I love Photoshop. As the Photo Editor of my high school paper I was able to mess around with the applications, though we were all about authenticity so we avoided any and all editing tools besides cropping. I come from a family of photographers. My aunt and uncle do it for a living and my cousins’ Facebook albums are full of high quality photographs – candids that look all too posed. (Check them out @ http://www.somlotalent.com/somlotalent.php)
A long-time program for touch-ups and exposure fixes, Photoshop seems to have fallen out of place for younger, less experienced photographers. Though the quality of the program is up-to-date, its flexibility in terms of mobility have diminished. Many photographers’ curiosity starts a lot younger than college, more about the time we get our first cellphones. We’re the kids that have a camera around our necks during school dances, random adventures and family vacations. For some, a camera is an easy birthday gift, something we learn to use and love ourselves. For myself, it was another opportunity for expression, a field separate from my writing, and it wasn’t long after I got my first camera that I was given my first cellphone, and at the time, the two didn’t have much in common.
Today – things are different.
If you glance at my call log, then switch back to the number of photos in my iPhone album, the numbers don’t compare. I won’t hesitate to say the reason … Instagram.
Its a program that has turned things around. People who used to simply smile in front of the lens are now behind the camera, documenting their own stories and, with captions, telling them their own way. It has features such as brightness, framing, cropping, focusing and black and white. The only major Photoshop tool this iPhone app seems to be lacking is red-eye, but let’s face it, iPhones have the capability to turn a camera flash on and off, even the strength to let you set things on auto, having the camera do the work for you. So, it really makes no difference.
I’m not saying that Photoshop isn’t important, or that its not worthy of the costly price tag attached to it, but its got some competition. Instagram also provides a forum to share photographs, in an essence, it has become a media outlet itself, as one can follow news sources and members of their community. Though I agree there is such a thing as oversharing in this fashion, I would argue that there is no reason a journalist shouldn’t make one.
It will, at least, prepare you for more sophisticated programs, such as Photoshop Elements.
From Instagram to Photoshop, let the inspiration be key to an easy transition.
An unidentified source.