OK, I've been talking about the watermarkers, I've been talking about the overthankers, so now it's time to target the third platoon.. I call them photo-purists.
Imagine such a dialog:
Me: It would be great shot, but the horizon is a bit oblique, and whole shot could be a bit sharper. And you know, you could increase the contrast, too.
Someone: Yes, you right, but that's how it's all went with this shot.
Me: Yeah, but you know, there are such programs like Photoshop or Gimp. You can easily fix that.
Someone: I believe that photographer should use no manipulations on the shot. If you can't do it right, so be it. Photography should be natural and you should increase your skills*.
Since I'm moderating some of the DA groups, I get one of these once in a month. And then I want to ask, every time: if you get sick, do you pray to your favorite god instead of using medicine? Because it all came this way?
Photo-corrections are good. Photo-corrections are the salvation! And I'll tell you one secret – real photo professionals do not avoid them. Since the beginning of photography, the invention of daguerreotype. THEY'VE BEEN CHEATING THE PHOTOGRAPHY FOR ALMOST TWO HUNDRED YEARS, CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT???
Bastards, I know.
Of course, it was a lot more complicated, in those days. It was quite complicated even a few decades ago. I still remember my mother working long nights with a tiny and thin brush, bottle of Indian ink and a razor, cut into pieces. It took several nights to retouch a 10x15 cm print into the good shape. Now, thanks to Healing Brush Tool of Photoshop (or any other similar graphic editor) it takes minutes.
OK, now I will reveal one more secret (two secrets in one post. Isn't that too much?). The secret about myself.
Once I was quite a photo-purist, too.
And it happened just two years ago, when I rediscovered the film-photography. I was strictly against removing all the dust, scratches and similar debris from the film scans. Why? Because, just like to all other photo-purists, the film should be in this way. Now I can understand the reason – I was over-amazed by the retro-feeling coming from my childhood, when most amateur (and even some professional) photographs were in that poor shape.
But I paid my penance and now I'm saved. Now I pray to Healing Brush Tool, Rotate Image, Sharpen or Unsharp Mask and Curves. I feel released and enlightened. HALLELUJAH!
OK, why should you NOT afraid of doing some postprocessing?
The main reason is that any type of camera is not as accurate as the human eye**. The shot you made with the camera is showing NOT how it was, but it's showing how the camera has recorded it – on the image sensor or the film. The film, the lens, the natural light - these are not the altars you should pray to, these are the TOOLS you should use for creating whatever you want, and make it in the best way possible.
Of course, the distortions are acceptable, if they are being made (or being left) in the conceptual way. But to play jazz, you have to learn the basic chords and 4/4 rhythms first. Because in other way it either looks ridiculous, either lights the nimbus of an amateur. Or even worse – grows the long nose of the pretentious amateur...
And yes, there is the other side of the scales – loss of taste for aesthetics, crush on unnatural (or simply daft) colors. Like you inevitably saw it on some HDR editions of the shot. But relax. The photography is very similar to the real life. I mean, you can be crazy, but if you get too crazy, no one understands you.
Emmm... did that calm you? Me neither...
So hear me. All the photo-purists (and the manipulation-overdoers, of course) should burn in flames. Yes, burn in flames. To follow the Phoenix and be reborn as the new, and the better photographers.
* Increase your skills, right. Then why the hell are you publishing your works without having it??? Hoping for same unskilled audience or what?..
**And why do we dare to think that the way we see the world is the right way? We don't see infrared. And most animals have wider angle of sight. Who are we to decide which way of seeing is most accurate, most true, the best?