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Quote Originally Posted by STM View Post
As I was shooting today something came to mind. This question is really for those of us who have spent (or still spend) a lot of time in the darkroom.

Although one could ever dispute that programs like Photoshop and Lightroom have given photographers of all skill levels a powerful tool to tweak and manipulate photographs, providing options that are either very difficult or even impossible to do in the dark room.

But here is my question, have programs like PS and LR made us lazy? What I mean by lazy is are we willing to live with things in the image that we can later fix in PS that we would not have been able to do 20 years ago? Back then you had to change viewpoints, deal more with color temperature (resorting to using the right kind of film and/or CC filters) and chose shutter speed and aperture for proper exposure. This was especially important in slide film where the exposure latitudes were not nearly as wide as with color negative film. Color negative film could tolerate a fair amount of overexposure, but color slide film would just go clear with no detail whatsoever left.

I know I have caught myself doing it too but fortunately my firewall is still intact enough and that voice tells me to stop and revert back to the film days and try to get things as right in the camera rather than relying on fixing them afterwards. Over the years I would say I have honed my PS skills to what are considered above average, as least as far as a photographer goes, but to be honest I hate having to spend a lot of time on an image where more attention to detail before the shutter was tripped would be better than hoping I can fix it later in Photoshop.

Your thoughts?
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  1. Michael J.'s Avatar
    Just a great thought which comes into my mind very often. Thanks to STM to share his thought with us.
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  2. Michael J.'s Avatar
    For me, PP helped me to compose photos now better in the field. Most PP is for me now is resizing photos. PP helped me also to buy the right equipment such as filters
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  3. LouCioccio's Avatar
    Do it right in the camera is correct. If you ever darkroom printed you don't want jump around getting the exposure right with each negative. If I am in the same spot (the light) I try to keep the exposure constant this is for relatively still objects; i.e. Portraits indoors or outdoors, people as long as its not a sports venue. I was photographing an event (1986) and the last was at the sponsor's home. Near the end of the dinner the newspaper was supposed to show up to take images of the sponsor, the mayor and the guest of honor. Well the guest of honor was getting tired as I was with him for the twelve hour day. Luckily I had some black and white film so I took several images probably f/8 at 1/125 with my flash. After he left the newsman and photographer showed up. I gave the photographer the short roll of 120 B&W and he said to drop by the paper and he'll have the film ready. When I did he commented that it was easy to print because my exposure was not all over the place.
    When I teach Basic DSLR class I stress to keep the exposure the same if at all possible because it will be very easy to do group of RAW's at a time rather than doing each individual one. Like they say in scouts KISS!
    Lou Cioccio
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  4. nzswift's Avatar
    Biggest difference to me is the spray and pray technique. Back in in film days if it wasn't dead right in the viewfinder you never bothered pressing the shutter. Surprisingly though you knew the instant you pressed the shutter when everything was perfect it was going to be fantastic. Can't get my mindset into the lets take 100 shots and see if I can get some good ones in PP. Probably explains the low shutter count on my DSLR....
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  5. singlerosa's Avatar
    Don't confuse lazy with efficient. I'm often guilty of shooting wide and cropping in post, but a lot of what I shoot is event-oriented and leaves little time for in-camera perfection. And, even if you take a shortcut on the front end, you're going to pay for it in post. The camera is a tool and so is software. Use whatever you need to make your vision happen.
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