I’ve often sat in circles where the age old debate rages on as to how “true” photography has been forever lost to software programs such as Lightroom and Photoshop. Did you know that Photoshop is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this month? I had no idea!
For those that feel the days of true photography are forever lost, the belief exists that in the “early days,” great images came straight out of the camera ready for print and without the need for any manipulation . . . Nothing could be further from the truth.
In those days, the success of a great photograph depended just as much on processing as it does today. This then begs the question, how it can be said that programs such as Photoshop have somehow done away with “true” photography?
Famous photographer Ansel Adams, believed that 50% of the creative process took place in the darkroom and he would often spend an entire day there just to produce a single image. In fact, it was Adams who was responsible for creating what became known as the zone system which is basically what we refer to today as dodging and burning. Ansel believed that processing an image was just as important as taking it. I don’t think I’ve ever heard it said that Ansel wasn’t a “real” photographer.
We’ve made huge advances in photography and photography based technology over the years and I truly believe that the software editing programs being used by photographers today are simply a “modern day” darkroom.
Today there’s a new digital darkroom player for Mac users. . . I’m so envious , you have NO idea! I think Photoshop has some serious competition coming from Serif Photo, the creators of Affinity Photo. At this time, a Windows based version isn’t in the works but its been alluded to being a possibility down the road.
Currently you can download a FREE 10 day trial and if you like what you see, you can purchase the program. There’s no monthly subscription and the cost seems pretty reasonable for the numerous features that come with the program. Take a look and see what you think, if you’re not into loud soundtracks, you’ll want to turn your volume down.
For any of you Lightroom and or Photoshop CC users who aren’t familiar with dodging and burning, you’ll want to check out the following videos.
Dodging and Burning in Lightroom
Dodging and Burning in Photoshop CC
Whether you consider it to be photography or photographic art, its a wonderful window into a moment otherwise lost.