This is a stunning image. Was it Photoshopped to get like that? Does it matter if it was? If the image was shot onto an electronic sensor rather than film is it really a photograph anyway? And how many “genuinely” photographic images are created with filters and artificial light and darkroom dodging-and-burning? Whatever its provenance, the artefact is still beautiful.
I don’t Photoshop (or Gimp) the scans of any photos I take these days, except to crop them or turn colour images to black-and-white ones, but you’re probably not aware how often and how radically so many of the “photographs” you see around you have been changed by such image manipulation programs. Scroll down this page to see the model before-and-after, take a look at this before-and-after pair, then go back to the first one and wonder. Girls, don’t you wish your exfoliator was this good?
I’ve been in that exact same spot—but my photos were nowhere near as good as *that*. [Affects grumpiness tinged with awe]
I don’t really understand this whole anti-Photoshop thing. As you say, film photographers have a whole arsenal of image-manipulating possibilities at their disposal, and I have seen some pretty jaw-dropping “before” and “after” results from virtuoso darkroom work. I think it’s a traditionalist argument, tinged with the idea that Photoshopping an image is a matter of a few mouseclicks, a cop-out from “real”, hard-work photography. But as anyone who has actually tried to get even an acceptable (let alone stunning) result from Photoshop can attest, it’s anything but easy to do.
I feel that the result should be judged without reference to how it was created. Skill in imaging now encompasses a wider range of techniques- so what? The creative vision, the artistic sensibilities, remain the same.
I took a picture recently which looks ten times better than the original after processing it through Photoshop. It’s been niggling me though. On the one hand, the Photoshop image looks fantastic and I’m really proud of the picture and yet… it isn’t how it looked in reality. The original is authentic in as much as it looks the same as how I remember the actual scene, but it looks just dull.
The picture looks genuine. Sometimes you just get lucky.