Just because we can, doesn’t mean we have to…

Last Thursday I had the absolute pleasure of being invited to speak to the Bookham Camera Club in Surrey, UK.

I was asked to speak about how I first started off using Photoshop, moved onto becoming a retoucher and then made the transition to becoming a Photographer.

As well as talking through the stories behind some of my images I also showed a Character Portrait Retouch using Photoshop and then demonstrated what I call the Invisible Black Backdrop technique, and this is what leads me onto the title of this blog post…

It’s no secret that I love Photoshop; in fact recently I was chatting with another Photographer and explained that I have no issue with some folks saying that some of my images are Photoshopped. Now this hasn’t always been the case believe me but of late I’ve kind of taken a different view of these comments and think of it like I used to when I used to compete at Bodybuilding; let me explain…

You see most ‘laymen’ view Steroids as something that makes you big, strong and packed full of muscle so even though it wasn’t the case, for someone to suggest that I must have taken some when I was Bodybuilding I viewed as a compliment because that must be how they saw me…big, strong and packed full of muscle:)

Of course it isn’t quite that easy as what people don’t see are the hours spent in the gym, the strict diets and everything else that comes with it and that’s the same with Photogtaphy: hours spent learning your craft (continuously) plus the money invested in equipment and continuous education in the form of Books, DVD’s, Online Training and Workshops so that we have the skill and knowledge to get it right ‘in camera’.

Anyway, getting back to the talk and this Invisible Black Backdrop technique…

Last year I posted a tutorial here on the blog showing this simple technique which allows you to create ‘black backdrops’ to your shots no matter where you are i.e. in the studio or in the great outdoors; so more for those who are new to the blog I thought I’d include a link back to the technique so you can see it for yourself [Link]

Demonstrating the technique to the camera club made me think that despite having a good grasp of Photoshop and all manner of editing, retouching and compositing  techniques, sometimes Just because we can, doesn’t mean we have to…

As always if you have any questions or would like to leave a comment, then please feel free to make use of the comments section below. Also, if this technique is indeed new to you and you do give it a go, I’d love to see some of the results you’re getting so please do post a link in the comments section or email me directly.

In the mean time,
Enjoy:)

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December 4, 2013 - 12:38 pm

ยาทน - Amazing! This blog looks just like my old one! It’s on a totally
different subject but it has pretty much the same page layout and design.
Great choice of colors!

October 27, 2011 - 11:10 pm

Mike - Its funny watching the old timers when they see someone present at a club who uses PS a lot. Shuffling in the chairs, the odd grunt and mumble every now and then.

I bet you went down a storm mate!!!

October 18, 2011 - 12:18 am

Paul - Oh and just in case the images with two Kellies are confused with photoshop blending, they weren’t…done in camera.

October 18, 2011 - 12:16 am

Paul - Hey Glyn

As usual a great post to read.

I’ve been shooting like this for sometime and since you asked for some examples, here’s a few from a shoot earlier this year…

http://bof.uk.com/blog/kellie-parker-yorkshire-model-photography/

some softboxes, some snoots some grids, some hard light and some natural light.

Tattar

Paul

October 17, 2011 - 11:42 am

Keith Hammond - It’s good to hear camera clubs are moving with the times re photoshop etc.
It wasn’t that long ago that a couple of clubs i visited were struggling to accept digital.

October 17, 2011 - 8:59 am

David Kelly - Ah the old Photoshop debate. Thankfully within in my photographic club we don’t seem to have issues with Photoshoppery but that’s probably because many of the senior members in the club have embraced it and use it. Alas many of the judges on the competition circuit don’t seem to have the same opinion and have a clear disdain for Photoshopped images – be it good Photoshoppery or not.

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