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by Kara Fox

Thanksgiving traditionally brings warm feelings of appreciation. I now add Tobey Cotson Victor to my 'appreciation' list!

We met at a friend's 'night after Thanksgiving dinner.' The evening, laden with panini, sweet potato fries, creamed spinach, freshly baked pies and burnt caramel ice cream, became even more glorious as I feasted on Tobey's stunning images from India, China, Vietnam and Africa.


Her gift of capturing the moment and her skill in enhancing the image yields photographs that were beautiful when first taken. And then, with her discerning eye and capabilities in re-touching, Tobey transformed these images into the highest level of photographic art.

Tobey has been taking photos since High School.  She began with film in her Roliflex that shot 2 1/4" negatives.  She would develop the film and print in the lab at school. She worked on the yearbook for her children's school for 10 years and took that from cut-and-paste, to digital images.  It was that project that forced her to learn and become proficient in Photoshop and InDesign.


Tobey loves digital photography because one can instantly see if they have captured the shot...there is no film to waste (or need to pay for), and the post processing can take a photo that looks 'ok,' to something that looks 'amazing.' She has been working in Photoshop since Photoshop 3 was a shadow of the current program.  She has become so versed in 'improving' people that there would be no need for plastic surgery if one could only be seen in her photos.

Her new infatuation is with Lightroom, an Adobe program that allows one to quickly color correct and edit their photos.  It's such a powerful program that if one didn't need to remove unwanted objects or 'improve' people, one might not need to go into Photoshop at all when processing one's photos.


"I photographed mostly people when my kids were young - so many subjects with all of their friends.”

“Now that we travel as a family I tend to do more travel photography (with a concentration on people wherever we are) and self-publish photo books through My Publisher online. I don't have any plans as to what to do with the photos just yet but I recently went on a photo trip without my family and thoroughly enjoyed only having to concentrate on taking photos as opposed to packing, planning, feeding, and schlepping three other people!  Those of you who are parents of small children can only dream of those days. With each new version of Photoshop or Lightroom, I feel that the learning curve gets steeper, but I love learning."


As you view Tobey's images, imagine being there, wherever ‘there’ is, because this is giving her images a life of their own.


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