The photoshop effect

Adobe Photoshop is a marvelous tool when used properly but I somehow wonder if it is

a) Producing lazy photographers, and
b) affecting the way we look at images
c) distorting our view of the world

In terms of the first point too often I hear the notion that photographers don’t need to get things right at the shoot, because they can fix it in post production. Now this is true to a degree it completely ignores the fact that often spending an extra 5 minutes at the shoot will prevent having to spend hours at the computer.

Danielle - image copyright to Bev Short. Image used with her permission.In terms of the second point is demonstrated with this image displayed here which was taken by Bev Short for her “All Women” book and exhibition.

When I first saw the image at the exhibition, my first reaction was that it was a very nice image, but I suspected that it was also a composite of two images (Danielle and the plane). In doing this I had immediately jumped to the assumption that in today’s digital age that you would not try to stage the shot.

I was surprised to hear that the shot was actually done in camera and that the photoshop treatment was pretty much limited to the sepia effect. Unfortunately I think that today our instant reaction to too many great images is that the photographer has assembled the image later. This is a real shame because in many ways it plays down on the skills of the photographer.

Now, this is not to say that there is anything wrong with composites, rather that it is just a slightly different skillset. In fact the ability to put together an image that is based on elements that you can not see together shows real creativity. Have a look at the work of either Richard Wood, Mandi Lynn or Sue Bryce and you will see that the images they produce are stunning.

On my third point that will be filled out in a later post.

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