Photoshop…. Is it Art or Photography?
In this day and age where everything and everyone is digitally “retouched ”, it leaves us wondering if a photograph is altered, does it then become art as opposed to photography? The answer really depends on who you ask.
If you are anything like me in days gone by you would send your film roll to a print lab who would process your images, some returned with stickers over them saying over or under exposed. The learning process of film photography was largely trial and error, time consuming and costly. You also had no control on how the images would look when they were returned to you from the lab.
Traditional dark room photographers are far and few between these days. I believe the secret of a good film photographers was darkroom manipulation using adjustments such as burning & dodging (darkening and lightening) of an image, however a really good darkroom user could composite images together or even remove objects from images all together. Living in this new reality of digital photography and Photoshop, adjustments which were once so time consuming to learn on film, can now be learnt in a few minutes.
Digital photography has opened up the world of photographic manipulation to the masses.
The more current photographers, with their high end DSLR cameras, tend to be more open minded about making adjustments after the photo is taken. If the resources are there, then why not learn to use them to make your photographs look even richer than before? You can take a simple landscape shot and literally turn it into a work of art with just a few clicks of a mouse.
Basically, the question of Photoshopped images being either photography or art becomes subjective, and is one that I believe will be discussed for many years to come. You will find various opinions across the board, depending on who you ask. Almost every image in current magazines and publications has been Photoshopped in one form or another. Fashion magazines remove wrinkles and trim waistlines, advertisers will bump up the saturation.
With the way technology is progressing, we will probably see more Photoshopped images, but then again we have always been subjected to edit photos with the main difference being that they were previously created in the darkroom.
Is Photoshop art or photography, it is up to you to decide for yourself.