Isn’t it Photoshopped?

A comment on my entry in the Central Park contest says, “yep, the photo is awesome! but isn’t it photoshop’ed at all? ”

Ah, mais oui.  But of course.  Everything you see on the web has been – how do you say – photoshopped.   Or Lightroomed?  But I suppose that what the viewer wants to know is how much was it manipulated?  Did it really look like that?

To start off with – it was shot with the Canon 20D – so it began life in Adobe 98 colorspace.   So you see, right from the start, it did not look like that.   In fact, I don’t see the blurred skaters at all while I am shooting.  How did that happen?  Slow shutter speed, you say?  Ah, oui,  Maybe.

Parts of the image were burned in; parts were dodged, in Lightroom – though it could just as well have been photoshop or some other program.  But nothing was added that wasn’t there before, i.e. I didn’t need to paste the skaters in from another capture; though once again, I admit to cropping the image in Lightroom to the 11 x 14 size.

But does this make photoshopped a pejorative thing?  If so – then every shot you’ve seen on the web has been photoshopped, even those scans from film.  Everything that’s being viewed as pixels or drops of ink on paper has been adjusted.

Well anyway – keep voting for me – and I’ll be spending a night for two (maybe you’ll come with me) at a fancy hotel overlooking the park.  I wonder whether that’s against the rules – inviting you to join me at the fancy hotel if I win.  But don’t worry – I can honestly say – it wasn’t photoshopped (it was Lightroomed).



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My name is Dave Beckerman. I am a fine art photographer working in New York City.

3 thoughts on “Isn’t it Photoshopped?”

  1. Okay, I voted. Make sure you ask for a king size bed. And I don’t really like caviar, so for appetizers order me pigs-in-a-blanket instead.

    Loyal Fan

  2. What a lot of people don’t realize is many of the adjustments we make in photoshop or lightroom or whatever software someone uses have exact “real life” counterparts.

    Ansel Adams burned and dodged and manipulated like a champion. He just did it with chemicals and other darkroom techniques instead of a mouse, keyboard and tablet.

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