Photoshop need not be a sledgehammer; to give but one of thousands of examples: its computational power may be used to delicately nudge pixels of a certain value so that they cause their neighboring picture elements to be more apparent. If you are a photographer who practiced in decades past, you likely remember the procedure for rendering subtle qualities of tonality and texture: it involved floating a sheet of photosensitive paper in a tray of warm chemical fluid, and from time to time, poking it with a stick. We had control, but not that much control.
This post, and Bruce’s previous post, are an interesting way of looking at Photoshop as offering more subtlety than previous technology. Too much web discourse, still, is spent railing against tools themselves rather than the way they’re used. This is especially prevalent in photojournalismland where what the mere use of Photoshop currently outweighs the ethics of the situation.
So it’s nice to see posts like this focusing on subtlety judicious use of the tools available to us. Photoshop, BAD is not a useful message. How not to be heavy-handed is.