Is it real, or is it Photoshopped? How far is too far in terms of manipulating and enhancing
photographs? How much does the means by which a photographer arrives at his or
her final image really matter? And let us not forget that everything created by
the photographers, as artists, is an interpretation of what they see around
them. Choice of camera, choice of camera settings, composition; they’re
constantly imposing themselves in one way or another upon “reality.” In this sense,
there’s no such thing as absolute truth.
According to Jerry Lodriguss, it is “a
fundamental fact that we usually forget… that when we take a picture we do not
make a perfectly objective recording of reality. What
we make is an interpretation of reality. There
is no film or digital camera that perfectly and accurately records nature even
on this simple level.”
In the past, picture refinement, took several hours.
Nowadays, all it takes is someone with a working knowledge of photo editing
Ever since Adobe Photoshop 1.0 came to
market in 1990, photographers have struggled learning editing, processing and
altering their pictures, not only to improve image quality but sometimes also
to compensate for technical shortcomings experienced in the field.
Today even our smart phones boast high-powered editing software. In other
words, manipulating photographs has never been easier or more widespread.
The real question is not the extent of
manipulations of a photograph, but whether we should accept it or not?
You then have to ask if the use of filters is “cheating” or
even adjusting shutter speeds and apertures can be construed as manipulation.
There is no right or wrong answer to this question as it
will always be up to the individual artist to decide which course is right for
them. It is much like five people seeing a car accident and being asked for
their view of what happened, you will get five different stories.