I have been wanting to post about this topic for the longest time because I've read so many different opinions about whether using photo editing software (such as Photoshop) is true photography.
Many opinions are that, no, if you use photo editing you're cheating because a real photographer is a purist and does everything with the camera. But I don't think that's entirely true because before digital photography, even a film photographer would use editing techniques in their darkroom to correct or enhance his or her photographs.
And the same goes for moviemaking. If we were to view a film in its original cut, it would look nothing like the finished product we see on a movie screen because the film has been edited and processed in post-production.
First, allow me say that I am not a professional photographer, so I'm by no means an expert. However, I do have my own opinion on this topic, which I would like to share.
I don't believe there is always one correct way or rule to do something; especially when it comes to anything artistic, and to me photography is an art form. So I don't think it should be about whether you're a purist or use photo editing, I think it's more about using whatever you choose to achieve what you see through the lens of the camera. Because really, three photographers could look at the same exact image, yet they will see three completely different things because their eyes are looking at it from three different perspectives. Also, these same three photographers will interject what they imagine they see within the image.
Photography is all in how the photographer sees the image. It's an interpretation.
Example: Do you see the before and after photos above? Well, when I took the before (untouched) photo, that's not really how I saw the image. My eyes were more focused on the contrasts between the glass and metal tower and the brown building next to it and the shadow on the wall. The second I saw this image, I had a vision of how I wanted it to look. And the after photo you see, is exactly how I envisioned it.
I wanted it look partially realistic and partially graphic.
And yes, I suppose I could have achieved some of that through my camera, however, I didn't choose to. I prefer uploading my photos and then using editing software to get the results I want, because to be completely honest, I find photo editing a huge part of the creative process in taking a photograph.
A photograph is like a painting. And just like an artist who paints, they use various tools (a canvas, brushes, paints, pencils, charcoals, etc.) to interpret the vision they see.
Therefore, a photographer can use not only his or her camera, but also editing tools, just like an artist.
I don't always using photo editing. Many of the photographs I post here are shot with my camera in manual mode (such as the one at the top of this post). Yet, I see nothing unauthentic or cheating about any photographer using editing because I don't think it's possible to do everything with just the camera.
Editing is a craft.
And editing takes learning and an eye.
I leave you now with a few before and after photographs. The after's are my own vision. My own interpretation of how I saw and felt these images.
Have a fantabulous weekend everyone!