I thought about calling this “So you don’t think photoshop is necessary or photoshop is cheating.” I hope the following photos from a morning sky after an overnight snow storm might help you see the advantages of a photo editing program.
Digital camera sensors cannot see what the human eye sees. They cannot take in the huge range of light that our eyes can see, nor can they adjust instantly as our eyes do. So when you try to capture an image with a wide range of light such as these early morning shots of a cloudy, bright sky and snowy, shadowy ground the camera will expose for one or the other, not both. When I am faced with that kind of situation I always bracket and then use photoshop to try and expose both areas. The following images were all done using exposure compensation, mostly “shadows and highlights” and a little “levels”. I also used auto colour correction on them all since the early morning light made the snow and foreground very blue. I also cropped some of the images a little.
This last image also shows how fast the morning light changed. This was shot half an hour after the first ones. I also used the clone tool to remove the bush net in the bottom left corner.
I don’t feel photo editing is cheating. It allows me to improve on my camera’s limitations and create images closer to what I see. After all I am not photoshopping a polar bear into my front pasture (I could though…).