My goal at F8Phototutor is to make us better photographers. The path to better photography has been paved with a multitude of tools, wasted money, time, and effort. Amongst those are the hopes that photo editing software will make us a better photographer. The fact is that photo editing software, such as PhotoShop, without being able to control the basics of photography makes us lazy and continues us towards the path of poor to mediocre photography. I realize that the opening paragraph will set a few readers off and many may not continue to read or miss the message to follow.
During my journey as a photographer, I have made many mistakes and learned what to do as well as what not to do. There is no easy path to becoming a better photographer. PhotoShop and the like will not make you better. As the old adage goes, you can put lipstick on a pig but it is still a pig. In other words, a poor photograph will still be a poor photograph even after PhotoShop. Yes, there are some things that can be done to improve a photograph but if your hopes are to “fix” them all in PhotoShop you will not likely ever get better.
The path to better photography is to learn to take better photographs BEFORE editing. Learn to understand and control light, shadows, focus, exposure, depth of field.
I am a PhotoShop and Lightroom user and I strongly recommend post-processing but at the same time, I discourage learning Photoshop or another editing program until you have learned the basics. I still work to achieve the best possible image I can at the time of capture rather than thinking about how I can “fix” it later.
Take time and learn photography before you learn PhotoShop, trust me, you’ll thank me later.