Sputter Sputter … There’s a Fill Flash Tool in Photoshop Now?

I’m scratching my head at this one, as I haven’t seen anything about this (and a web search didn’t bring me any more info), but over on the National Press Photographers Associations’ Ethics Matter blog, John Long, Peter Southwick and Steven Raymer have all chimed in about the ethical issues regarding using a digital fill flash tool.

There have been ways of emulating the effect of fill flash for a long time in Photoshop (select an area, use curves and levels to brighten it), so I’m not sure where this started. But, combined with the HDR debate from a few months ago and the content aware fill issue that the last version of Photoshop brought us, the tools are just getting more and more tempting for the unethical (or ill-prepared) photographer.

So, my two cents on this: I have often said that Photoshop is a tool to overcome the technical limitations of the photographic process. Adding or subtracting, whether it’s content or light, crosses my ethical line. So, if there is a “fill flash” tool in Photoshop CS6, it would be off-limits to me.

Mark E. Johnson

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