Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Is Photoshop Cheating?

There are those among us who think if you do anything to your photo after you take the picture then that's cheating.

If one painter only has a dozen colors to work with and one has 64 colors to begin with, are they cheating to use the extra colors they have available?

Do I cheat? Yes, I do and I'm proud of it. I will lighten eyes, darken skin, remove pimples, increase contrast, increase color saturation, and occasionaly do something creative like this.

I create images to give an emotional response to the viewer. I consider Photoshop and other computer programs like it as tools of the trade. This arguement is not something new. I remember when some argued that it was cheating to use filters, or electronic flash. The only thing that I consider cheating in photography, is when the photographer closes his or her mind and stops trying to be as creative as possible.

1 comment:

  1. As a die-hard film shooter I have had a hard time with the amount of manipulation available for digital images. I'm not talking about scratch and dust removal or 'touch-up' like corrections; those were part of the trade before digital. I object to it when an image, which should have been thrown in the trash can is manipulated until it becomes what the image maker wanted in the first place.

    I enjoy digital image making for many reasons, mostly because film is so cheap. But I sometimes feel like the advent of the digital age has taken some thing that was GREAT BECAUSE it was DIFFICULT and cheapened it. I run in to people all the time who think they are photographers because they have a digital camera that allows them chance after chance after chance to get the shot right and they still have no real grasp of the basics of digital image making like, lighting, metering, etc.

    Don't get me wrong, I have seen some incredible digital images but how much of them was the original exposure? I miss smelling like developer and I miss that feeling of anticipation when my photos finally came. I think questions like this will always be ones of perception and interpretation and I will always just try to enjoy all of the images I see.