I remember back when digital photography first arrived on the scene, I proclaimed myself a purist.
(definition of purist: One who adhears strictly and often excessively to tradition). I felt very
strongly that Digital Photogrpahy was NOT going to be my choice of self expression. I was a true
film photographer, and anyone who jumps over to the dark side, well, they’re not true photographers.
I laugh at myself now when I look back at this. This was only just a few short years ago too. 🙂
Ironically, today, when I surf the web, I frequently come across individuals who are still holding onto
this philosphy, cursing anyone and everyone who uses Photoshop to alter an image. Interestingly enough,
this is now one of the few things that really evokes a strong negative emotional response from me.
In the days of film, one used a darkroom to process and manipulate film. Yes, I did say “manipulate”.
Do you think that Ansel Adams did not manipulate his negatives and prints?
He was the master. If he were alive today, my bet is that he’d be a Photoshop guru.
Digital captures require manipulation, the degree of which still resides in the mind and soul of the artist.
RAW digital captures can be compared to positive film. They encompass all of the data that was written
to the card, but un-manipulated, same as positive film (slide film). In the RAW conversion, the digital file
is altered. It is here that the photographer, if he/she so chooses, has the opportunity to manipulate the
data. Just like in the days of film. If the photographer chooses not to shoot in RAW, he lets the camera
make decisions about how that data will be represented. For some, this is okay, for others, it is not.
Now, I don’t usually get into debates of this sort, and it is not my intention to start a big discussion about
the differences. I am simply letting off steam. It angers me when artists pass judgement on another artist’s
mode of creative expression. I am an artist, a photographer, a creative soul. I believe in self expression and
freedom of speech. I suppose this and many other debates will not wither away until the next big issue arrises.
I wish people would stop saying that Photoshop is not a part of Photography. Their ignorance and inflamed views of
themselves make me want to scream.
There, I’ve said it. Thank you for listening.