a11 November 2012

Thoughts: This photo is overphotoshopped

Recently I've read it a few times "this photo is overphotoshopped" or "show it before you used Photoshop" - under my photos or under photos of someone else. The thing is that many of those images were really great, with fantastic colours and mood - that is they were of very high artistic quality. Post-processing was strong on some of them but they were great photos in the first place - photoshopping just made them even better. Made them pop.

For me there is no such a thing as overphotoshopped photo as long as it creates the effect the artist had in mind. I don't understand (and never will) why some people would love to see the world as they see it, not as the artist does it? Everyone who takes photos and is passionate about it, has it own style and show the world in a different and unique way - because he or she sees it in a slightly different way. For one the colour is more important, for another mood or texture.

Photography (which literally means light painting) is very close to painting - we do operate with light, colours, detail, textures. We show the world but our toolbox isn't a brush and colour palette. If we would limit ourselves to what camera produces the world would be full of similarly looking images, nothing new, nothing creative. Post-processing is something that can make our photos stand out from the crowd of similarly looking images.

For that reasons SOOC (straight out of the camera) is a really weird movement for me. Some people do believe that such photos are better because they are natural, realistic and not processed at all. Well... that's not true. They just leave all the decisions to the camera - it removes noise, increases (or decreases) saturation, sets white balance. All of these can be considered as post-processing. Moreover, each camera differs in a way it renders colours so choosing a camera might be considered a post-processing technique as well. So what's wrong with making all these decisions ourselves? Not leaving it to the camera? For me it's nothing wrong at all.

I hope you don't get me wrong - I don't mean that one should pay more attention to post-processing step than taking a photo. No. I still prefer to do as much in the camera as possible (but that's just my way of taking photos). I use a lot of filters, wait patiently for good light, etc. But I do think that post-processing is as important as taking a photo. And even if someone creates his works mostly in Photoshop, does it really matter? It's still an art :)

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