The Photoshopping Backlash…

Photoshop isn’t the problem. It’s like money, inert in itself. Neither good nor bad. It’s an application with the power to create in the hands of a skilled artist and user. I use it everyday. In fact, I love creating ART with it from photographs. All photographs are ART. The argument of real vs not real photography is moot to me. The second a decision is made to click the shutter of a camera the photographer or snap shot shooter has made a decision of what to show the viewer. The whole scene and experience is no longer there. Just a piece of it. It is not any more real than the value of money, all based on how we feel about it and it’s value.

This “backlash” and natural movement back to more of a natural look for models and people is a good one. We have gone too far. Every product and every person in an ad, magazine or billboard is not even close to looking like the original photo that was taken. We are constantly being sold a false reality. One that does not exist except in our mind. A mind that is then insecure about our appearance and the things we have around us. Do they look cool enough. Do these pants make my ass look big? Will I (do I) fit in? This FEAR (False Evidence Appearing Real) drives the action of most. We buy based on this fear, we hang out and do things based on this FEAR. We want to be accepted and fit in, so we play the game…

As an Artist using Photography as me medium and being part of taking product images as well as portrait, I find myself squarely in the middle of this process. I take a portrait and the client asks me to please clean up the wrinkles and stray hairs. Smooth the look. Make them look somehow better. OK, a blemish that popped out just for the shoot, good, we can fix that. But that mole or something, anything that is part of the person everyday needs to stay. So I try my best to still make the person look natural and as you would see them in person. On the other hand, I want to get more photos and need to please the clients so I get referrals… The games we participate in…

When doing my ART and creating images for the walls of homes, offices and who knows were, interpretation is wide open. I am fine with that. That is wonderful and is what I do the creative process for. When it comes to the future of Portraits… I am uncertain. I have FEAR of not having anyone want to have me shoot the images if I follow to new course of natural. I know it will all work out and we will play this game for a while longer. Until we all get tired of it. Even disgusted with the false reality that drives consumerism.

I think I will add a new section to my offerings: Natural Photography. Not “REAL” Photography. Use lighting and the in camera capture as the image. OK, a but of lighting adjustment, vibrance and such in Lightroom and Photoshop if I need to remove dust spots from the sponsor or the zit that popped up today… What do you think. Do I have a future in it? Do we all? Can we play a new game…?

Original Article

Larry Pollock

I am an Artist who's medium is Digital Photography. I paint with Light. Product, event, portrait, landscape and fine art photography

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