The Past "Photography" the Future "Imagery" Not for ME!

Started Apr 17, 2014 | Questions thread
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I disagree...
In reply to Joris1632, Apr 18, 2014

Joris1632 wrote:

I agree, I phrased it badly. I meant to point out that the number of artist photographers was minute compared to the vast printing industry's use of photos in the heyday of illustrated magazines such as Life, National Geographic, Time, Picture Post, London Illustrated News etc etc.. I have tremendous respect for Cartier-Bresson's work - though I'd like to point out he also said he didn't care what happened to a picture after he'd pressed the shutter.

My main point was that there is no dichotomy between getting it right in camera and PPing, they are not mutually exclusive. You are talking Art but I am trying to leave artists out of the equation because Photoshop was not designed for them but for the huge graphic industry. Professional photographers among my family and friends all find PP a necessary evil driven mainly by art director/client pressure. Only amateur enthusiasts seem to actively enjoy PP.

That an artist makes use of any tools he can lay his hands is part of the creative process but just as in the days of film he probably has an end result, in mind, including PP, when he presses the shutter . My problem is with those who think that pushing a slider to increase saturation makes them "creative", - an artist. I'm afraid it's a bit more difficult than that.

I'm an artist and made my living for 45 years (30 of them in advertising) entirely by my work so I must have done summat right. Still draw, paint and photograph most days in retirement but no PP

All kinds of folks use Photoshop and making a big point that professionals don't is kind of making a value judgment about those who do (or at least that's the way that it comes off to me). Pros are in a hurry generally and if they're the commercial type then more often than not they're shooting under very controlled conditions with assistants and such making sure that everything like lighting contrasts, dynamic range, etc is well managed to the point where they don't really need to do and PP work... and if they do maybe a graphic designer or photo retouching specialist is going to do that anyway. If they're photojournalists then they're dealing with ethical guidelines stipulating that they can't do very much in the way of modifying the image. Artistic photographers have a different set of goals for their work and often a different workflow... and part of that is often doing a lot in the way of post processing. You use the example of Cartier-Bresson and how he wasn't a big fan of post processing. That may be true, but I don't think that he is in any way representative of all great photographers. Someone like Ansel Adams really valued darkroom work. He said something like "The negative is the score but the print is the PERFORMANCE!" and I think that the same concepts can be applied to digital photography.

I do agree with your statement that there are a lot of folks who believe that creative photography involves "moving the saturation slider up." I see a lot of processing that to me is really gimmicky, cartoony and well... overcooked. This doesn't have to be the case though and I see Photoshop or really any other software used for digital photography as just being another method to get closer to the vision that the photographer has in mind. In the end it doesn't really matter if a particular photo had a lot of post processing work done on it or none at all... as long as the work is compelling.

I really love the whole process of working on the images in the computer. This way I can really mediate on what I've shot and often discover elements in the work that I wasn't quite aware of when I shot it. I don't think of it so much as a processes whereby I'm adding any extra "artificial" elements to the image, but merely enhancing the qualities that are inherent in it in the first place. I really can't imagine being too interested in photography if I wasn't able to do post processing work. I took lots of photo classes in college and did lots of darkroom work. After that photography was kind of on a back burner because I felt that without a darkroom to work in I wasn't really involved enough with the images. Now with digital and all of the control that I have over every element of the process, it's become much more engaging for me...

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