I made this one using a digital photo I took of my daughter
Students Were Dismayed
At school, an instructor had marked last week’s exam and handed them back to students. To our dismay, marks had been severely reduced for questions based on images that were entirely subjective and arbitrary. Although the class was about Color Correction, the course did not include computer monitor calibration, so each student’s monitor had its own color cast. Mine was casting a muddy hue, the student’s next to mine appeared mauve. Despite this serious handicap, students were expected to color correct images using steps that would afterwards be repeated on the Instructor’s monitor (which I suspect was also uncalibrated). And if that weren’t enough, the classroom’s overhead lights were harsh and depending where a student was sitting, they were casting glaring light and shadows across the desks. In addition, context regarding each image’s output purpose had not been provided, so students understandably interpreted to their best judgement.
When the test results were received, lively discussion ensued, a mini mutiny. Students defended their answers. Each argument sounded logical. Yet the instructor persisted on a specific series of steps. Blunt steps with blunt explanations. No consideration for an image’s mood or intent. Just an assembly line of steps. I felt as though I had tumbled down the proverbial rabbit hole where logic and good sense are turned upside down. The situation would have been comical had not each of us been playing for real marks that impact our real future.
I felt sad to see Photoshop used this way
For a moment I began to doubt my own judgement. I wondered whether I will come through this course with my creative spirit intact. I have always approached Photoshop with joy and a measure of reverence. I pick up the tools the way a painter might pick up their faithful paint brushes. They respond to a gentle touch, subtle nuances, loving strokes. Blunt commands result in inferior results.
When I got home, although it was late at night, I couldn’t go to bed without first opening Photoshop, taking time to reaffirm an old and faithful friendship. I took a few images and began playing with light, shadows, hues. Colors once again became spectacular, dynamic, and stimulating, instead of numeric values on a histogram. Color casts reclaimed their welcome role as purveyors of mood and ambience, instead of enemies to be irradicated. After some time had passed, the loud and regimented din began to fade from inside my head. The claustrophobic sensation of being squeezed down a rabbit hole receded, restoring a small measure of peace to my weary brain.