I’m often asked by friends and relatives, not to mention other members of the photography club I belong to, “Is that the way it looked?” My answer has been, “not exactly” because the camera never captures a scene that is exactly what I was seeing at the time. Cameras are not eyes and no matter how far the technology advances, it’s not as good as a human. But there’s something else that doesn’t come from the camera.
A column, Interpretation And Refinement, by Bill Neill(BTW, be sure to look at the picture Neill has of the adjustments he has made in Photoshop) in Outdoor Photography says this a lot better than I do, however. Neill says “Whether using film or digital, the untouched result[from the camera] aren’t ‘reality’ or what the eye sees. In addition,the unadjusted capture probably has little emotional connection to, as Ansel[Adams] put it, what the photographer saw and felt about the scene. (emphasis added)
And that’s what I’ve been doing. I try to refine a picture until it looks like what I was feeling when I took the picture. Do I over do it sometimes? Probably. But those guys who say they “never touch a picture” must not have any feelings. It’s not all about technical stuff, it’s about what I want to do with it.