Mind Fields: I’m ConfusedPosted: July 16, 2021
Listen. A month ago I saw one of my bank statements and I saw that Adobe had been paid $119 in February. They’ve been getting the same $119 for five years. Uh? For what? Apparently I had signed on to an app for a one-time signing of a PDF contract. That was how Adobe got me. I’ve been paying 119 a year for that one-time signing. I should have seen it. I didn’t.
Software did it to me. Adobe. Photoshop and its minions, Lightroom and Lightroom Classic. Adobe has such a tight grip on the photo image market, it’s like an octopus with twenty four tentacles. I’ve been on fair terms with the awesome app for a long time. I’ve been using Photoshop CS5, which is about fifteen years old.
I figured that as long as I’ve paid Adobe through the years, I may as well install all the photo apps to which I am entitled. The latest Photoshop. The latest Lightroom, the latest Lightroom Classic.
Here’s where the confusion starts. There’s a guy on Youtube who looks like a Hindu version of Peter Lorre. His face is motionless, frozen into an amused smirk. He’s so good with Photoshop he just riffs with heavy duty stuff like “eliminating the background”. And he does it with a few clicks and brushes. Isn’t that fundamental with a thousand images you’ve taken? Wouldn’t it be great to have a tool that automatically erases the background?
That’s what’s happening now in Photoshop. It can do that! The Revolution has come! Not for me, not yet: I’m following Frozenface’s instructions and it’s not happening. That’s one aspect of Photoshop. There are hundreds of ways of doing the same thing. I follow FlatFace’s steps and I’m not erasing any background. I’m erasing the foreground. I WILL figure it out.
So I’m running two versions of Photoshop, I also have Lighroom, Lightroom Classic and Canon’s Digital Photo Pro. And all the Windows photo apps, all the Microsoft photo appos, all these image apps jumping in my face and saying “Use me! Use ME!” All these programs are supposed to run harmoniously together and shepherd my precious images towards their apotheosis.
I’m not comfortable with this stuff. I’m especially confused by the shift in terminology and the way “Save As” has become “Exports As” and now there are Collections instead of Folders. Folders had to give up their guts and ride the Adobe Train.
I’m lost and confused. I don’t know where my photos are any more. I don’t know how much duplication has happened and how much drive space these previews and previews of previews and preview previews for comparison photos, before and after, showing how many iterations of the same image exist.. Over and over again. Where they are. They’re on my computer. I can click and make an image appear. In fifteen different programs. Everyone loves photography. The internet is all about photography. And video, don’t forget video.
I think it must be okay. The people at Adobe are experts. They must have deep insight into the process of editing and transforming images or they wouldn’t be able to anticipate what photographers and graphic artists will need in the future. Even with the latest mega Terabyte solid state drives, space will always be a major consideration.
Hell yes I need a tool that can erase a background from an impromptu portrait snapshot. Hell yes. I just have to figure out the procedure. Right now I’m erasing the faces that I’m hoping to preserve. Maybe I need a better Youtube teacher than Mister SmirkFace.
It’s okay to be confused. Don’t let it alarm you. Ever since Walt Disney took control of this culture’s imagination things haven’t looked right. You never know when a set of whiskers will appear on the side of a woman’s face. Or dogs are fitted out as astronauts and interstellar explorers. Dogs, pigs, mice. Disney was a major zoophile. Things haven’t looked right for the last sixty years.
Where do archetypes end and stereotypes begin? Ask Walt Disney. Ask his ghost, I don’t care. He has a lot of ‘splainin’ to do.
I’m still confused. I expect to be less confused as I get familiar with this new software. OR…I’ll toss this shit and go back to Canon DP Pro, because it’s just easier.
Arthur Rosch is a novelist, musician, photographer and poet. His works are funny, memorable and often compelling. One reviewer said “He’s wicked and feisty, but when he gets you by the guts, he never lets go.” Listeners to his music have compared him to Frank Zappa, Tom Waits, Randy Newman or Mose Allison. These comparisons are flattering but deceptive. Rosch is a stylist, a complete original. His material ranges from sly wit to gripping political commentary.
Arthur was born in the heart of Illinois and grew up in the western suburbs of St. Louis. In his teens he discovered his creative potential while hoping to please a girl. Though she left the scene, Arthur’s creativity stayed behind.
In his early twenties he moved to San Francisco and took part in the thriving arts scene. His first literary sale was to Playboy Magazine. The piece went on to receive Playboy’s “Best Story of the Year” award.
Arthur also has writing credits in Exquisite Corpse, Shutterbug, eDigital, and Cat Fancy Magazine. He has written five novels, a memoir and a large collection of poetry. His autobiographical novel, Confessions Of An Honest Man won the Honorable Mention award from Writer’s Digest in 2016.
More of his work can be found at www.artrosch.com
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