Short Photoshop Rant

November 22, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

I'm often asked if I digitally manipulate my images (think Photoshop.) In most cases, this is just a matter of curiosity and I'm happy to have a conversation. But in some cases it's clear that the person asking the question is, for some reason, against digital manipulation and use of those tools will make the images somehow less valid.

When I look at pictures I either like the images or I don't and the degree to which they were manipulated won't change my opinion.

I went to an exhibition a few years ago where the photographer was clearly anti-digital and very vocal about the fact that he used real film and the prints were made in a darkroom on real silver paper. Cool. But you know what, the images were awful and all the talk about process was meaningless. Awful images will always be awful no matter how they were produced.

On the other hand, I recently saw some contemporary palladium prints that were absolutely stunning both for the images themselves and for the remarkable depth and luminosity resulting from the process. A perfect example of the image and the process enhancing one another.

Digital manipulation for its own sake is a dead end, but these tools (like killer darkroom skills) can be very powerful in helping photographers achieve their vision. And I'm all for that!

End of rant.


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