I admire the work of Ansel Adams and he has given me insight and inspiration in my quest for being a better photographer. When showing my images, I am often asked “did you photoshop that?” “Photoshop” being a generic term meaning “did you digitally alter the image?” Realizing that I am being asked by the uninformed, I politely say “Yes, I did.” I then try to explain that I use the camera to capture raw data that must be converted digitally to reflect the true image of my vision. If you are not shooting RAW, then the jpeg images that you retrieve from the digital camera have already been “photoshopped” using software designed into the camera.
To “make” a photograph, several processes must be considered:
How do you want to present the subject you are photographing in the final image. This is the process of pre-visualization. Composition, focus, and shutter speed are components of the photograph that must be determined prior to making the exposure. When the exposure is made, little can be done afterward to these components of the image without degradation.
Here is where the technical skill of the photographer is required. Knowing how to quickly operate the camera to capture the image that is pre-visualized requires understanding of all of the settings available on the camera.
Post processing is done through digital enhancement of the raw data as recorded by the camera. It requires skill and understanding of the software being used to bring out the image as visualized by the photographer.
“The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it.” – Ansel Adams
“Photography is more than a medium for factual communication of ideas. It is a creative art.” – Ansel Adams
“Photography, as a powerful medium…offers an infinite variety of perception, interpretation and execution.” – Ansel Adams