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No amount of Photoshop magic can help a shitty photograph.

Seriously, if I take a poorly lit image, it is till going to suck. Yes, advances have been that allow marginal photographers that think an f-stop is a place to pull over and participate in some sort of kinky f**kery , that depth of field is how deep the well in the back 40 might be, white balance is some Caucasian with a chip on both shoulders and proper exposure is the amount of acceptable nudity one can get away with before the authorities are called, to have the false belief that they are somehow iPhone pros and can shoot cousin so and so’s wedding with the magic iPhone 5 or whatever number they are currently on.

There is, (cliche alert) still no way to “make a silk purse from a sow’s ear.” Trust me, I have tried. I have taken some images that I really needed to have but I totally screwed up, and I am here to tell you, there is no amount of image software wizardry that could help. I have to swallow my pride and go to the client, to let them know I messed up. Try telling this to an irate newlywed that paid to have that special day captured for posterity. Telling them to think of it as a warm up for the next one, not such a good idea. No amount of humour can cover up that no amount Photoshop can fix my total f*** up. This was at a time when I still shot film. Imagine the horror of opening a package to find that many of the negs are underexposed! A trauma that many of you younger folks will never be exposed to (pardon the pun). Back then, nets scanned to CD and I would be opening PS4 to see how I could undo the unimaginable.

There was nothing I could do. Nothing. And today, there is still, still nothing I can do. Sure, I have histograms, previews, fancy settings and all kinds of techno bullshit to “make me a better photographer”, fact is, if I don’t know the basics and take the time to make sure that my gear is set properly, that my lights are positioned well and that there aren’t unsightly items in the fore or background, I may take a shitty image. I do, however, have the second chance that previews offer. Assuming that this wasn’t a one off shot that won’t be recreated.

Learn the basics, take courses, practice and learn from mistakes. I still do all of those and I like to think I have honed my craft rather well. It is only when I become to cocky that the gods of the lens teach me some humility.

Usually in a way that know amount of Photoshoppery can fix.