To Photoshop or not to Photoshop

To Photoshop or not to Photoshop - that is the question. When a bunch of photgraphy buddies got together last night for a model shoot on a rooftop in Brisbane's CBD, we got to chatting about whether it's ok to Photoshop images or if we publish work straight out of the camera.

Like any form of art, photography is subjective, and I reckon it's whatever goes. A skilled photographer will try to get it right in the camera, a mantra that's been drilled into me at all of the workshops I've ever attended. And yet, I really love some of the effects that you can create in Photoshop.

I recently purchased a set of presets for CS5 from Totally Rad. Presets are automated actions you run over an image to create a specific effect - you can also create your own actions, but for Photoshop numbnuts like me, I love the fact that I can click a few buttons and completely transform an image. It's also helping me to understand what's possible in Photoshop and how I can tweak my own images.

The left hand image above is straight out of camera. For the one on the right, I ran Totally Rad's "Pool Party" preset over it to get a slight boost in contrast, and the vintage-y, soft cross-processed feel. I prefer the "processed" version.

So I'm throwing it out there - tell me what you think about Photoshoppin'. Is it acceptable? As a photographer, do you put your images through Photoshop, Lightroom or other editing programs or do you only publish work straight out of the camera? Does using Photoshop make you a lazy photographer, knowing you can "fix stuff up" after the fact, or do you consider the processing process to be an integral part of the creative process??

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