Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by danalec99, Mar 19, 2004.
Where does Photography stands in this era of Photoshop?
I think it really depends on how you define photography. In essense, much of what photoshop does for a digital photo is little more than what can be accomplished in a darkroom. Dodging, burning, cropping, etc. All that happens in a darkroom just as it can happen on my photoshop screen. True, you can go much beyond darkroom techniques with PS, though, so the line becomes pretty blurry and gray.
Personally I think manipulations that don't affect the actual content of the photo are still to be considered photography. For example, I take a photo of my wife, convert it to b&w, increase the contrast a bit, and apply a softening filter. All I've done is the exact same thing I could do in a darkroom to a traditional film print. Now if I take a photo of my buddy and digitally affix his head to my dog's body, just for kicks, I've gone beyond the realm of photography and into "digital art" if you will.
But that's just me, personally. Talk to 10 different people in the hobby / trade, and you'll come up with 10 different (and probably VERY different) answers.
As an art form that may become cheapened in value due to technological improvements.
How so, Terri?
I don't understand how me cropping and adjusting contrast to a photo using my mouse or in the darkroom are any different.
Or are you talking about the more 'non-darkroom' manipulations that PS is capable of?
I saw Terri's comment more like... PS makes it easy for anyone to dodge and burn while as long as it was in the dark room it was something you had to learn how to do. Now, just about anyone who can use a computer can go in and work on a picture.
It degrades the value kind of like being able to mass produce diamonds would cause them to be worth less.
While that's true and I see your point, I still see more similarities than differences.
There's still a learning curve to using photoshop and all its tools and techniques, just like there's a learning curve to using a darkroom. Plus, even though anyone with a computer can work on a picture, that's by no means a gaurantee (sp?) that it's going to come out artistic, or even good. Same as with a darkroom--just because I can mix chemicals doesn't mean I'm going to make a good or artistically pleasing print.
I agree with both of you actually. The technique can be learned and picked up but you still have to have the creativity and they eye to see things. It's hard to make up for something you where not born with and I think creativity is something you are born with and then sharpened over time with effort.
Check out Jerry Uelsmann. I'm sure that most folks who see his photography today assume it was photoshopped, except that it was created 20 years before Photoshop. There was a famous postcard photographer from Ottawa, KS, I can't remember his name, who did the original "We grow 'em big around here!" giant vegetable pics, giant fish, farm animals, etc... He worked in the early part of the 20th century.
Like all combinations of art and technology it's constantly changing. It has been since the beginning, and it will continue to evolve in the future. What seems amazing today will be old fashioned tomorrow. And as much as it changes, it will always have ties to it's roots.
Agreed. In a lot of ways, Photoshop has taught me more about photography, in fact. When I first got interested in taking pictures, I had no clue what the hell 'burning' or 'dodging' was. If PS had said 'make lighter' and 'make darker', it would've made more sense at the time, but now I know a lot more about the history of film developing, even though I've never developed a roll of film myself in my life. (I did date a photographer in college though who did her own prints...does that count?? )
Alfred Stieglitz worked hard at the turn of the century to get photography to be recognized as art. At the time, it was only viewed as a tool to make reference shot for painters who "made the real art".
Just checked out http://www.uelsmann.net/
How did he do that? Did he do that in a darkroom??
So you want to tell me that PS rules over Photography or the other way around?
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