rst observation about the title, There is no such thing as a straight photograph!

There seems to be a group of people who insist that an image cannot be “Photoshopped” or manipulated in any way for it to be called a Photograph. Of course we need to limit our definition of manipulate so that it excludes things like cropping a small section of reality, or the technical aspects of recording light signals[1], but lets leave that aside for now. The raw recorded signal must be processed into an image. The settings for this conversion may be set by the camera engineers, or it may be set by more advanced photographers, but there are still choices made.

But even leaving all that aside as a given (we will assume the engineers and photographers are able, and willing to reproduce the recorded light as something resembling what most people would call reality[2]). I argue that more can be expressed if you give yourself a little leeway. Most of my photos are not blatantly manipulated, and many people do not realize how much work really goes into making the photos look “realistic”.

No I don’t always like some of the “airbrushed” images in fashion magazines, and there are many artists who use the art of manipulation to express their work, but EVERY photo can use some post processing to get the best (and most realistic[2]…) image.

Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)

  1. A digital camera translates light signals into electrical impulses (There are university courses just on this aspect). A digital sensor sends these impulses either straight to a memory card, or to a processing engine. Even if we go back to film, the light signals were translated into chemical “impulses”. These “impulses” (for want of a better term) are translated into something resembling an image, so even before we leave the camera, there is no such thing as “Straight Photography”
  2. And the rabbit hole goes deeper…. What is reality? Fuji made a fortune on film by “enhancing” reality. No one in their right mind would call the old Velvia film “realistic”, but it was very appealing, and many people preferred the “hyper-reality”
  3. rst observation about the title, There is no such thing as a straight photograph!

    There seems to be a group of people who insist that an image cannot be “Photoshopped” or manipulated in any way for it to be called a Photograph. Of course we need to limit our definition of manipulate so that it excludes things like cropping a small section of reality, or the technical aspects of recording light signals[1], but lets leave that aside for now. The raw recorded signal must be processed into an image. The settings for this conversion may be set by the camera engineers, or it may be set by more advanced photographers, but there are still choices made.

    But even leaving all that aside as a given (we will assume the engineers and photographers are able, and willing to reproduce the recorded light as something resembling what most people would call reality[2]). I argue that more can be expressed if you give yourself a little leeway. Most of my photos are not blatantly manipulated, and many people do not realize how much work really goes into making the photos look “realistic”.

    No I don’t always like some of the “airbrushed” images in fashion magazines, and there are many artists who use the art of manipulation to express their work, but EVERY photo can use some post processing to get the best (and most realistic[2]…) image.

Close Menu
Close Panel