True to the age of ‘my results NOW!’, the current trend towards digital manipulations of photos is a good case in point. Free image manipulation software now seem to bring out results that sometimes rival established image manipulation software like Photoshop in the aspects of touching up and sharpening digital photographs. Photographs of bananas on our kitchen counter top and a solitary ship in the New York harbor (that were then digitally manipulated using something as low tech as PAINT.NET) are shown below as an example…
Of course, there is a certain school which believes that the instant you alter your photographic images with software tools, you pollute the concept and the resulting image is not worth its salt. This may be true for images produced in scientific journals, but does not seem to hold true for a lot of amateur photographers (and some professional – especially folks who cover the news) who have clearly started to use these tools. Tell-tale signs are visible to a practiced eye and even if I do not claim too much practice myself, I did notice a couple of photography shows down in Chelsea where the images were clearly manipulated to suit the subject or the theme. Personally, I do not think there is anything sinful about manipulating an image. It is just that the chemical laced manipulations laboriously done inside that makeshift and cramped darkroom can now be done fairly easily in front of a computer. Of course, historically, ‘more effort’ is sometimes perceived as being ‘more original’ and the darkroom based morphs of yore were definitely heavy lifting.
What are your views as regards digital manipulation – especially considering that there are some very good photographers here on this forum…?
‘Cold ship’, Altered digital photograph
‘Bananas’, Altered digital photograph