Shoot and edit? Shoot and show?

by Evans Yonson

My students in photography in the Philippines asked me once why I don’t like Adobe Photoshop. Another commented simply because I don’t know anything about the program. To top it all, I am not a techie, declared another. Oh cut the crap…

Models wearing creations by Pablo Cabahug. My pride always.

First of all, I love the whole adobe family very much. I studied adobe Photoshop version 3.0 when it was first introduced in the Philippines in 1994. Adobe gave the training. I am a true-blue adobe person. The best thing about the adobe software family is its interactivity and terminologies. You can use this concept in PageMaker and will still apply to Photoshop or elements. And so on. As newer versions are launched almost annually, the original techniques still function very well albeit improved and better ones.

Boom! Jasaan, Misamis Oriental, Philippines. October 2008.

I don’t hate Photoshop. It’s the way people use it to call their craft art. Okay. I know people claim that it’s an emerging art form. Photoshop and photography? An art form? C’mon give it a rest. I am very traditional when it comes to photography. I started photography while I was studying in the university. It was a required subject so I had to take it. I took it seriously. If I committed mistakes, I had to reshoot all over again. I am a film-camera person. I have always believed that photography is the art of capturing light to come up with an image. I am still a work-in-progress with my film photography but I know very well that I am going somewhere. I know my camera settings, aperture and shutter speed combination, and everything that goes with a single lens reflex camera. I don’t use flash. My DSLR’s flash is one part that has not been put to use since I took hold of it in 2007.

On top of the City! Cagayan de Oro City Hall. August 2008.

I bought a digital point-and-shoot camera in 2004, but it was for the purpose of traveling light going to Europe. And to keep up with the fast-running 21st century, I bought a new Nikon D40X with two lenses and a Toshiba satellite notebook m200. It’s nothing serious about being techie and having a DSLR camera.

The smile that sank an island. Camiguin Island, Philippines. August 2009.

I consider myself a photographer, neither a hobbyist nor photojournalist. Just a photographer. Although my education would probably brand me as photojournalist, still I refused to be identified as one. As a hobbyist, I will never be. I refuse to box myself over something that is so mundane that others are so crazy about. Fashion photographer, I am not. I appreciate fashion and the way the dresses are photographed. As one famous fashion photographer once said, ‘you only help the fashion designer present a better design through your photography style. But never alter anything in his creation.’

And one friend asked me, ‘so, how is it going to be? Shoot and Photoshop? Or, shoot and show?’ batting an eyelash, I replied, ‘shoot and show.’

To use Photoshop is a clear indication of one’s lack of skill in photography. The truest form of photography, that is.