pho·tog·ra·phy (fə-tŏg'rə-fē) n. Abbr. photog. 1. The art or process of producing images of objects on photosensitive surfaces.  2. The art, practice, or occupation of taking and printing photographs.  3. A body of photographs. 

- American Heritage Dictionary


The power of digital photography is the ability to take the darkroom into our homes.  We no longer need expensive enlargers, chemicals, papers and huge amounts of time.  We can do many of the things faster, better and easier with a simple home personal computer.

Photoshop is an image editing application that has become synonymous with "fixing" an image.  It gives us the ability to make a good photograph even better.  We can not, however, use it to create a masterpiece from an image acquired using poor technique.  For some tips on getting better acquisitions, check out the  Photography Lessons on this site.

The quote above states that photography is "the art...  ...of taking and printing photographs."  Things previously done on film negatives and in the darkroom such as double exposures, dodging and burning, and image manipulations such as extraction and replacement of backgrounds are commonplace and simple to carry out digitally.

A recurring comment heard when an audience views a photograph today is:  "That image was Photoshopped."  What does this mean, and does it have any merit?  Keep in mind that photography is an art form.  Image manipulation is simply part of the process.  With film, we left the image enhancement up to the lab that made prints from our negatives or slides.  Adding and subtracting image elements were done in our personal darkrooms.  All of things done today with Photoshop is possible with film, and is done by dedicated photographers. 

There is no such thing as a "unretouched image."  Even straight out of the camera, image processing is taking place to combine the separate RGB channel information into a true color pixel and mapping the dots into an image.  Settings on the camera, the camera's position, and the scene itself is all an interpretation of the artist and is biased as such.

Photoshop can be an overwhelming experience to a new user - I know, I was clueless when I first started using Photoshop.  The goal of these tutorials to present some common image manipulations and corrections in an easy to understand, yet comprehensive guide.  I have designed them so that you may follow along and complete each step as you read. 

These tutorials build on top of each other, starting with the Workflow Lesson in the Photography Lessons.  If you find these tutorials helpful, I would be honored if you would sign my Guestbook.

Photoshop contains an universe of tricks, shortcuts and approaches to completing a task.  Should you have a different approach, or feel I have made an error, or have any suggestions,  please contact me to let me know.  For me,  learning about Photoshop and Photography is a lifelong quest.