Excess Is No Fun Any More
The quick coincidence of two things—first, a commenter named Stephen put up his blog, which featured a picture (Wednesday's) that was successfully (I think so, anyway) way oversaturated—a great rarity in digital. And second, I printed out the picture above for a friend, and, as soon as I printed it, I realized I'd gone overboard on the dang sharpening again. Sharpening is one of the toughest things to get right about digital printing, if you ask me.
But where these two things led my thoughts was to the same place, which is: excess is no fun any more.
Photographers used to argue ad nauseam about sharpness and color saturation. This lens is sharper, that film is more colorful. At least a whole generation underexposed all its slide film in the pursuit of "more saturated" colors, and remember when Fuji threw a cruise missile at Kodak with its candy-coated Velveeta film?(Sorry, Vulva. No, VELVIA. Worst film name ever? Must be close.)
Photoshop takes all the fun away. In Photoshop, of course, you can dramatically oversharpen in at least a dozen different ways. You can diddle the color to death with a tweak of a couple of sliders. Photographers used to try for excess: sharpest. Most colorful. Now what we've got to deal with is restraint. Balance. Getting it right, not just getting the mostest. Where's the fun in that?
It's especially tough to take it easy on the sharpening. I have at least half a dozen sharpening processes, and which one I pick for any particular image depends on whether I've had my coffee, random crystal vibrations, and the position of Venus at the time. I really do need to take a class.
Posted by: MIKE JOHNSTON