Photoshop or no Photoshop..

black and white portrait

I want to talk about Photoshop or no Photoshop.

Most people now understand that every image they see in magazines has been heavily retouched and in reality doesn’t represent what real people look like and I think its fare to say are fed up of it and have lost a little faith in advertising.

But times are changing.

I personally don’t use it, not because I’m against it, each to their own, but for me it’s a matter of capturing the real person that’s inside. In other words capturing a persons personality, that for me is where the real beauty lies and I don’t need photoshop to bring that out.

You need to create the right environment for the person whether on location or in the studio. As a photographer your personality plays a huge part in making the sitter feel comfortable and giving them the confidence to be themselves. Asking the right questions and observation also plays a big part, without observing and getting to know the person how can you direct them?

Another consideration is how to light them and of course makeup.. or not.. as the case may be. Exposure also plays a vital role, getting it right in the camera is everything. I’m talking about old fashioned photography skills from the days when we shot all the campaigns on film. If you don’t get any of the above right then photoshop will not transform your portrait or fashion image into something beautiful.

People connect to other peoples’ personality, passion and so on not plastic skin and flawless fake figures..

black and white studio portrait

I used my Leica M4 with Ilford PanF+ 50asa film, again no photoshop..

My point is you don’t need to use photoshop to make someone look amazing, I often say to capture a great portrait is 80% personality and 20% photography skill. Another thing worth mentioning is how much time do you spend in post-production? I have found that most of the people who come to my workshops spend far too much time in it and not enough time developing their skills as a photographer.

This feels like a rant but believe me it isn’t, I just feel that sometimes the skill of photography is missing while relying on software such as Photoshop.

I recently watch The Culture Show with Rankin re creating Rembrandt portraits, its fascinating and definitely worth a watch on catch up, I especially liked when he is photographing Una Stubbs and his and Unas’ thoughts during and at the end of the shoot…

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