The other day I was reading a post, about a guy debating if cropping was right, if Photoshop is cheating, it got me thinking…
Prior to using Photoshop, I used to think at it as a sort of cheating. My proposition was that pictures had to be made in the camera, and only in the camera. Now my views are no longer so strict and here is why.
If you like I have inhaled your part of toxic chemicals while working in your darkroom, then you will know that editing is a fundamental part of photography that has been an integral part of the creation of photographs since its invention.
Photoshop has replaced the darkrooms, and is now extending the creative process that use to happen there. Depending of your skills many things is possible, to enhance and correct.
So is all type of Photoshop works ok? in my views yes. As long as there is honesty in the work I see nothing wrong with it. What is wrong with a photo being stitched from various photos, as long as it is not claimed to be shoot in a single frame.
This does not mean that I do not treasure photo’s made in the camera, and without any sort of cropping. As incredible as modern editing programs are, you will always get better results if you have a good picture to start with. Good editing enhances an image; it doesn’t salvage a poor image. Doing the effort getting the photo right in that initial creation, forces the artistic demand on the photographer. No cropping often means a little extra legwork, but to my knowledge it hasn’t harmed anyone yet. But photographing opportunities is far from being under out control, often editing and enhancement is needed, and if done with honesty it doesn’t make the photos illicit and corrupt.
Then there is photography that cannot be one without post processing work. Imagine doing Astrophotography without Photoshop… not possible. Imagine doing backlit photography with no Photoshop; it’s tough enough as is… but without Photoshop a whole lot more difficult.
So instead of discussing cropping or the use of Photoshop, let’s talk honesty. Enhancing a photo in post processing isn’t cheating. Adding something that isn’t in the bit values without stating this, is.