in camera or in computer?

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the blog:

Hi All,
This is a little rant so read on at your own peril. I will start by mentioning that I do use photoshop. It has become a crucial element since most photography is digital these days. I understand and accept this. I see some beautiful work being done by some relatively new photographers and I enjoy looking at it. I even accept that many people are using photoshop so extensively that the first thing you notice is the post processing and not the actual content. The content has to be there of course (or the photo would not be successful at all) but it is buried under a lot of computer manipulation. These new practitioners have no real reason to be apologetic since they may not have even know the world of photography before digital took over. With that as my intro I will start my rant.

What gets me is the lack of technique…the ability to get things in camera and later make them better vs. just creating things that try to simulate old reliable camera techniques in post production. It is hard to simulate something well if you don’t really know anything about it in the first place.

Tonight, I will whine about faux panning.  Real panning is a fairly simple technique and one that I have used over the years with some success. I have blogged about it in the past so I won’t go into a lot of detail here. Let me just say that it is a great technique for representing motion in a still image. I have seen photographers recently trying to fake it in Photoshop. If you are going to do that then know how to make it look less obvious. I bet most clients will not notice – but anyone who looks critically will. I recently saw the work of a photographer whose work looked modern and good BUT she was using some Photoshop manipulation to mimic some things that were obviously NOT done in camera (but trying to look like it was).  The fake panning blur of people on a bike looked good to me until I looked at the tires. The ground viewed through the spokes was in focus and stationary.  NOT possible if you are panning! The rest of the shot looked good but it was ruined by the stationary ground. Would it not be cooler to the subject to show the photograph of him/her on the bike in motion and knowing that the photographer really captured them in motion??? It shouldn’t take as long to master the real technique as the myriad of photoshop tricks to try and simulate it.

That’s it for the rant. I feel temporarily better for having written (and reread and of course edited) it. I have another brewing but I will hold off for now. If this evokes a response then please share. I don’t claim to be the last word on this but I do have opinions that I sometimes share.