I started off in photography trying to duplicate the scene as real as possible and zero photoshopping.
My my, how have times changed. Doing portraiture in Malaysia, i ended up shooting nothing but models, but that is another story. For now, lets just say, i jumped from natural to light editing with Lightroom and finally photoshop. I really wanted to do PS just dodging and burning, but the slew of imaging that floods the freelance of models community demands that images needs to standout from the crowd. First i undergo a personal tutorial for 3 hours by a genius photographer based in KL, Ming Thein, ironic cause he does not do portraiture, but being a person that recognizes skills and talents, i know he has much more to teach me than any portraiture guru around town.
He is a photographer that focuses on natural editing mostly because he is into street photography too. Now i learn a lot from this master, mostly on the most crucial part of photography which i see being missing from tons of photos flooding my news feed. But as any guru will tell you, go find your own style.
Well as the story goes, it doesn’t really matter how natural your image is, the reason is that you are not a photo journalist where the credibility of the image and how intact the image from the actual scene is important. This however does not means that u ahead and shoot with kit lens using 15 minutes of crap preparation and edit the hell out of it.
My shooting buddy, one that stood with me thru many experiences with good models, bad models and dishing out any help to new freelance models is a big fan of photoshop, so much so that he edits “fantasy” literally into all his photos. Along the way, i realized, there is no reason to be so serious about “natural”, but rather, how happy the client/viewers are.
If you want to argue about “natural”, fact is, an image is just an interpretation of the sensor, with each brand processing the image according to its color profile. Want that leica color? Fuji? Olympus? U see, the image u get is just a rendition of the sensor. Instead of being an image taker which anyone with a camera can do, i decided that an image creator is more like it.
So it boils down to the image and theme that i undertake in my projects. For one, i appreciate models or people who have dedication in their preparation, being early etc. When it comes to beauty, there is always a “prettier one” around the corner so its just silly putting the subject as the “main” criteria. Check my archives and you will see mostly natural shoot with various types of toning editing. But for this theme i did lately, “Angel” i could not but apply heavier editing.