Photoshop: Art or Artifice?
Written 5 years ago by Ruby Divine
The following guest article was contributed by Ruby Divine who writes a witty diary of her day to day disasters and ponders the annoyances and delights of the fashionable side of life at MissRubyDivine.com
Cosmetic surgery is at large in the society we currently reside in and as always, there are arguments for and against. Smoothing out fine lines, nipping and tucking, enhancing and…destroying. As with everything we do in life, there is a certain risk that we undertake. You may wonder why I’m writing about cosmetic surgery on a photography blog, but the point I am trying to make is that Photoshop is, in fact, the modern day cosmetic surgery for photographs.
Many photographers are traditional in their values – that an image should be composed fully from camera without interference from other mediums, and many photographers regard digital manipulation as ‘cheating.’ I personally see no harm in enhancing what is already there to make a mediocre foundation a remodelled upgrade of the image.
It takes a wealth of knowledge and talent to create the ‘perfect shot’ and many photographers aspire to be able to capture this effortlessly. Patrick Smith conquers amazing landscape shots in a previous post titled ‘36 Stunning Examples of Landscape Photography‘ (April 2009). These images are created without the aid of any Photoshop equipment and are truly breathtaking. By looking at pieces of work like this, it is clear to see that Photoshop is not necessarily needed in creating works of art. For the less experienced or just for the experimental types, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a great tool and should not be overlooked.
David LaChapelle is unmistakably one of the most celebrated photographers of our time. Taking images of well known icons such as Lady Gaga, Gene Simmons and Alexander McQueen to name just a few, he creates a surreal scene and pushes the boundaries of art. Without the tools of an image manipulation programme such as Photoshop, these images would not have the wow factor that LaChapelle creates so well. This goes to show that digital manipulation can work wonders and add the extra punch to the shot.
IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m definitely pro Photoshop and think itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a fast, effective way to achieve maximum impact if used correctly. As many older photographers have displayed a profound hatred of these types of programmes, it makes me wonder if it really is the programme or the technological advancement that irks them. Is it really the fact that itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a Ã¢â‚¬Ëœbluff toolÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ or the fact that a young whippersnapper can click a few buttons, select the Healing Brush and smooth away imperfections in one swift flourish?
I believe that the only time Photoshop should not be used is when the artist wants to portray an Honest to God representation of the exact scene they have captured. After all, without Photoshop however would we be able to masquerade ourselves under layer of perfective layer?
I find it highly interesting to listen to the arguments for and against the Photoshop beef, but each to their own. There are so amazing images out there created on all types of medium and instead of arguing the facts and figures, we should embrace our technology and resources in order to enrich our photographic experience.