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Photographer
Art Nudes
Posts: 85
Aberdeen, Scotland, United Kingdom


Okay, I know a photo can always be "improved" by judicious photoshopping, but I just usually lighten and sharpen a photo in "Nikon Picture Project," and that's it.

This isn't meant to be some sort  of "reverse snobbery" where I blow my own trumpet by saying, " I don't need to use photoshop because my pics are so good," type thing. So fire away!! smile
Jun 24 13 02:44 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Images by MR
Posts: 7,737
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


Art Nudes wrote:
Okay, I know a photo can always be "improved" by judicious photoshopping, but I just usually lighten and sharpen a photo in "Nikon Picture Project," and that's it.

This isn't meant to be some sort  of "reverse snobbery" where I blow my own trumpet by saying, " I don't need to use photoshop because my pics are so good," type thing. So fire away!! smile

Yes your photos need retouching....

Jun 24 13 02:59 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Ash Photographic
Posts: 378
Cirencester, England, United Kingdom


Yes, but it won't improve your photography.

For that you'll need to learn about lighting, composition and a load of other stuff.





Ash.
Jun 24 13 04:07 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
J-PhotoArt
Posts: 452
San Francisco, California, US


No... before you worry about whether or not you need to use Photoshop on your images, you need to learn some some basic of photography.  By basic I mean, lighting & composition mainly. 

If you learn to master just the lighting alone you may probably find that you will only need to use photoshop for minor retouching such as blemishes, scars, wrinkles and such.

I personally use Photoshop very infrequently for some special effects and slight adjustments of lighting, contrast, white balance and to  de-saturate images and, as I said before, to remove scars, wrinkles bruises & blemishes.
Jun 24 13 04:22 am  Link  Quote 
Model
AdM
Posts: 4
Santa Cruz, California, US


Editing the photos might make them look more aesthetic, but they still will make them more unreal looking. I notice marks on some of the woman's skin and all the traits of normal healthy women...That seems to me like a good thing to celebrate.

I'd say try Photoshop out, but keep your reservations about it if you want to keep conveying natural beauty instead of idealism.

By the way, the lighting on many of these looks good to me, in my untrained expertise.
Jun 24 13 04:27 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Marin Photography NYC
Posts: 7,235
New York, New York, US


Yes!  Digital camera images are too sharp to be flattering when used on people most times. Your models will appreciate a retouch especially on scars, bumps and bruises. You want a flattering image of your subject so they come back! You don't want to scare them away with all those pesky details in their face do you?  big_smile
Jun 24 13 04:35 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Marin Photography NYC
Posts: 7,235
New York, New York, US


J-PhotoArt wrote:
No... before you worry about whether or not you need to use Photoshop on your images, you need to learn some some basic of photography.  By basic I mean, lighting & composition mainly.

ouch!  That wasn't the question.  big_smile

Jun 24 13 04:39 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
KonstantKarma
Posts: 2,513
Hickory, North Carolina, US


Yes.
Jun 24 13 04:50 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
J-PhotoArt
Posts: 452
San Francisco, California, US


Marin Photography wrote:
ouch!  That wasn't the question.  big_smile

I read the question as basically asking if their images would be better by using Photoshop and unfortunately I do not believe that they would.  Obviously, you have a different opinion than I do.

Jun 24 13 04:51 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
TMA Photo and Retouch
Posts: 727
New York, New York, US


You dont have to use Photoshop.   Photoshop is just another tool to add to the artistry of the image.  Lighting is a tool... choosing which lens to use is a tool...which f stop and focus to use is a tool...posing is a tool...all to better capture and represent the beauty you see before you... and to convey it to your audience... hopefully in a more beautiful and artful way... than just a raw picture.

I use photoshop because it is also another visual tool... just like my lights.  If I dont use my lighting artfully... and like a craftsman... and artist... my images sometimes come out looking raw and less attractive than I would like for my own taste.

Photoshop used artfully... with some of the same skills you use in your photography and posing...can make a raw image smoother, lighter, darker, more artistic.

Photoshop is just another visual layer that you have at your disposal.  Use it artfully and with some craftsmanship...and your image can end up looking like you hoped it would... and more like what you imagined... and more looking like fine, finished, polished art... than the RAW image that just happened to pop out of the back of your camera. 

Why hate a tool...that can make you look better.  Its all about the process...from inception, to capture, to final finishing.  Photoshop is every bit as important as your lighting choices, your choice of model, the location, and the mood.  Even Ansel Adams spent hours in the darkroom after his shoots...to get his final images to look perfect and magnificent... and to take your breath away!
Jun 24 13 05:09 am  Link  Quote 
Model
AshleyDay
Posts: 29
Chapel Hill, North Carolina, US


photoshop is the digital darkroom!
Ansel Adams, Sally Mann, etc... all used the darkroom to finish their images.

So basically by saying you dont use photoshop you are either saying you are:

A) Better than the above world famous photographers?

or

B) You dont know enough about photography to realize that your images need it...
Jun 24 13 05:11 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jeff Fiore
Posts: 9,224
Pelham, New York, US


It's just a tool to achieve your final vision
Jun 24 13 05:31 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
J-PhotoArt
Posts: 452
San Francisco, California, US


AshleyDay wrote:
photoshop is the digital darkroom!
Ansel Adams, Sally Mann, etc... all used the darkroom to finish their images.

So basically by saying you dont use photoshop you are either saying you are:

A) Better than the above world famous photographers?

or

B) You dont know enough about photography to realize that your images need it...

The reason that Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Imogen Cunningham and the like used the darkroom primary was to develop and print their images.  They would also use other techniques such as dodge & burn, at times, to enhance their images.

The styles of photography has come a long wany in the last 150 or so years.  In the beginning photographers used a style called Pictorialism in which they tried to make their photographs look more like art, in particular, oil paintings.  The photographers would use gels on the lens to get a softer focus and hand color prints to get a look of art so they could be thought of as Artist like Painters.

The Group F.64, Adams, Weston & Cunningham, were the beginning of the Modernist movement.  The Modernist movement was know for being what was also called straight photography.  The idea being that what you were capturing, with great detail, was what the camera was good at.  You will notice that most of the Modernist images were very detailed and true to life.

Photoshop is not the digital darkroom... Photoshop is a graphic design software for create digital graphics which has been used to enhance, manipulate and correct digital images.  Not all images need Photoshop to be a great image by any means.  However, it can obviously be helpful at times when properly used. 

Also, by not using Photoshop you are not saying that you are better than world famous photographers you listed.  What you are saying is that you have a different artist vision and your vision may be one of a straight image capture.

I think that TMA Photo and Retouch said it best "Photoshop is just another tool to add to the artistry of the image."

Jun 24 13 05:32 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Rik Williams
Posts: 3,443
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


Definitely
Images like these spell GWC to many.
I'm guessing its because they might appear unrefined and amateur, with little emphasis on anything other than snapping nekid ladies.
So that would be yes from me.
Jun 24 13 05:36 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Nogawd Photography
Posts: 118
Cleveland, Ohio, US


Images by MR wrote:

Yes your photos need retouching....

Yeah I should not be debating if that mark on the wall is a fly or not.

Jun 24 13 05:42 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Francisco Castro
Posts: 1,723
Cincinnati, Ohio, US


Art Nudes wrote:
Okay, I know a photo can always be "improved" by judicious photoshopping, but I just usually lighten and sharpen a photo in "Nikon Picture Project," and that's it.

This isn't meant to be some sort  of "reverse snobbery" where I blow my own trumpet by saying, " I don't need to use photoshop because my pics are so good," type thing. So fire away!! smile

My philosophy is, "Use whatever tools you need to achieve your vision.".

If your vision is to show your models in their unaltered selves, then do NOT use photoshop. Instead focus on solid photography skills; lighting techniques, proper exposure, white balancing, flattering poses.

If you need more help, then use MS Paint, Photoshop, a dark room to allow dodge and burn, Corel, silkscreening, whatever.

Purist and technocrats can go to H-E- double hockey sticks. It's your vision. Go for it.

Jun 24 13 05:46 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
David J Martin
Posts: 458
Amberg, Bavaria, Germany


No one can answer that question except you. 

If you're asking the question, that just means you have more learning and personal exploration to do.
Jun 24 13 06:26 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Neil Snape
Posts: 9,472
Paris, Île-de-France, France


I use very little Photoshop and often none at all.

I try to get it right like it was film then all that I like to do is digital dodge and burn etc in LR. Sometimes little defects are the key to honest pictures.
Jun 24 13 06:45 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Marin Photography NYC
Posts: 7,235
New York, New York, US


J-PhotoArt wrote:
I read the question as basically asking if their images would be better by using Photoshop and unfortunately I do not believe that they would.  Obviously, you have a different opinion than I do.

No that was a joke...

Jun 24 13 06:54 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Risen Phoenix Photo
Posts: 1,388
Minneapolis, Minnesota, US


Neil Snape wrote:
I use very little Photoshop and often none at all.

I try to get it right like it was film then all that I like to do is digital dodge and burn etc in LR. Sometimes little defects are the key to honest pictures.

THIS !!!!!!

Neil has got this right. photoshop is just a tool, often used poorly by many people on this site.

Skin too smoothed looking, blotchey, yellow skin so forth and so on.  Also their are amazing photographers on this site who are masters at Photoshop. Their work is masterful... Like the folks from TMA just to name one

Like Neil I want the look of my images to have the feel that they were shot on film.

I use Lightroom 4 for that purpose, and I have great results.

Your images need some type of post processing beyond light and dark or just cropping.  The white balance is off in most of your color work, which leads me to believe your have not set the camera properly or you have two competing light sources, like outdoor light coming in and incandescent indoors.

Also the gentlemen who suggested that learning more about light and where you and the model are in relationship to that light is right on. 

I shoot 90% of my work with a single light source ( strobe or hot light ) or natural light. 

I like fall off shadow and the modeling of light I get from those techniques.

Also I study the images ofthe classic photographers like those mentioned in the thread and I have been doing that for 30 years.

Robert Michael Walker who is out of Costa Mesa and on MM was a big influence on me from 1974 when I first saw his amazing images. Also Stephen Thorne, and Billy Monday, Sita Mae, AJ Kahn just to name a few more who are on MM.

Finally develop your skills at composition, the rule of thirds is a good place to start.


I am not saying these things to be cruel ... Self criticism should be the harshest critic of all.


Finally just shoot, shoot, shoot always try new things, develop your technique, and than your style. Get a high quality Photoshop or Lihtroom 4, or even Silver effects ( for black and white) take tutorials via U-Tube where it is a great place to start.

Have fun most of all

Risen Phoenix

Jun 24 13 07:15 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Mark
Posts: 2,891
New York, New York, US


Are you using a gray card to pre-set your white balance and gels to balance your flash to the room light?  Some pics have skin tone issues.

I dont think your photos are in need of that much photo shop but they need some artistic input.

ATB
Jun 24 13 09:14 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Silver Mirage
Posts: 1,578
Plainview, Texas, US


You don't have to if you don't want to, but even on very straightforward photos I think it's nice to fix temporary flaws such as loose threads, stray hairs, makeup crumbs or even the occasional zit.

My own usual approach is to fix these temporary things but not make too many changes to the real person. I sometimes tone down smile lines and skin texture, but rarely completely remove them.
Jun 24 13 09:27 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Amul La La
Posts: 819
Plymouth, England, United Kingdom


What I see as Necessities,



Camera, model, and vision (creativity).



I use PS elements 8 and photo scape to add a little twinkle to what I already made in camera. I can't create master pieces in PS, because quite frankly I have never learned to use it, another factor is affordability it costs treble treble treble treble treble what my camera did, so I make do with what I have, I get by as it were.

It's better to learn to see with the camera first (start formulating a relationship between your brain and the camera), also yes of course study lighting more (it's always good to study whatever light is around you just during the day, what does it do etc), then you'll have enough knowledge to know exactly what you want to do with your images in PS if you choose to use it. In my opinion, PS enhances what you already have, it doesn't create anything for you, whatever level of master you become at it. A garbage image will always be a garbage image, no matter how much it's been re-worked, so no I do not personally regard PS as highly as others in that respect.

It will make beautiful images more beautiful, of course, there is no doubt about it, just look at Mert Alas and Marcus Piggot for proof for e.g.
Jun 24 13 03:36 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
MichaelClements
Posts: 1,739
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia


Sure but don't rely on it. Get it as close as in camera first!
Jun 24 13 03:47 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
TMA Photo and Retouch
Posts: 727
New York, New York, US


Photography is a process of growth, experimentation and artistry. 

Its the same thing with Photoshop.  Go Ahead and try it... it could definitely enhance your art!
Jun 25 13 06:30 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Swank Photography
Posts: 19,015
Key West, Florida, US


Art Nudes wrote:
Okay, I know a photo can always be "improved" by judicious photoshopping, but I just usually lighten and sharpen a photo in "Nikon Picture Project," and that's it.

This isn't meant to be some sort  of "reverse snobbery" where I blow my own trumpet by saying, " I don't need to use photoshop because my pics are so good," type thing. So fire away!! smile

Yes. 100% yes. You should not only learn (along with a few other things) it but use it often. Your images would look better.

Jun 25 13 06:39 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Swank Photography
Posts: 19,015
Key West, Florida, US


Ash Photographic wrote:
Yes, but it won't improve your photography.

For that you'll need to learn about lighting, composition and a load of other stuff.





Ash.

THIS. OP please read this^

Jun 25 13 06:40 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ChanStudio - OtherSide
Posts: 5,334
Alpharetta, Georgia, US


Art Nudes wrote:
Okay, I know a photo can always be "improved" by judicious photoshopping, but I just usually lighten and sharpen a photo in "Nikon Picture Project," and that's it.

This isn't meant to be some sort  of "reverse snobbery" where I blow my own trumpet by saying, " I don't need to use photoshop because my pics are so good," type thing. So fire away!! smile

Yes you should....

  But while you are at it, there are several good books.

i.e.
  * Light Science and Magic: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
  * Mastering the Art of Photography Composition
  * The Art of Photography

etc..

Jun 25 13 06:44 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
I Ference Photography
Posts: 1,152
Rochester, New York, US


J-PhotoArt wrote:

The reason that Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Imogen Cunningham and the like used the darkroom primary was to develop and print their images.  They would also use other techniques such as dodge & burn, at times, to enhance their images.

The styles of photography has come a long wany in the last 150 or so years.  In the beginning photographers used a style called Pictorialism in which they tried to make their photographs look more like art, in particular, oil paintings.  The photographers would use gels on the lens to get a softer focus and hand color prints to get a look of art so they could be thought of as Artist like Painters.

The Group F.64, Adams, Weston & Cunningham, were the beginning of the Modernist movement.  The Modernist movement was know for being what was also called straight photography.  The idea being that what you were capturing, with great detail, was what the camera was good at.  You will notice that most of the Modernist images were very detailed and true to life.

Photoshop is not the digital darkroom... Photoshop is a graphic design software for create digital graphics which has been used to enhance, manipulate and correct digital images.  Not all images need Photoshop to be a great image by any means.  However, it can obviously be helpful at times when properly used. 

Also, by not using Photoshop you are not saying that you are better than world famous photographers you listed.  What you are saying is that you have a different artist vision and your vision may be one of a straight image capture.

I think that TMA Photo and Retouch said it best "Photoshop is just another tool to add to the artistry of the image."

This.  Great post.

Jun 25 13 07:46 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Miss Photog
Posts: 287
VALLEY VILLAGE, California, US


Ash Photographic wrote:
Yes, but it won't improve your photography.

For that you'll need to learn about lighting, composition and a load of other stuff.





Ash.

+1
might improve it a little. Your images kind of just say "GWC" to me.
A little bit of retouching never hurt anyone. Removing blemishes, bruises, unsightly scars, other things you might find distracting that would make the photo better if removed.

Jun 25 13 07:58 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Surreal Focus
Posts: 203
Montreal, Quebec, Canada


Art Nudes wrote:
Okay, I know a photo can always be "improved" by judicious photoshopping, but I just usually lighten and sharpen a photo in "Nikon Picture Project," and that's it.

This isn't meant to be some sort  of "reverse snobbery" where I blow my own trumpet by saying, " I don't need to use photoshop because my pics are so good," type thing. So fire away!! smile

Since you specifically asked about Photoshop you should realize that Photoshop can take an immense amount of time and practice to learn to use well.  Does the thought of sitting for hours in front of a computer editing your photos make you want to vomit?  If no then maybe you might want to try an introductory Photoshop class in your area.  Otherwise, keep your camera set to give you JPG files and let the built in camera software from Nikon do the editing for you.

Why are you even considering this question?  You never really gave a clear reason in your OP.  Are you not happy with how your current photos look?  Are you trying to get your photos to look like others you have seen?  If you give a more specific reason for what your motivations are then someone here can probably point you in a much more useful direction.

Jun 25 13 08:12 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
LA StarShooter
Posts: 1,852
Los Angeles, California, US


Art Nudes wrote:
Okay, I know a photo can always be "improved" by judicious photoshopping, but I just usually lighten and sharpen a photo in "Nikon Picture Project," and that's it.

This isn't meant to be some sort  of "reverse snobbery" where I blow my own trumpet by saying, " I don't need to use photoshop because my pics are so good," type thing. So fire away!! smile

I think since you seek to flourish in the field of art nudes that it's best to ask yourself a directive question: "What is my direction, what do I want to achieve?"

If you do not want to remove flaws or amend for the sharpness of a lens that can seem magnify problems into visual catastrophes, this is perfectly reasonable because you're interested in art nudes. Some images in areas I thought could use sharpening but I hesitate to tell you what to do because my mind is set on commercial and fashion images. You indicate no desire to sell the images or publish them as far as I could tell, so that may make the images even more significant to you.

Some have intelligently suggested that indeed photoshop is a finishing tool. There is no question it could give you a range of different looks from what you currently offer.

Are you starting to think you need to do more to the images? That some of them could be much better if you worked on them?

Jun 25 13 08:22 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Cherrystone
Posts: 36,643
Columbus, Ohio, US


Ash Photographic wrote:
Yes, but it won't improve your photography.

For that you'll need to learn about lighting, composition and a load of other stuff.





Ash.

Frankly....other than 2-3 maybes, his comp/crop was spot on......which is something I don't see much of on here.

OP.....yes I'd explore CS.

Jun 25 13 08:52 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Amber Dawn - Colorado
Posts: 6,228
Castle Rock, Colorado, US


I think your work looks fine with what you are doing. :-)
Jun 25 13 10:13 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Decay of Memory
Posts: 598
Asheville, North Carolina, US


Yes you could do more with retouching but the payoff in improvement of your images would be minimal. You're getting attractive models and your crops are good so some very important elements are there. For more effect than you're going to get from editing I'd suggest working on your lighting and getting the models out of the hotel room settings.

Different lighting and settings will benefit you more than learning more editing. Nothing wrong with learning more editing though, it's another tool.
Jun 26 13 06:45 am  Link  Quote 
Model
BlackSilk_GothModel
Posts: 200
California, Maryland, US


Yes, but very little.
Jun 26 13 06:51 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Stacy Leigh
Posts: 3,064
New York, New York, US


Art Nudes wrote:
Okay, I know a photo can always be "improved" by judicious photoshopping, but I just usually lighten and sharpen a photo in "Nikon Picture Project," and that's it.

This isn't meant to be some sort  of "reverse snobbery" where I blow my own trumpet by saying, " I don't need to use photoshop because my pics are so good," type thing. So fire away!! smile

You absolutely should retouch your pictures if you're trying to shoot glamour... they look unfinished. And how could you be possibly be a snob about it, when the world covets retouching.

While you've asked- you might want to work on your lighting in a way that will make the photos more dynamic.

-S

Jun 26 13 06:57 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Digitoxin
Posts: 13,345
Houston, Texas, US


Yes.   Your photos would benefit significantly from (shooting RAW)and retouching.  If you are trying to produce the best possible images you can, why would you not retouch?
Jun 26 13 07:51 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jerry Nemeth
Posts: 27,831
Dearborn, Michigan, US


I would.
Jun 26 13 08:19 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
VonTuck
Posts: 54
Marietta, Georgia, US


I shoot RAW with the lighting I want.

I use the free Canon program that came with my camera to adjust the image (basic stuff:white balance, contrast, turning it to black and white, etc)
Most of the time, that's all I do.
I take the picture to photoshop for cropping and resizing and adding a watermark.

OCCASIONALLY I will use photoshop to cut out some background element that is peeking through my black. but that happens almost never.

I don't retouch stray hairs, bumps, etc. I like the honesty of the image and want to keep that.
Jun 26 13 08:31 am  Link  Quote 
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