The Power of Photoshop Express

Before I go into this I want to address the issue that “non photographers” have with Photoshop. The mere mention of it seems to bring out emotions of shock and horror, accusations of cheating and not being a real photo anymore etc etc etc. So… the first thing I want to clear up is the fact that in spite of how incredible modern camera equipment is becoming it’s still a very poor substitute for the human eye and brain combo! A camera simply cannot capture images the way your eye sees them. Secondly, the camera already adds “creative effects”, think background blur in portrait shots. I don’t know about you but my eyes don’t blur the background when I’m looking at someone. So by the photoshopophobes logic I “cheated” the moment I took out my camera! Thirdly, Google defines photography as “the art or practice of taking and processing photographs”. There’s two things to note there, firstly, photography is an art, we never promised to be producing 100% replicas of reality! Secondly part of the definition is processing one’s images, this goes back to the shortcomings of the camera, Photoshop (or any other image processing software) completes the process and either corrects in camera flaws or adds the final polish to your ART! Now to the point, earlier this week I posted this photo and I just want to share how quick and effective it was to capture and process using my iPhone and Photoshop express, nothing else! Here is the “raw” out of iPhone camera and the post processed image.

RAW panorama from iPhone 5.
RAW panorama from iPhone 5.


Sunrise Panorama from iPhone 5 processed with Photoshop express
Sunrise Panorama from iPhone 5 processed with Photoshop express

Now during my processing this photo I had two goals, correct the dull colours so the final image was a better representation of the incredible sunrise that morning, and make sure those viewing the image will feel the same “wow!”, that I felt seeing it in person. I can promise you the dull washed out colours of the first image are not a real representation of what I saw so that’s one mark to Photoshop in the reality box! Below is what settings I applied to correct the shortcomings of the camera. Most of them were necessitated by that fact that i was shooting into the sun and this is where digital cameras really struggle to capture the detail in both dark and light areas as well as accurately record the colours in the picture.

  • Vibrance +25
  • Shadows +25
  • Clarity +40
  • Sharpening +10
  • Exposure -10
  • Contrast -10
  • Highlights Recovery -100

If you use your iPhone’s camera a lot I highly recommend getting Photoshop Express to compliment it, your images really will improve and it is a very quick and simple app to use, it took me less than 10 minutes to shoot and process this image. Good luck and love to hear from anybody else using Photoshop Express or if you start using it going forward please share your experiences.


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