Photoshop: “Miracle Cure” – or just a Tool?


Updated 08/30/21, & still relevant today!



03/29/07:  “PHOTOSHOP” – the image conjures up in most people’s minds (including some who should know better) a “miracle cure” for all things photographic – just watch an episode of CSI on TV – they can take a postage stamp corner of crappy little cell phone camera output taken 100 yards away, and read the label on the perp’s clothes!!


PULEEEEEEEZ! Give me a break!


In reality, Photoshop is just a tool – a very powerful tool, but a tool, nonetheless. I think of it as my “digital enlarger” – what I once used to do on an enlarger in the analog world I can do in Photoshop with lot’s more control and options.


But it is NOT a “miracle cure” – your output is basically going to be as good as your input.


I’d suggest heeding the advice of the old adage – GIGO – “Garbage In, Garbage Out”. Somewhere along the way, in the transition from analog/film to digital, some photographers have gotten sloppy in their photographic discipline – “Oh, I can fix it in Photoshop”.


Perhaps, for new photographers as well as the more experienced, better education is needed on the basics of photography – exposure, composition, focus, etc. – and less on all of the bells and whistles in Photoshop and other software and hardware …


Just my opinion, what do YOU think?




•  Want to see Color Management in action?  Check out “Class 5” of my “Photoshop 101” series of FREE online & live Photoshop Meetups – available nationwide:


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•  By the way, this is all based on my Photoshop book designed for photographers, “Not just another Photoshop Book”, available exclusively on Amazon:


Questions? Please contact me – also, feel free to comment and tell your photography friends!


Thx again, and cheers,


John Watts 🙂



John Watts


2 thoughts on “Photoshop: “Miracle Cure” – or just a Tool?

  1. I agree whole heartedly with your comments, I hear all the time ” Oh it’s Ok Photoshop will fix it” if only it was that easy but alas Photoshop although powerful it can’t make up for photographers inadequacies, If a photo is taken in good light composed well and the exposure correct you have very little to do in Photoshop, Too often I see people taking photo’s at the wrng angle and not using the light to it’s full advantage and then trying for hours too fix a problem in Photoshop that could have been fixed by moving to a different angle or position in the first place. Sure photoshop will help you out in situations that just can’t be helped but this comes at a sacrifice to the picture quality ie; Noise, Colour etc; If you shoot with a digital camera and treat it like you would shooting slide or neg film then your photos will improve. Good light, Good composition and Good exposure and if you shoot jpegs good white balance is a firm foundation on which to build on with photoshop …. Without light there is no photo’s so use it to your avantage & take the time to take a great shot.

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