Photography and Photoshop, Cheating?

Photographer or an Artist?

Some say Photoshop is cheating when it comes to photography, what do we think?

The purist photographer keeps accusing digital photographers and editors of cheating by using the likes of Adobe Photoshop and their work isn’t what photography is about, but another form of art that isn’t photography at all.

So what do i think about this? Well what do I care to be honest how we got to the final image? If i like the image then i like the image and that isn’t going to change if i find they used photoshop, if they used a top end camera is that cheating the beginners because they used a camera thats out of the price range of a hobbiest photographer thats on a budget?  The simple answer is no because you just work with whats available.

Some photographers have vast studio spaces to work in and others have to work in small spaces or even a living room with a portable backdrop and lights crammed in, is it then cheating to use photoshop to remove a light modifier that was impossible not to get in shot or maybe make the studio appearance larger.  These features are there in photoshop because frankly some photographers need them!

Personally i feel the only real problem i would have is if the image was edited to tell a lie for news purposes or proof of something that didn’t really happen, so photo journalists etc shouldn’t be editing images but then would they really need to, its not the same as a model posing for a headshot for her new portfolio is it.  Journalistic photos are gritty photos telling a story and there are many that stand out for that reason such as the protestor standing in front of the tank, i think everyone knows that one!


Why would you need to edit this image in photoshop, i find this image powerful enough and clearly gets it point across whereas if you edited it then it would lose its credibility.

My thoughts truthfully are what ever you are doing or using to create your images they are original to you and it doesn’t really matter what you use, some artists use great big emulsion brushes to paint abstract images such as Rolf Harris back in the late 80’s (“can you tell what it is yet”) while others use spray cans and pieces of card to create amazing artwork, my point is at least your creating something rather that criticising someone else.

This is what makes photography or Art so individual and down to personal taste, there are so many different techniques and tools we have to use in order to arrive at the same result, take for example an F1 team with different philosophies and hundreds of people and ideas,  arrive at a race track with their cars and find after all that they are only 10th’s or even 1000th’s of a second a lap apart.  Same can be said for photography as there are many ways to find yourself at a final image.

Final thoughts are at the end of the day what are you creating your images or Art for, if you are creating it for yourself then do what makes you happy and if others like it then great, if your selling something then course your going to dress it up but if its journalism or news then stay true to the story.



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