Photoshop & Lightroom: Don't like overprocessing images

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I'm a 55 year old disabled with RA male who has gone back to school for my Associates Degree in Photography...I'm currently in the 2nd semester of 4 (a 2 year degree) and thinking of calling it a day. In the first semester we worked on alot of B&W 35mm film shots, and the darkroom was a great experience. However, in this semester aside from a few 120 film projects we've been all DSLR. Herein is my prob...I'm having big issues with using CS6 and the fact that all of our photos have to be "doctored" or "manipulated" before we hand them in to be graded. What ever happened to a photo standing on its own merit? Imo when you know you have CS6 or LR4 waiting in the wings you don't have to pay near as much attention to detail as you would if you didn't have it...perhaps that's why I enjoyed film so much. To be honest...I don't know how people could put their name on something and call it a picture THEY shot when it was layered to death. That bothers me so much Ive been handing my projects in as they are and not using CS6 at all. I'm so digusted with it all that after this semester I will be leaving school and dropping my aspirations of getting that degree...I'm just going to stick to B&W film...it really appealed to me very much. I did subscribe to the Creative Cloud but I'm going to try and cancel it...I know I have a few days to do it. In my photos I want people to see what I saw when I took it...not something faked and manipulated. Happy snapping!!!
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BobM

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Posted 6 years ago

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Chris Cox

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It's no different from spot retouching, dodging, burning, compositing, and all the things that used to be done with a brush, airbrush, and enlarger.

And if you're going to learn photography, you need to learn how to use the tools (be they analog or digital).

And you can have pure digital photography even more easily (faster, healthier, and cheaper) than pure film photography.
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christoph pfaffenbichler, Champion

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»you can have pure digital photography even more easily (faster, healthier, and cheaper)«
Good points, especially the cost factor I guess.

Additionally one might also mention the issue of physical storage space for analog photographic materials.
Of course with digital imagery there’s the matter that if one does not archive and back-up diligently photographs may be (as good as) lost easily.
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BobM

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Hi Chris...There's just a part of me that can't justify sitting at a laptop for hours adjusting one photo in CS6...Ive seen some people really get crazy about it.
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Chris Cox

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Still better than days in a darkroom over toxic chemical baths, or days with an airbrush.
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christoph pfaffenbichler, Champion

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Photoshop is a tool, if you personally use it to manipulate your own images is your choice.

If your school requires you to learn the basics of the tool that does not mean you ultimately have to use it.
But it moght enable you to
• make manipulations to your own photographs the necessity for which you may not yet have encountered (salvaging images created under poor lighting conditions for example)
• recognize the use in the images of others.
And it may provide you with an appreciation of a certain kind of logic inherent in Photoshop’s handling of data. (Whether this is worth the time and effort is naturally up to you to judge.)

»In my photos I want people to see what I saw when I took it«
Black and white images seem a peculiar choice (except under certain conditions) then.
But to clarify your intention let me ask this: Do you want to create images or photographic recordings?
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BobM

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Hi Christoph...Ever since I developed that first roll of B&W film the whole feel and look of the image had me...it was a cut and dry image, no distractions like the myriad of colors that a color digital photo has...to me a B&W photo draws the person right to the subject at hand...your eyes don't get busy or distracted by all the colors or tones that a color photo has. Call me old school I guess...but I prefer B&W...many people do..i.e. Nikki Sixx
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christoph pfaffenbichler, Champion

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Black and white photography is a valid choice and I don’t argue against it.
Plenty of great photography has been done that way and indeed it can provide great aesthetic advantages.
(But even Edward Sheriff Curtis had to have photographs touched up.)

And assuming you have color vision it does not truly represent what you »see« (physiologically) when you take an image.
Human vision is a fairly complex matter in and of itself and photography but mimics the processes physically.

If one pursues photography as art one is certainly right to decide on one’s process both of taking and reproducing the images however one sees fit.
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BobM

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In addition to that I can't justify the time some people spend in CS6 adjusting a photo...to spend hours tweaking a photo to me is counter-productive.
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Chris Cox

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How long did it take Ansel Adams to go from a negative to a print he considered final? Days? Weeks?

But you don't have to spend that much time. It depends on what you are trying to achieve. A photojournalist won't spend that much time, but an artist might.