I follow several professional photography blogs and groups. Yesterday, in one of the groups, there was a great debate about using Photoshop to enhance/change photographs and whether or not it was ethical to do so. In my opinion, Photoshop is a tool that can be used to enhance photographs, I think that it is totally ethical to do so. There are limits to what I will do, but that’s a conversation for another day.
As professionals, we use all sorts of tools to change reality. We make photographs at a single shutter speed and at a specific aperture. We choose these settings for a reason. That reason is never because that’s what our eyes are seeing. Our eyes work differently than a camera. I often use filters to enhance images before they ever reach the computer. In film days, I would chose different types of films to give me different results. So Photoshop… Yup. One more tool in my tool bag.
Here’s a before and after shot that Katrina took out the car window on our recent trip to the interior. The actual photograph isn’t the way it was, and neither is the Photoshopped version. What is reality? In this case, reality was in the past on a dusty road. A photograph is a representation of how we see that reality.