EEEK! It’s photoshopped!
Almost every time you hear the contrived word “photoshopped” in conversation it is used in a derisive tone as if the picture in question has been infected with some sort of noxious disease. Admittedly, some folks go overboard with photo manipulation. the other hand, the overwhelming majority of “photoshopping” is to improve the image and enable it to better deliver the visual intent.
Virtually every news story, book, or magazine you read has been subject to merciless editing, the intent of which is to ensure that the information is delivered in an easily understandable format and syntax. It is the same process with pictures. We use Photoshop® to give you more visual information, not to pull the wool over your eyes. See some examples below:
The women that came between two guys
Event shooting entails a lot of snapshots of fleeting moments. It is the nature of the beast that these moments will include a great central subject plus distractions in the background. In this case a couple of guys were positioned nicely in front of a pavilion at Petit Jean State Park, Arkansas during a high-school reunion. Unfortunately, a couple of other friends were sandwiched between them. Photoshop® to the rescue.
The disappearing ghost fence
This water hyacinth, AKA water lily, is basking in a pond not far from my home. For locals, it’s the pond at I-530 and Hazel Street. It is hard to get a good angle on the big bloom without also getting the #@#*!!*%! interstate fence in the foreground. Photoshop to the rescue. Ding dong, the fence is dead!
The case of the improved occulus
This is another case of an exposure problem. Fortunately, the original file was a high-resolution Nikon file which meant there was a plethora of information with which one might work. The hole (occulus) was a total loss. There was simply no information. On the other hand, there was enough information to work with in the ceiling. After a few stabs with different techniques, I did the main correction in Camera Raw, and finished it up in Photoshop, back in 2008. The one bit of trickery is the sky. It is not Roman sky. It is sky from LA (lower Arkansas) in the Delta.
The case of the great disappearing purse
In the picture above, the purse had to go. The working file is 380 megabytes with 15 layers to achieve the removal. I also cleaned up the color a bit. The dumb photographer who did the shot without removing the purse was me. Needless to say the computer one uses for this type of work needs to have lots of “oomph.” Also, lose the mouse and get used to a Wacom Tablet. The difference between a mouse and a Wacom Pen tablet for precise photo work is like comparing a laser scalpel to a broken RC bottle for surgery.
Although the resolving power of modern digital camera is nothing short of amazing, they are still quantum leaps behind what our eyes can see. The biggest problem is a wide swing between the dark (shadows) and lighter (highlights) parts of photographs. With photo manipulation we can balance these parts of picture to give you a better look at the scene or object.
Thanks for taking a look at some of my photo manipulation projects. I will continue to add images to this page so check back often. You may also find additional information on photo manipulation on my Joe Dempsey Photo Dot-Com web site.