Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Purpose of Photoshop

is to compensate for what the camera does to photographs.  In MY world that is.  Photoshop is used for many purposes, and to varying skill levels.  It is a tremendously complex and versatile program that like most things can be used for good or evil, and anything in between.

Cameras on the other hand, while also a marvel of modern engineering, are designed essentially to do one thing -- record what's in front of them.  One of the most at-home assignments for a camera is in the Mars orbiter where it blithely records the various landscape features of the red planet in precise detail.  This is where the camera is at its most natural state -- recording what it sees pixel for pixel.  But as we will see, this is not necessarily what a boudoir photographer or his client wants.

Emotions Affect Perception

Have you ever noticed how you may see someone who is at first very attractive, but then when you get to know them, they become much less attractive?  Or someone you did not find all that appealing over time becomes more and more attractive as you got to know them better?


It turns out that our feelings about a person affect how we see them.  This is ultimately why the inner person is as, and perhaps more important, than the skin they are wrapped in.  And this is also why we like to shoot our clients long enough to extract that inner person, since that person's inner beauty, personality, and life will be captured in the images.

But back to the camera -- this visual recording device is in the end, only a machine.  It has no love or passion for what it shoots.  That lies in the hands, mind, and heart of the camera operator -- the photographer.  The camera is merely a crude tool to capture the photographer's passion and vision, like a rough chisel on a block of stone.

With judicious lighting, posing, collaboration from the client, strategic use of fabrics and props, one can yield a very beautiful photograph.  But when viewed closely, a woman's eyes might be drawn to self-perceived flaws and inadequacies, completely overlooking the fact that her lover does not see these personal flaws.  The photograph of course captures them, as the camera is simply a cold, hard machine.  It does not see through the rose colored glasses of passion and love.

Photoshop is the Bridge between Man and Machine

It is here where Photoshop fills the gap between what the camera records, and what a man sees with his emotion-influenced eyes.  In experienced hands, Photoshop is a tool that re-sculpts, re-maps, re-casts a crude pixel mapping of a woman's body, into the glorious work of art that men see.  When done well and to this purpose, Photoshop is essentially invisible.  You can't tell what's been done because it looks normal and beautiful.  And that's exactly how it should look, because that's exactly what men see.

Sadly, there are many examples of inexpert Photoshop work that push women into impossible and even unattractive ideals.  It takes an expert eye, a sense of what human anatomy looks like, and a level of common sense that says, does this look realistic?  Is this flattering?

Because a boudoir photographer is not out to make you something you're not.  That would be as nonsensical as putting your head on someone else's body.  No, our job is to make you look like you on your best day, the way the man who loves you sees you on your best day.  And that's what we at INFINI Boudoir do every day.

When you look at our gallery and think, wow, those women are beautiful, I could never look like that, its important to understand that those are real women who all have self-perceived flaws, which have been adjusted in Photoshop to show how your man sees you, or how you would like to see yourself.  In a sense, a shoot with INFINI Boudoir is the chance to see yourself through his eyes.  And that is a wonderful experience for anyone.


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