Is it “Shopped”?

By Instructor

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By Mike Johnson, Lead Digital Photography & Photoshop Instructor, DMA @ UC San Diego

Iain Macmillan had ten minutes one August morning in 1969 to take the iconic cover shot of the Beatles crossing Abbey Road.  Out of half a dozen frames, number five became the cover.  He used film and he didn’t have Photoshop.  What would that image have looked like if he’d had today’s digital tools?  Probably not much different.
Today, a creative mind armed with a digital camera and Photoshop are capable of creating virtually any image imaginable.  But will others believe it?  One of the greatest challenges for the photographer in post-production is to exercise restraint on the computer.  As a judge of several photo competitions, the easiest images for me to pass over have been those that were over-processed in Photoshop.  Likewise, there is no substitute for a good eye.  Synthesizing a natural-appearing image from disparate elements is impossible without understanding the fundamental principles of photography and the behavior of light.

Two images of the famous crosswalk taken in April of this year; which one is real and which one was ‘Shopped? Click each for an enlargement.

In Digital Photography and Photoshop I, we’ll concentrate on techniques to ensure others will enjoy our images without bemoaning our clumsy use of either camera or software. Register now.