before-&-after-Photoshop-Debate-JC

The Great Photoshop Debate – Yes another opinion.

I woke up this morning and thought “I’ve got it! I know what the world needs! Another opinion on whether Photoshop is a good or bad thing...”

I know there are a million and one opinions out there already and they are split fairly evenly down the middle, which is why it is such a hot debate. But it’s something that angers me a little every time I hear about it so I figured I’d vent a little with a bit of constructive “shut the hell up you morons”. So just in case you haven’t already figured out which side of the fence I’m sitting on, it’s a very loud and clear PRO PHOTOSHOP and I have good reasons.

Last night I pulled an all-nighter processing photos. I hadn’t intended to but when I made a fairly bland photo look good, I got inspired to re-look at all the other photos in the folder that I had dismissed. I realised that there were a number of good shots waiting to be revealed. I doubt there are any photographers out there who can get a great shot every time. But great shots aren’t always evident right away. Sometimes you have to search for them, chip away the dirt and give them a good polishing before their greatness is revealed.

It reminds me of something that happened years ago. I was directing a music video for a band. At lunch we had the radio on to clear our heads of the fifty billion times we’d just heard the song we were creating the video for. I can’t remember what was playing but I made the comment of how I liked the song. Gees did I cop it. The band came at me all angry, saying how it was crap because the singer needed heaps of filters and effects to make them sound good, the keyboards were programmed in midi rather than played live and that they didn’t even have a drummer cause all the beats were from a drum machine.

I stood my ground and told them that none of that mattered because the song was good. It’s the same with everything for me. I don’t care how it’s made, it’s all about the end product. If I can listen to that music, watch that movie or take in that photograph, and feel something... It’s irrelevant how it was made.

Anyone who gets caught up in the whole technical aspect of art is missing the point of the artwork.

For me, using Photoshop, or in fact, any of the tools I use is just a way to help express the story or emotion or message that I want to express. If I have to replace the sky in a shot, or change the colours, or print it out on a six-foot-wide canvas, tie it to the back of my car and drive 173Kph past three speed cameras to achieve that, well that’s what I’m going to do. For the audience, only one thing should matter; did they feel something, did they get the story, or did they understand the message.

If for one moment you stop and think "I can’t like this because it’s Photoshopped" you really do need to pull your head out of your arse, get off that crumbling pedestal and truly ask yourself why you bothered looking in the first place.

After all that, what are your views and where do you stand on the issue?

7 Comments

  1. Alimladha8 on November 4, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    that is all wrong!!



    • James Cole on November 5, 2010 at 11:36 am

      What’s wrong about it?



    • JJs2545 on January 10, 2012 at 5:32 pm

      I love working with photoshop, I agree with about everything you said. I am also PRO PHOTOSHOP!!!! With it I can create anything. I specialize in digital art, and photo-minipulation. I am very used to taking photos and minipulating them to be things they never would have been. With all of its unique tools and styles, using photoshop is an art in itself.

      But now I have a question for you…
      it has to do with a project i am working on…
      Does Photoshop negate the need for good photography?



      • James Cole on January 10, 2012 at 9:46 pm

        In short, absolutely NOT!!! 
        except in one circumstance… That is if you are creating an image with no photographed elements at all.
        Photoshop is a great tool and can be used to create some amazing images. You can even create some pretty amazing stuff from base photos that most would look at and hit the delete key. I know I’ve salvaged many photos that I would’ve thought unusable before Photoshop.
        However the one thing I always find; The better your photo, the better your end result. Even if the photo is just being used to make up one tiny element.



  2. Alimladha8 on November 5, 2010 at 7:09 am

    that is all wrong!!



  3. JJs2545 on January 11, 2012 at 4:32 am

    I love working with photoshop, I agree with about everything you said. I am also PRO PHOTOSHOP!!!! With it I can create anything. I specialize in digital art, and photo-minipulation. I am very used to taking photos and minipulating them to be things they never would have been. With all of its unique tools and styles, using photoshop is an art in itself.

    But now I have a question for you…
    it has to do with a project i am working on…
    Does Photoshop negate the need for good photography?



  4. Julio-Debate blog on March 10, 2012 at 11:04 am

     I think Photoshop comes against the society itself, full of artificiality and hypocrisy, I think he likes to see something authentic even bizarre but also has a sense of art when it is good and I think in this sense there is no objection from .