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Photoshop CS4 for Photographers is an essential course for any digital photographer who wants to master the software's vast array of image enhancement techniques. Professional photographer and instructor Chris Orwig uses his own compelling images to demonstrate how the power of Photoshop can make photographers more passionate about their work. He covers many aspects of the application, such as working with RAW images, using curves and levels, making images snap, and enhancing bland photographs by converting them to black and white. Exercise files accompany this course.
Hey! Welcome to another creative tip. There is something that's just absolutely amazing about being up in the mountains. I love being up here and you know this last week I had the privilege and opportunity of spending some time with the musician Seal. And I was at his house and at his computer we were talking about photography and Lightroom and Photoshop and we were going through a number of his different images and he said something to me that was actually I thought a kind of profound. He said, you know what, Chris? I want to create images that resonate, that make people feel something. And for the record, Seal is an amazing photographer.
So when I shoot with film, I somehow embrace the beautiful mistakes. Yeah, when I shoot with digital I'm a little bit more critical. It's almost as if all the marketing of the digital era makes us want to have photographs that are perfect and that perfection somehow detracts from the photographs and I agree with that. There is something beautiful about having mistakes in your images. Let's consider food photography for a second. In food photography, crumbs are really popular because food photography is done in the studio and with really perfect food but if it looks like you can't eat it and it's not very appetizing, so you have to sprinkle some crumbs around the perfect food to make it look a little bit more real. Or perhaps as the lead singer of the U2 once said, the photographs that impress me, that engage me are those where the flaw makes the frame. Because it makes the images that much more human.
So as you are learning more about how to retouch your photographs, just keep this in mind. Perfection is not the goal because sometimes perfection is just uninteresting or perhaps it just makes us become critical and then we notice other mistakes. Rather the goal is try to reduce the blemishes or to reduce distractions that take away from the overall intent of the photograph and ultimately I want to do what Seal wants to do and that is create images that connect, that resonate, that make people feel, that engage them, that intrigue them. And there are some times when you are retouching, you need to really zoom in on the details. Now we have to do that to reduce and simply and work on small blemishes but we also need to zoom out. We need to step back. We have to look at the picture in its entirety.
You know the same thing happens, let's say, when you are using makeup or when you put makeup on someone. What happens is you use these mirrors where you can look in and everything is zoomed in. You look at the little details but then you step back and you enjoy the whole picture because, how will someone experience the picture? Well, step back. You can zoom in Photoshop- they can't zoom in on it. They are going to see the entirety of the frame. So as you begin to delve into this wonderful world of retouching in Photoshop, just keep that in mind. It's not always the perfection is our goal. Rather, the goal is to reduce and simply to clean up the image a little bit in order to create a more compelling, a more engaging, a more impactful photograph.
All right, well I hope you enjoyed this creative tip. I look forward to see you in the next one. Bye for now. Adios.
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