First: A Strange Rant. Second: Why I Love Photoshop.

I saw this clip on ABC New (I believe that’s who it was) the other day when I was getting my car serviced. (Otherwise, I wouldn’t be watching the news. It irritates me most days.) They were doing a segment about how film is on it’s way out in terms of photography. They decided the best people to discuss this with, was a bunch of hipsters from Parsons School of Design. Now, I like Hipsters. They’re way cooler than I am. But like any segment of the population, there are the extreme versions that are just caricatures of real people trapped in an image. These kids? Those extremes. And they were ALL using film and basically denouncing all things digital.

While these guys kinda made me giggle a bit, they didn’t bother me. I respect their idealism and their cool black frame glasses.

HOWEVER, they also interviewed some lady who has been working in the Photography department at TIME magazine for 40+ years. She was discussing why film is better and she made this one point: She knows photographers who go back through their negatives years later and suddenly discover a frame they didn’t notice before and it’s AMAZING and if that had been digital? Those photos would have just been deleted.

Um. WHAT? That doesn’t make any sense. Yes. I delete them off the CAMERA, but I (and most people I know who obsess with photos) keep every picture I take that has even the most REMOTE essence of quality. If everything is blurred? No. But if one person or object is kinda is clear? It gets stored on my computer and one of two external hard drives. FOREVER. And you know what else is great about having those digital pictures to go back through? You can change your mind. AND you can go through them without a light table. I think she is just an example of someone who likes things a certain way and picks the best reason she can think of to justify it. THIS IS FINE. But she needs to pick a better reason. Do what most people I know do and just say you LIKE IT BETTER. That’s fine! I know people who are hardcore about listening to music on vinyl. I’m kinda snobby about using my hand-mixer when I cook. We all do things a certain way because we LIKE them. But she justified it with the craziest idea ever.

Unless I’m the only person in the world who saves her photos. Which I’m 99% certain I’m not.

My point of this was actually just to show you why I love Photoshop. Somehow my brain drifted back to that lady and suddenly this became a rebuttal to some lady interviewed on ABC News. I APOLOGIZE, LADY!

NOW…on to the REAL entry about WHY I LOVE PHOTOSHOP.

I took this photo last weekend:


AH! Both kids looking at the camera! It’s a miracle! Too bad I snapped it as I was falling over. Or maybe there was an earthquake? I don’t know. It’s crooked! Enter…PHOTOSHOP.


Straightened it out. Cropped it in closer and sharped it a bit. Now? TOTALLY FRAMEWORTHY. Then, a couple days later I thought it might be good in a Black and White frame I’m working on. I never take pictures in Black and White, it’s always a post-processing Photoshop thing.

Black and White

PERFECT. That one photo I can now do about a million things with. Which is good since it’s one of the ONLY photos where both kids are looking AT the camera and NOT making a “silly” face. Now, imagine if they were SMILING. I’d blow that thing up and turn it into a bedspread at Wal-Mart. Which you can do. Although I think it would funnier to use THIS edited photo to turn into a bedspread. Who wouldn’t want that Homicidal Glare keeping them warm every night.

Before After

11 thoughts on “First: A Strange Rant. Second: Why I Love Photoshop.”

  1. I love the concept of PS however I hate PS with a passion. I’m an idiot who can’t figure it out apparently. Oh well!

    That second picture is hilarious!

  2. Yes, I keep most of my photos, too. Clearly bad shots – blurry, whatever, those I delete. But mostly, they just sit on my hard drive.

  3. I know what you mean about keeping photos. There have been so many times while the “my photos” screen saver was on (our main PC is in the living room next to the TV… we watch a lot of shows online), that I saw a photo I might have pitched but suddenly had a new appreciation for.

    Some day I need to learn photoshop. I’ve been using the Kodak EasyShare software because it’s quick and easy… but it’s also limited in what it can do, and at times it’s default “enhance” does a little too much of what I want, iykwim.

    The only thing is, I take a lot of pictures (maybe you do, too), with the idea that if I take a lot I’ll get a few good ones. Except since I don’t delete, I have a lot to go through, and I think PhotoShop would be more time-consuming than EasyShare. While I LIKE fiddling with photos, there are just too many other things I don’t like to do (***cough*cleaning/dishes/housework*cough***) that wouldn’t get done if I spent more time working on pictures.

  4. you’re right, Zoot — I have all my pictures on the computer and keep adding all the time! I also have most of them backed up on Flickr, and on Mozy. And I only delete them off the phone/camera when I have to!!

  5. But more importantly, I love the stained glass on the side windows by the front door! Is it stained glass or that window cling stuff? I want to try the window cling stuff!

    1. YES. It’s the cling stuff! Donnie did it so I’m not able to talk about how easy it was to do, but I think he only cussed a few times, so it didnt seem too bad!

  6. My hubs saves EVERY PICTURE he takes, film AND digital. He never knows when a client will want something printed again, etc. Even his clients from the 90’s who he shot on film have requested reprints and he’s able to fulfill those requests. Crazy!

    He also has all of his grandfather’s negatives and people email him every once in a while with questions about reprinting family photos from the 60’s and 70’s, and he can! I just think it’s so neat.

    In other words, keep them all!

  7. I’ve been taking digital photos since 1999 (bought my first dig camera for our trip to London for the Millennial New Year) and my Flickr stream currently boasts 30,776 photos. Roughly every picture I’ve taken since – Good, Bad, and even some Ugly.

    These photos also exist on a handful of portable drives, at home and in safety deposit boxes. Whether they are high art – or just junior’s first steps the ease of available redundancy means if photographers are careful they will not loose their images. After Hurricane Katrina I remember reading how Snapfish and Kodak and other online photo services were so generous in providing victims with copies of the files and prints they had lost. That could never have happened with film, both negative and print would have been gone forever.

    Not to mention the fact that all 30K+ of my images are tagged so they can be easily sorted and for generations to come, we will know who was in each photo and when and sometimes where it was taken. By tagging, it’s much easier to go back and explore those older photos and revisit shots – just as the woman claimed could not be done.

    In the interest of full disclosure I should say that 1,003 of those photos are scanned versions of pictures from my granny, who adored taking pictures. I’ve been scanning them in over the years and still have piles and piles to go. Many of them are yellowed and becoming damaged by time – Photoshop helps restore a lot of damage.

    My cousins adore when I get a new batch up because it’s as if a little of bit of their past has come back to them. Sadly my grandmother is no longer alive to tell us who is in all of the oldest ones from other generations anymore but I’ll keep scanning and our family history will stay just a little more intact than it otherwise would have.

    Oh and by the way, had they been film, pretty sure that those pictures from London in 2000 would be long lost in the 4 cross country moves we had since then.

    I’ll finish off this overly long, overly passionate comment with a little fun :-) I recently attended the a marketing summit where Jeff Hayzlett (former CMO for Kodak) was the keynote. Before he came out they showed a great internal video from Kodak and their response to how they gaffed the digital thing but are planning to take it back. It’s the first 3:30 of this, you can’t see it well but the audio is worth it.

    I’ll be quiet now.

  8. I keep all my photos, too. Of course I do delete the completely blurry ones (which there are admittedly a lot of with my 20-month-old), but anything else, I keep.

    A few weeks ago, I actually went back through most of the photos I’d taken since Jonah was born because I was making something for my husband for Father’s Day, and it was SO MUCH FUN to see some photos I’d completely forgotten about!

  9. I keep every single picture file. Even some blurry ones that make it off the camera. My desktop computer is in the living room and my screensaver is a slide show of my photo folder, so every single picture has a chance to shine. It’s like having a huge digital frame. The only time something gets deleted is if it is a really bad picture that comes up often enough on the slideshow to annoy me.

    I also have a Flickr account that I regularly look through. Those are all the Photoshop processed pictures, of course. The cool thing is that for every one of those pictures, there are several unprocessed pictures in the archives. Fairly often, one of those “rejects” comes up on my slideshow, and I realize I like it better, or for a different reason than the Flickr version that I had grown used to.

    So essentially, my computer is an old-negative-displaying robot that randomly puts pictures from my past up on a digital light table for me to enjoy, or ignore. By contrast, all my old film pictures are sitting in shoe boxes in my garage, slowly degrading, waiting for the day I have them digitized. Yeah. I’m not going to miss film any more than my great grandparents missed photographers using glass plates and silver salts.

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a little bit of everything.