Well that certainly would be a nice option to have, dammit
I will take you to task on one small point, however, Fred - there are a few of us out here printing nice photos who never go anywhere near PS, let alone 50 layers of it. That's just for the insane commercial world you and BC inhabit.
I somewhat understand where you are coming from, but if you will step back for a moment and look at image making in general, there is a trickle down theory.
It always starts at the sharp end, usually from images most people find uncomfortable or in an area that don't want to be involved in.
Way before digital, Ansel Adams was working with large cameras and an exposure technique that was copied by photographers for generations in all genres, from snapshots to industrial photography.
Photographic styles from Weston on the fine art level to Guy Bordin on the high end of fashion found their way trickling down to all forms of image making.
That's just the process of how we perceive images and what goes from rare and unique to standard mainstream as the public tastes catch up with the artist's vision.
More so today with the easy ability to access almost any image and style in the world and emulate it to your personal or professional work.
Not that I'm a fan of that, but unique images or style pretty much go mainstream the moment they hit the internet.
Now in regards to 50 layers of photoshop, that's not as difficult or exotic as you would think.
These three images are a good example
The top image has no retouching, just manipulation, first in Lightroom, secondarily in photoshop with a dozen layers.
I spent less time in photoshop than I did in lightroom.
The second image the same, except there is some client directed retouching on the background, but overall, if I showed you the original out of Lightroom, vs. the final, the look isn't that much different.
The third image has no retouching at all, except some slight cleanup on the white background. The face has never seen a clone stamp, a dodge layer, or one bit of warping, liquifying, anything other than some color adjustment through layers in photoshop.
Now in regards to cameras, what camera was chosen was to reach a final look in post.
The first image is from a p21 because I find the 18mp size and lack of an aa filter allows for some over-sharpening effects in post.
The second image was a 1ds3, because it's heavy AA filter and higher iso allowed for a softer look and working with continuous lights inside and I need faster focus and the third image was a p30+ as I knew going in I wanted to do some cropping for the various formats the magazine required.
As far as crew, it depends. The bottom image was 4 people, the top image 6, the middle image 12. The middle image mainly due to client requests.
So John, I respect you can work in any way you want, but to deny a tool like photoshop in todays digital world, is comparable to always shooting in your backyard because it's close.