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Creativity in the Photoshop Darkroom

by Harold Davis, December 2009 (updated October 2010)


I believe that digital photography is an entirely new artistic medium—it is as different from film photography as film photography was from what came before it.

I believe that a digital camera is a special-purpose computer with a lens at one end, attached to a scanner.

I believe that the art and craft of digital photography is one part photography and one part software—and both parts are important.

I believe that sloppy shooting because one can “fix it in Photoshop” is a capital offense—sure we sometimes have to make fixes in Photoshop, but it is an abuse of technique and plain old garden variety common sense to shoot carelessly.

I believe in using the right tool for the job—a camera takes the photo and a desktop computer has more power when it comes to image processing.

I believe that it is a great joy to use a camera to take photos—it is also a huge pleasure to take these images to the next level with a computer and the Photoshop darkroom.

If you believe in these things along with me—or are prepared to suspend disbelief—then my columns about creativity in the Photoshop darkroom are for you. I’ll show you the basic techniques I use for processing my photos, and as I go along explain the techniques I use for jumpstarting creativity in the Photoshop darkroom.

Start reading the first article in the series.

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About the Author

Harold Davis is a photographer and author. His photographs have been widely published, exhibited, and collected. Many of his fine art photography posters are well known. Harold’s images have won a Silver Award in the International Aperture Awards 2008 competition, and inclusion in the 2009 North American Nature Photography Association Expressions Showcase. Harold is the author of The Photoshop Darkroom: Creative Digital Post-Processing (Focal), Creative Composition: Digital Photography Tips & Techniques (Wiley), Creative Night: Digital Photography Tips & Techniques (Wiley), Creative Close-Ups: Digital Photography Tips & Techniques (Wiley), Practical Artistry: Light & Exposure for Digital Photographers (O’Reilly Digital Media) and other books. Harold gives frequent digital photography workshops, many under the auspices of the Point Reyes National Seashore Association. More »


Text and images ©2009, 2010 Harold Davis.

Article revised October 2010.