The BS of Digital Photography

Tom C cakaltm at
Wed Oct 7 11:41:45 EDT 2009

That was basically my point I was trying to make and you said it in
far fewer words.  Thank you.  Now I'll blather more.

I am rather anti-workflow oriented.  If I'm simply going to share a
ream of photos with people who want copies of vacation pictures, I'll
use a workflow because it will save me time.  I can see in a studio
setting where lighting conditions and composition are strictly
controlled and somewhat static, that a workflow would save time and
yield consistent results.  But even there, unless the shooting
situation is very static, I can't see that the same workflow would
yield equally good results, day in day out, week in week out.  My
non-studio experience tells me it would need to be adjusted to the
scene, to achieve optimum results.

I find I may have a wide range of lighting conditions and compositions
on a single card. Some may be night shots, snow scenes,water scenes,
moody light, you name it. If I ran each image through the same
workflow it would be the same as taking a roll of negative film down
to the local 1 hour photo lab and having them process the entire roll,
each image at the same settings.  Maybe some are fine but likely none
are optimal.  Therefore I look at my images in ACR and Photoshop and
decide which one's I think are worth spending the effort to
post-process and I concentrate on those only.  Even at 5 minutes an
image or 2 minutes an image, a significant amount of time is spent in
the post-processing. And what about sharpening, not every image should
get receive the same degree of USM - How will a workflow make that
decision? Maybe where the subject is the same for the entire set of
images being processed a single setting works for all images, but not
for me. I'm not complaining as much as I am simply making the

With transparencies I could say 'toss' or 'keep' pretty easily. And
yes when digitized maybe adjustments were made in Photoshop (I didn't
forget that point). With digital, I have exposure inaccuracy (can't
believe the meter), lower dynamic range, and the .jpg image displayed
on the LCD is not always accurate.  I find myself making adjustments
more than I did with film photography, likely because the tool is
readily available. Shots that I earlier may have discarded are now
possible keepers.  I also try to get the image "right" in the shooting
process, but before where I may have blamed myself, now I find myself
thinking, I can fix that, it was the stupid camera.


On Tue, Oct 6, 2009 at 6:13 PM, William Robb <warobb at> wrote:
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Tom C"
> Subject: The BS of Digital Photography
>> <snip>>
>> Nevertheless, with the advent of digital capture, it seems or feels as
>> if the process is far more complicated.
>> <more snip>
>> Does it seem that way to others as well?
> Digital photographers have taken the photofinisher and all that he or she
> did for them out of the equation.
> You are now the photolab as well as the photographer.
> No surprise it seems more complicated, good photofinishing is a fairly
> complicatred process.
> William Robb
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