The Photoshopping Discussion

Thursday, November 13, 2014

I have a confession. I sometimes use photoshop in a dramatic way. Case in point, this picture from my Ponte Vecchio post. The photoshopped picture is on the top, original on the bottom.



I know that a lot of people object to this sort of photoshopping because it's "fake." But here's the thing, it's impossible to capture with a camera lens what the human eye sees. There's all sorts of interesting science (that I don't really understand) to explain why this is true. A two dimensional frozen moment can never encompass the incredible depth and beauty that eyes can, not to mention the fact that it's the brain that really does the interpreting, coloring our sight with our hopes, memories, and emotions.

When I edit my photos, I try to capture my memory or experience of the moment, and sometimes that strays off the path of what the raw image shows. I put back colors the camera left out, or alter lighting to match the feeling of the three-dimensional space. Of course I'm still learning, and my photos don't always come out the way I want them to, but I shoot for feeling over fact. Fact is not always synonymous with truth. That's my photoshopping philosophy.

Do you have a photoshopping (or other art) philosophy? What is it?

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6 comments

  1. I think it's all a matter of artistic taste. Taking the photo and editing it are both parts of the creative process, and if you are able to create something beautiful through editing, it is still beautiful. The only thing is not to lose the natural beauty of the place you are. Also, I total agree that places may look more visually dull on camera than they do to the eye, that's where editing can make up for the loss. I think you've done a great job with this photo!

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    1. I agree with your theory on editing, Marie. And thanks for your kind words!

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  2. Oh my goodness, photoshopping like this is totally fine in my eyes! Sometimes if the lighting ruins a picture, but it's a glorious picture, then editing is necessary. I just think it's important not to over edit (which you haven't done).

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    1. I think it's a matter of personal taste but I agree there's an over editing mark that distorts the picture. Then again, some people respond to that kind of photo, so who knows. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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  3. I don't own photoshop, so I do enhance photos but not to the degree of I suppose I could do with a different program. I think color and so on is all good, but I don't really like it when I find out bloggers photoshop their bodies. It's their personal thing and I can understand that they feel pressure like anyone else putting pictures on the Internet, but it only adds to the environment of impossible beauty standards. Blogs should represent real girls, when we turn ourselves into models with photoshop then we're losing what makes us different (and better!) than magazines.

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    1. I agree. I don't have a lot of experience in photoshopping people, but I think with representations of people, particularly those which purport to represent reality, there's a responsibility not to distort the truth.

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