“Photoshopping” has become a foul, dirty word in the mouths of the general public (for legitimate reasons), but I love the endless possibilities at my fingertips when choosing to edit a photo. The question is, where does it end?
In Photoshop, we can do one of two things to our photographs: retouch, or edit. Most people only have a problem with the retouching aspect, but the word “Photoshop” has become synonymous with “retouching.” This a a problem because there are a plethora of things that Photoshop can be used for–actually, a large portion of the program is used for graphic design. I shoot in RAW, so what I see in-camera is by no means what I get on the computer. I personally edit my photos to reflect the exposure/contrast that I saw when shooting, and sometimes that requires a bit of retouching to get there.
Moderation is the name of the game. If you have to retouch, do so without disfiguring the original subject. Remove a stray hair, lighten a harsh shadow. This is not to say that I condone the altering of body parts to accommodate society’s standard of beauty: I’m actually highly against this practice. The objective of Photoshop should never be “to make someone skinny”: that’s insulting! We’re fine just the way we are, thank you very much! Retouch and edit to restore, to create, or even to experiment. It’s up to you! Just remember that there is a message attached to whatever you put out in this world: Make sure that it is a message you endorse wholeheartedly!
One of the first photos that I ever shot in RAW and retouched, June 2012