Recently I challenged myself to produce a series of images that would look processed and textured but completely in the camera, so no photoshop at all. The images were taken with several experimental camera techniques in Camera RAW (a digital negative) and then other than very minor contrast adjustments, they are exactly how they appeared in the camera. The reason for this was just a personal challenge to push me further in my photography, not because I’m against photoshop at all. What most people would call “photoshopping” is no more than processing a digital negative in the same manner as you would a film negative.
I’m not anti-Photoshop, I think if you are going to be a photographer then you really need to learn how to process your photos, it is an essential part of being a photographer. I always get a little annoyed when people say things like “Oh, but you photoshopped it” with a disdain in their voice.. it shows a clear misunderstanding of what Photoshop is and what it is capable of. There are no magic “make my photo awesome” buttons in Photoshop and for the majority of photographers, we’re not doing anything different to what the old film masters would do in the dark room. So an image that has been processed is not at all “fake”. Photoshop is the digital darkroom. To see a gallery of my Untouched series, click here.