While many photographers of today were just infants in diapers twenty years ago when Adobe Photoshop version 1.0 was introduce, I still remember, back in my military days, when there were no bells and whistles with Photoshop,, it was merely a software tool targeted more for the graphics crowd. Today however it’s evolved more toward photographers and with the advent of other Adobe products like Lightroom, and photographers are in hog heaven now that it’s synergized with the evolution of digital photography.
Knowing how to use Photoshop today is more of a skill then back in the simplistic days of mere cropping, dodging and burning than anything. Now we have smart objects, layers, adjustment layers, masks, the magic wand and even the healing brush—but has that made some photographers become more than photographers? Are we photographers or image makers? While I’m a big fan of Photoshop and especially Lightroom and I enjoy my Nik Software filters for Photoshop, I’ve seen too many photographers, especially those that are about as old as Photoshop, use Photoshop as a crutch, when in fact, Photoshop for photographers should be more like the old days of a darkroom, which literally means a “room of corrections” in Latin.
Photoshop should be used to tweak an image, for photographers that is, not the ultimate savior, for a photo shoot gone wrong. In the past six months I’ve been fortunate to work with Playboy’s number one photographer, Arny Freytag, whose resume records a Brooks Institute of Photography degree, former assistant to the famed Playboy photographer Ken Marcus, and 34 years at the big bunny studios amongst numerous other credits.
I’ve been fortunate to have Arny as our guest at the past glamour photography workshops held at the Palms Casino, Sky Villa Penthouse and the Los Angeles Hollywood Castle and there is always a recurring theme with Arny—do it right in the camera. Use your wih lighting, intermixing of shadows, proper posing, great makeup and styling, and you’ll limit any Photoshop post-production to the bare minimum just like in the old days of Photoshop version 1.0. It’s not that Arny doesn’t believe in digital photography, it’s just that he’s proven at my workshops and with recent private instruction clients that if a photographer knows what they’re doing, then it’ll be captured in the camera correctly.
I’ve been helping Arny with private instruction clients, for the first time ever offered, where we worked with his crew at Playboy Studio West and it’s an amazing experience. Arny pulls out old 8 x x10-inch transparencies and proves to the client that without retouching or airbrushing, perfection can be achieved in the camera. There was no Photoshop back in the non-digital days and especially with large format slide film, if there were any imperfections, you’d surely see them but, Arny proves with the right photographic tools, little if any post-production needs to be applied after the shoot.
While some of those secrets, especially with lighting, I’ll reveal in my upcoming lighting book, you can still learn them hands-on, but you have to be at least two years younger than Adobe Photoshop or older. If you’re ready to tackle this intense training, feel free to contact me for private instruction with Playboy’s top photographer. While this is no cheap experience, if your budget can’t cope with the world’s finest photographer in glamour and nude photography, we’ll have Arny as our guest for the first part of the Phoenix Mansion workshop later this year.
While Adobe Photoshop celebrates it’s 20th birthday, one can only tell what Adobe Lightroom will be like on it’s twentieth birthday as it’s beyond the diaper stage but still in it’s infancy as it looks at big brother Photoshop to help it mature for digital photographers today. Thanks, and don’t forget our military service members, their families, and friends, without them, we’d have no freedom to manipulate any images in Adobe Photoshop. God Bless, Rolando.