Consider this. If you bought a computer without Microsoft Windows®, what in the world would you do with it?
It’s really that wonderful bit of software which makes the computer so great. Despite his critics, we really are fortunate that Bill Gates made his software so ubiquitous.
So how could new camera owners benefit from his business model?
Today, cameras are much closer to computers than they ever were before. The newest DSLRs (digital, single-lens reflex cameras) are wonders of modern electronics. These cameras will automatically do all the required calculations internally, in tiny complex microprocessors, to insure that you get a beautiful looking photograph. They have automatic settings for landscapes, for portraits, sports, close-ups, etc. You can even program your own favorite settings of aperture, shutter speed, or ISO and the camera will be sure to make whatever other adjustments are at its disposal to insure your photo looks good.
How is it then, that every professional photographer I know using one of these marvels of digital technology – with many pro cameras costing several thousand dollars each, wouldn’t dream of presenting a photo to their clients without first running it through a Photoshop digital editing software?
It’s undisputed that Adobe Photoshop® is THE photo-editing software of choice for amateur and professional photographers alike when it comes to maximizing the quality of their photos.
But, the fact is, people come to me after buying a new camera, asking for lessons in photography because “their camera” doesn’t take photos like the ones they’ve seen from others using that same camera. Maybe you’ve wondered that too?
It’s quite likely you’ve been unknowingly comparing apples to oranges, photos right out of the camera vs. those that have been optimized with Photoshop. You’d be amazed at the difference just a few simple photo editing tweaks can bring! So for my new camera clients, I’ll usually recommend an intoduction to photo editing course rather than a course in photography techniques.
Imagine buying a thousand dollar DSLR camera, with all its automatic features, that can’t produce an optimal quality image without the help of additional software? It’s like buying half a camera!
Now doesn’t that sound exactly like a computer without its Windows?
I’m not sure who’s heading up the Adobe division that markets Photoshop, but I’m certain if it were Bill Gates, you’d see every camera sold being bundled with a Photoshop installation CD for your computer. Hopefully it would be a far bit cheaper than buying the two separately!
But until that day arrives, do not despair over your own photographs. It’s not that the new DSLR’s don’t create beautiful photos on their own, they certainly do. I’m just saying there is so much more that can be achieved with a little assist from the Photoshop editing programs.
Personally, “playing” in Photoshop® is half the fun of photography for me, the most creative half! Best of all, it’s not nearly as hard to learn as many would have you believe. There are many great resources online and off that can quickly show you the ropes.
If you’re passionate about photography and just getting started, I’d highly recommend you allow room in your photography budget for purchasing one of the many photo editing programs on the market. That is until someone like Bill Gates gets one packaged with every new DSLR sold.

Robert Schwarztrauber is an author, speaker and photographer who provides many online resources which help people take and create better pictures. For more information on improving your results in photography, visit