When the word “controversial” pops into your head, is this image what you’d be picturing? Probably not!
I had posted this image on the MCP Facebook Page in February showcasing our newest Lightroom presets (InFusion and Illuminate). I never expected to hear anything except, “cute kids” or “how did you do that?” or “great save.” No laws were being broken. No kids were harmed. It was an image that was not exposed properly. That’s it!
Instead, I had angry photographers blame me for all kinds of “crimes,” such as:
- Ruining the photography industry
- Teaching people to fix images in Lightroom or Photoshop so they do not need to learn their cameras
- Helping new photographers undercut experienced pros
- Showing images from people who have no business being photographers
And well, the list was longer than that but you get the idea…
The back story….
This image is by a wonderful photographer, Dayna More. She is active on our Facebook Group and had shared the image there first. She had explained that she was practicing flash photography when her daughter reached down, picked up some sand and started eating it. Oops! So she turned off her flash and focused on being a mom. When her son began consoling her daughter, she was touched and started snapping pictures again. Guess what she forgot to change in the heat of the moment? Her camera settings! It’s not that she did not know how to expose. It’s not that she is a bad photographer – in fact she is great! She just had a lapse. And that lapse was what allowed her to capture the moment.
If she paused and changed settings and took some test shots, and adjusted…. she would have likely missed this precious image. You cannot recreate raw emotion. She captured it, and sure the exposure was not perfect. She and I never said it was. But why would you trash the image when you can “save” it as shown above or create art from it as shown below?
This edit was from the same raw file as the one earlier. Trash? Nope – not to me. Amazing image? Definitely!
MCP Thoughts – Tolerance and understanding…
When it comes to photographers, some are looking to become professionals in the future and others just want nice images of their kids, grand kids, pets, or the nature around them. Not every photographer that reads MCP tutorials or uses our products wants to compete with the pros. Some just want better images.
While new photographers are learning to use their cameras, lighting, etc, should they trash every image? No. Why not learn software like Photoshop and Lightroom so that they can keep images as they learn and grow their camera skills? Sure, the goal is quality images straight out of camera, it just is not the reality. Particularly when someone is new to photography.
Broken legs and crutches… what do they have to do with photography and editing?
Imagine breaking your leg at your own wedding… I did. It sucked. Afterwards, for three months (THREE!), I had a cast up to the top of my thigh. I had trouble walking and needed crutches to get around and even after my cast came off, I needed the extra help of crutches as I worked on my walking skills. Eventually I needed the crutches less and less. And eventually I walked on my own.
Photography is a lot like this. When most start out, they rely on auto mode, and then the infamous portrait face or running man. Eventually as a photographer learns more, they branch out to aperture or speed priority and onto manual. This carries over into editing too. When you are new to photography, the “crutches” or tools can help you edit. Sure, our actions and presets can save images that you may otherwise trash. But they can also make it easier and faster to edit — and many tell us that the way we build our products and teach people how to use them, it has actually taught them the ins and outs of Photoshop and Lightroom.
Your call… take them or leave them.
I truly feel that I am allowing people the opportunity to enhance photos, occasionally “save” an image, and create an artistic interpretation of their imagery. There are times where even the most experienced photographers need a boost in Lightroom or Photoshop, just as the darkroom was utilized from the past. Many experienced photographers (such as Joel Grimes, Trey Radcliff and thousands of others) use editing software to create works of art. And to me, I think it is wonderful.
Hopefully, no matter where you are at with your photography skills, we can all support and respect the work of others and embrace our differences instead of exploit them.