In control again.

Following on from my previous post, there's another very important aspect to using image editing programs like Photoshop.

They have put control back into the hands of the photographer.

Back in the days of black-and-white, photographers could develop and print their own images, keeping full control over them. Exposures could be altered, parts of an image could be 'held back' in the printing process, images could be cropped to give better composition, and so on.

When colour photography became widespread and popular, this became much more difficult. If you could afford it and were willing to spend a lot of time at it, you could develop and print your own colour photographs. But it was a good deal more difficult.

And if you were using colour transparency film. such as Kodachrome, it was impossible. I remember the days of 'cropping' a colour transparency by carefully cutting out tiny pieces of opaque black paper. I still have some 'cropped' slides in a box somewhere.

I took this photo at a Swiss 'Lutte' competition, last year (see here for details on what 'lutte' is). I like the expressions on the smaller boy's face, but the composition is awful ...

Trouble is, when you're in a fast-moving situation like sports photography it's not easy to get the composition right. That handshake lasted about a second.

So I did a bit of cropping (and some other work too) in Photoshop ...

A great improvement ... in my opinion.

Now, had that been a colour transparency I would have spent ages with slivers of very carefully razored paper, tweezers and a glass slide mount trying to improve the composition.

The fact that so much can now be done after taking a photograph encourages us to look at the composition and qualities of a photograph much more carefully.

And, hopefully, to try and get it right in the camera where possible.

That can only be a good thing.

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