So there you are. 8x10 all set up. Shot composed. Needs maybe a half and hour before the sun settles down to the horizon. The stream is right, the woods are right, the mountain is right. The angle is right. All is right.

Suddenly you hear a noise behind you and some little snot comes and set up the same shot. At least he has the decency to stay behind you. You are fuming but you say nothing. You hear him take a couple of shots and he leaves. Good.

A moose wanders cautiously into your shot and down to the stream. He takes a drink. The light is right. IT IS PERFECT. You take your shots and think of that little snot, he left before he even had the shot. What a moron.

A couple of months later you're walking by the newstand and are suddenly taken aback by a picture on the cover of a magazine. It's your shot. Well almost. This picture had a mother deer and her fawn drinking from your stream. And lo and behold there you are in silhouette, photographing the scene. The light is right, the angle is right, everything is right. The photograph is named "Photographer at Sunset" THAT LITTLE SNOT. You rush home to look at your picture and sure enough, his is better. You are livid. After years of study and discipline you are at a point where your images are of a very high quality and some kid comes by and snaps a couple of shots, goes home, photoshops the hell out of them and they are superior to yours. You start to fell like a dinosaur.
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I saw an ad in a photography magazine the other day showing the work of a photoshop retoucher who was advertising his work. He took bad photographs and made them look very good. He can even retouch them and take them back to negative form so they can be printed on fibre based paper.

As a portrait person, they have been doing this to us for a while now. I wonder how the LF landscape people feel about this.


Michael McBlane