Although my tools are digital I try to remain faithful to the principles of analogue photography. I shoot in RAW which is a non-compressing file save format that allows me to process images in a similar way to film. Post production techniques such as light, colour and contrast manipulation are pretty standard. If lighting (studio/natural) or positioning can not resolve a problem or if a client specifically just has need for it then very subtle airbrushing can be applied . Unless there are major time or locational constraints I avoid construction or removal of objects after the fact, believing that an image has more credibility if it’s worked ‘for’, rather than worked ‘on’.
Whilst I am fascinated (and impressed) by the chemical and darkroom fixing methods my clients generally require quick returns and delivery via digital transports (email/disc) so Photoshop has become my work area. Having said that, every now and then an image turns up that is simply asking for photo editing. These samples are just humble reflections of far greater works such as the bright yellow New York Taxi in a grey urban backdrop or the girl in the red dress, then later simply the dress in Schindler’s List; both of which had a great effect on me when I first saw them. Use of colour segments in monochrome settings, or vice versa can relay powerful (direct) messages within the very subjective field that is photography. It’s great that editing software has so many swish automated editing processes but for outputs like this I still opt to do every aspect manually as it lets me look back on the work with more emotional involvement. For commercial work with aggressive deadlines I outsource to a number of select, trusted professionals across my creative network. This creative collaboration with specialists, in what for me is generally a solo science is usually very enjoyable and developmental and always produces work far beyond the reach of my technical editing skills.
Truth be told, I have no aspirations to be a graphic artist, or for that matter an artist at all; many years working in the fields of people and organisational development have given me a strong desire to capture things as they are and aside from a little tidy around or client fluffing, not effect too much change in what I see.