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Photoshop Snob or Plugin Junkie – what’s the alternative?

Ian Watts Photography and Digital Art - Creativity

Releasing Creativity is key. We all spend time watching youtube tutorials trying to learn new photographic techniques or processing techniques. The internet is full of them. I have a few of my own, and some of you may well do too.

What is interesting is that it is obvious that some are more creative ideas than others.

Photoshop Snob

Some people never stray from Photoshop¬†and are quite proud of it. They know it inside out, and let’s face it, there isn’t much comes close to the power that it offers. Some people,¬†however, are real Photoshop snobs – looking down on people that use plugins. They know that given the time and the effort a better effect can probably be created in Photoshop. And of course, they may be right.

Ian Watts Digital Art - Creativity
A Pestle and Mortar – made to look like a coloured pencil sketch

Plug-in Junkie

Other people love plugins. Whatever the latest plugin is, some flock to it. You can put a photograph in one end, click a few buttons, and out comes an image the other end that looks like you have spent hours on it. No thought or effort needed.

The reverse though can also be true – there are people who use the same photoshop techniques again and again with little creativity involved – they may as well record the steps as an action and create their own plugin. Some people do this! They may feel superior to plugin junkies, but they are basically doing the same – conveyor belt art.

And the reverse can be true of plugins. Dig a little deeper and there is a wealth of creativity to be discovered under the surface that takes time to learn and apply creatively. Learn what each slider does, how an effect can be used on just a part of an image taking just a selection into a plugin rather than the whole image.

I believe the ultimate creativity comes when we learn both and mix both. Learn every intimate detail of your plugin, and learn as much as you can about photoshop, and learn how to use the two together – blending a bit here, masking a bit there, maybe using several plugins to bring different effects to different parts of the image.

Ian Watts Digital Art - Creativity
A Christmas decoration restyled to look frosty

Photoshop is awesome – it will always be in my workflow, but so will plugins – because what is important is creatively realising your vision for a piece of art, and using the right tool for the right job. So don’t limit yourself by being a Photoshop Snob or a Plugin Junkie – learn both and play with both, and let you art, as an expression of yourself, soar.

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