background, objects, angles and lighting, I found that photo editing is something that truly brings out the essence in a picture. But, unfortunately we always underestimate the value of post production. A picture is very much like your food. You need the right ingredients to compose it, but you also have to cook and tamper with their composition to make the dish palatable and appreciable.
Imagine watching a movie which is not edited. Will not it appear jarred and disconnected? Imagine seeing rough shots running on the screen helter-skelter. It actually does not make sense to watch something like that, even if the story is brilliant. Its beauty can not be fleshed out, without one edits the shots to enhance their charm, and align them together to narrate the story. Only then can you enjoy watching that movie.
It's more or less same with the landscape photographs you take. No matter how beautiful your scene is, it's always better to work on the finer nuances of it, and fix small defects to bring out the most vivid parts before printing the final product.
Many people consider editing a picture in digital photography as manipulation. They feel using Adobe Photoshop for photo editing is like tampering with it, since after editing, it no longer remains 'natural'. I choose to differ.
A picture, just like man, has to be perfected. Photo editing does not implying tampering; it is solely concerned with bringing the best in your picture. Consider this.
You get a great view of a boy herding his sheep in an empty pasture and immediately you take its picture. Now it might be possible that you took the picture against light. So the picture does not have enough light, and the background looks vague and unclear. You realize that the contrast is not right, and the boy looks outlandish in the picture. Now, in spite of having perfect landscape in front of you, the picture does not look good. So, it's very important to edit this picture. I use Adobe Photoshop, to bring out its beauty.
Photo editing software's are like tools in the hands of a painter .
When you write and make a mistake, you re-do it. Unfortunately, in landscape photography, the moments that make beautiful photographs stay only for seconds. In order to get a perfect landscape photograph, you need to act in minutes, against all odds, in all adversities. And often, the most striking landscapes are found in the lowest of light. Or the only spot from where you can take the picture leaves very little vibrancy. As a photographer, it is a sin to let those brilliant landscapes go, even when things are adverse. This is where a photo editing tool comes into being.
A little post production is all it requires to bring in the actual fervor of the landscape photograph. To me, it is refining and not tampering! Here is an example of a "raw" picture and photo-edited picture. Both are same, but with some improvements in the later. Which one looks more close to reality?
If you paint a wrong stroke, or add unwanted color by mistake, you can always use the tools to fix the errors. Similarly, in case your picture has not come in the way you imagined it to be, you are right if you take help of some software to fix the errors and make it look more life-like and real. To me it's more close to originality as certain low lights and angles can spoil the landscape. An editing tool can bring it in its place. It is a good thing that modern technology in digital photography gives you a second chance. As a landscape photographer, I strongly vouch for post production if your shots are not as you have expected.
Photo Editing is a must
Very rarely does it happen that you are able to take a picture that is perfect in its original form. For most of the times, there are a few details that have to be retouched.
As a landscape photographer, I understand how landscape photography demands to be perfect. And this flawless perfection can be achieved by post-production or editing the photograph.
One must know that, I take my digital photographs in RAW format, and then edit them on computer, fine-tuning the minute details and highlighting the important aspects of the picture. Sometimes such editing is not even apparent, but there are many small things which make a life's difference in the way your landscape picture looks.
No matter how expensive or technical your camera may be, no one can capture nature like your mind's eye. To go close to that unbelievable perfectness, photo editing is a must. It is necessary to add beauty to your picture to salvage its essence. And the best way is to use photo editing software, in my case, I use an Adobe Photoshop. As a self taught, landscape photographer, I know how the perfectness of color, angle and light plays a serious role in giving a great picture. In case your raw digital photograph has faults, it's best to edit them and work towards perfectness. It is advisable to restore the beauty of the scene you had seen with your eyes for others to see.
I know people value the sanctity of originality. But a few things are better perfect than sanctimonious. Photo editing is an excellent tool to make your picture look good. Photographs are better edited and changed, than left original yet faulty.