Modern photography has been in a constant state of development for almost two centuries. Different cameras, lenses, emulsions and processing methods have played a part in this on-going history.
With each stage there has been protest from those intimidated by the change.
There have always been attempts to define or restrict what constitutes ‘real’ photography, yet the nature of human creativity is not limited by boundaries or definitions.
Photoshop is one of the most complex and powerful creative tools ever invented. Like any creative tool, it all comes down to the user as to what results from it.
Photoshop doesn’t make great images any more than paint brush leaps off the palette to create a masterpiece – it’s the people using it who do that.
Having said this, it’s easy to over-cook an image in Photoshop and make it look false or too contrived. With practice and a little discretion however, the program can be used to complement what is already there.
No two people use it in precisely the same manner and there are methods that vary enormously from one another.
In my case, I compose ‘in camera’ and go to great lengths to ensure that what’s in front of the lens is real. I then use Photoshop very simply and sparingly to get the most out of the intrinsic qualities of the image.
For those who consider this a cheat that only involves the push of a button, there’s a simple answer:
“Let’s see you achieve the same results by pushing a button”.
If your creative process ends with a press of the shutter release, I don’t have problems with that – you have that freedom. But don’t imagine what’s appropriate for you is appropriate for others.
“Without freedom, there is no creation.”— Jiddu Krishnamurti