Saturday, October 31, 2009

Are you a photoshopper or a photographer?

Candid portrait of Willy. Click on the image to see a large version.

Before working on the portrait of Willy above I spent an afternoon desk bound carefully retouching another portrait in Photoshop. It got me thinking about how many hours I spend working on images in front of the computer. The conclusion: way too many!

All around us we are inundated with images that strive to portray human perfection, from the sublime to the ridiculous in some cases. Just take a look at Photoshop disasters to see what I mean.

How many books, articles, tutorials are there showing you how to smooth skin, remove the faintest wrinkle, whiten the eyes, change the jaw line and the list goes on till nobody looks like themselves anymore in a photograph.

Well I'm declaring myself out of that particular race for unnatural perfection. Keep it real, raw and natural. If you've got laughter lines it's because you earned them and you should be proud of them.

As for the photography: get it right in camera. If the light is good and the composition works, and all the other technical stuff has been taken care of you will need very little post processing. And that's what I'm aiming at. I'd rather be taking photos than sitting behind a computer. I'm definitely a photographer, not a photoshopper. The portrait of Willy above is virtually straight out of the camera - just cropped.


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