Visit Asahi Photo Visit Asahi Photo Visit Asahi Photo

Is photoshop ruining photography

Posted 12/03/2013 - 09:47 Link
This article makes interesting reading, link
“We must avoid however, snapping away, shooting quickly and without thought, overloading ourselves with unnecessary images that clutter our memory and diminish the clarity of the whole.” - Henri Cartier-Bresson -
Posted 12/03/2013 - 10:03 Link
Interesting read! I think the photography and photoshop debate comes down to personal choice and vision. I think it's really about balance. Just like the craft of photography, photoshop also requires a lot of skill and knowledge which could be classed as a craft?

I personally think good photographic technique and good photoshop technique are both important and when they are used in balance can create some incredible images. However, in relation to landscapes, I am not in favour of placing in false sky's, clouds etc.

The article does raise some food for thought which is always a good thing.
Posted 12/03/2013 - 10:13 Link
Each to their own Ken. I hardly use photoshop, but for some its the most enjoyable part.

Regarding lanscapes, it would however be nice when looking at an image if you knew whether it was "real" or not.

"Real" to me does include dodging and burning, removing a bit of litter or the like which you were unable to move on the day.

"Real" to me doesn't include dropping in a new sky, removing castles, etc.

Not being "real" doesn't mean it isn't valid. I'd just like to know.

As to the particular image in the article. On skimming through it, what they seem to have missed out, is that the photographer broke the rules of the competition which only allowed the type of manipulation I referred to in keeping the image "real"

Bit of a shame that the judges including Charlie Waite didn't notice that the rules had been broken, and that it was other photographers who brought it to light.

As an aside the photographer was also criticised for copying work. The image was almost identical to one taken by another member of his camera club a number of years ago.However, he did credit the previous photographer as providing the inspiration for the shot. And I think to criticise on that basis is ridiculous as we've all been to places where you can almost see the tripod holes where people have been time and time again.

Posted 12/03/2013 - 10:20 Link
Yes and no ...

Certainly when the image is used to win a "Photography" competition it is wrong. Had there been a "Landscape Photoshopper ..." then it would have been a worthy winner.

In general I will only edit an individual image to tweak it, white balance, contrast, brightness or maybe remove an unwanted or to get a result I have been asked to create.
Posted 12/03/2013 - 10:53 Link
From my own experiences of selling my landscapes it is ruining peoples perception of photography, it seems when you capture a great photo in-camera people are now more inclined to think its a product of photoshop and not the camera.

I keep processing to a minimum in most cases, much prefering to spend my time in the great outdoors than staring at a PC screen. That's not to say that I won't sometimes try a few heavy edits on a photo that otherwise would be heading for the delete bin, I've been very pleased with some of the results too...the important thing though is honesty, I'll happily tell anyone if a photo isn't in its natural state, unfortunately it seems others are increasingly reluctant to do so and it's this that is getting photography a bad name

Posted 12/03/2013 - 10:55 Link
My "take" on this is that digital photography (and electronic manipulation) has made David Byrne lazy, in the sense that, with "analogue" (film) photography, the person behind the camera put some thought into what he/she was trying to achieve before squeezing the shutter button. The main reason for doing so was the relative cost of the photographic media (film, photo paper, etc), thus there was a tendency to "maximise" the potential of the image being photographed.

An sd card (or similar) is relatively cheap - in fact, considering the potential number of times the card can be erased and re-written to, I'd go so far as to say that there is virtually no cost whatsoever, so the lazy photographer can theoretically shoot 1,000,000,000 images in the hope that at least one of that billion photos could be considered "photogenic". Now, factor in digital manipulation - I appreciate that these programs are designed primarily to enhance an image (colour, lighting, etc), but to "cut and paste" other elements from another image, or set of images in order to enter (and in this case, win) is wrong. If such manipulation is being done for personal pleasure, then I'm okay with that, but to portray such images in a "look at me, I'm bloody brilliant" sort of way is just plain WRONG!
Posted 12/03/2013 - 11:00 Link
Posted 12/03/2013 - 11:16 Link
God here we go no there has to be some type of PP with it being PS or Gimp so if the end result is a good photograph who really cares i dont
just looked at this link ken what rubbish as it says it is his opinion Declan O’Neill and i bet he has use or does use PS or some thing like that and i do belive that any one who says they dont pp there work are liaring. as we all need to PP or its like taking photos and not getting them developed.
Thanks Richard
Edited by generator: 12/03/2013 - 11:21
Posted 12/03/2013 - 11:36 Link
Like it or not, digital manipulation has become a part of the photographers arsenal. Whether you use it or not is up to you. As a picture there is nothing wrong with David Byrne's image. It would look excellent enlarged and framed on the wall. The only problem with it was that it broke the rules of the competition category it was entered into.
6th Year Apprentice Pensioner
Posted 12/03/2013 - 11:37 Link
The only issue to me is honesty.

I have no issue looking at the work of a gifted technician - I can admire skill in what ever form it takes.

There are several very good exponents of the art of processing who post on this forum regularly - most of whom are honest about what they do and I can admire their work.

At the same time - I often think it would be good to see what they can do without PS.

I am not going to try to self justify any pp work I do - we all do what we feel comfortable with. In my case - as little as possible - not because I am against it - I just hate doing it. Spending hours on one photograph is my idea of hell. Shear pleasure to me is the rare occasion I download an image to the PC - look at it and think - job done!

Processing to me is only "cheating" if the processor attempts to pass it off as UN-processed. I don't enter competitions and one of the reasons is that I know I am up against "exponents of the dark art".

Is there a way of identifying an unprocessed image? if not there should be and competitions should require submission of original and re-worked image in my view.

No matter how many lenses I have owned - I have always needed just one more
Posted 12/03/2013 - 11:44 Link
The answer to your question is a RESOUNDING YES!

In using Photoshop and it's ilk, you are saying one of two things, your photos are crap and your equipment is crap!

I have not read the article!
Pentax K1-ii and MZ6
Pentax Lenses 28-80 F, 300 DA*, 80-200 F, 35 F2.4 AL, M50 F1.7, 28-105 DFA, 20 F4 SMC
Posted 12/03/2013 - 11:46 Link
I remember looking at a couple of images a year or two ago from a couple of shooters l knew. The first image was taken from a bedroom window, and showed a view across a field. Nice big tree on left hand side - except there was no tree. Rolling landscape - except it's flat. Flock of crows in sky - photographer admitted " there were no birds ". Dramatic cloud formation - yes you've guessed it, there weren't any.

I just ask myself, Why ?

Second image from other photographer - l could kind of work out that it was more than one image merged. So l asked, how many and what satisfaction do you get. Answer " seven images merged, and for me it's all about the viewer not being able to tell "

I gave up at that point. Each to their own l suppose.
Posted 12/03/2013 - 11:59 Link
it's people lacking in integrity, morality or honesty that are the real problem, not the tools they use to decieve.
Fired many shots. Didn't kill anything.
Posted 12/03/2013 - 12:18 Link
Don wrote:
it's people lacking in integrity, morality or honesty that are the real problem, not the tools they use to decieve.

100% agree.

My website (Hadfield Photography)

Pentax Gallery Artist page:link

Flickr Photostream: link
Posted 12/03/2013 - 13:32 Link
Some more information link
“We must avoid however, snapping away, shooting quickly and without thought, overloading ourselves with unnecessary images that clutter our memory and diminish the clarity of the whole.” - Henri Cartier-Bresson -

Add Comment

To leave a comment - Log in to Pentax User or create a new account.