Monday, July 28, 2008

Photojournalism Pros Fade Out

Many editorial outlets look to microstock photography and sites like Flickr these days to pick up cheap (or free) images for their use. That means less work for professional photographers - a lot less. Here's an interesting article asking the question of what will become photojournalism in an age of amateurs.

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

An Anti-Photoshopping Rant

The San Francisco Chronicle ran an opinion piece that has become something you can expect periodically: a rant against "Photoshopping."

I get tired of the sentimental and wistful attitudes people have toward what they think is photographic purity. Certain, the drive for visual perfection gets a bit silly, but why blame Photoshop? In the past, people used airbrushing, scraping, paintbrushes, dyes, and pencils to "fix" images.

Do I heavily use Photoshop in my work? Absolutely - because if I'm doing something digitally, that is the way I crop, balance color, adjust contrast levels, spot dust motes, create unsharp masks, and a number of other niggling issues that were formerly considered responsible darkroom work. Do you really want that photo to look literally off-color, badly composed, and speckled?

When people "rework ... every shot," is this total transformation, or the normal twiddling that an art department or photographer must do? Are critics so lacking in technical understanding that they have no idea just how limited and misleading camera technology is? Guess what, folks: no photograph is actually what the photographer saw. Why not eliminate the distortions of lenses and limited color palates of both digital capture chips and film? Why not upbraid writers for even worse transgressions: bending quotes, hyping tension, enhancing drama, and otherwise recreating what they actually saw? What bigger fantasy-making machinery is there?

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Retouching Rebound

For years magazines have been using retouching methods - now Photoshop, but once using inks, dyes, brushes, and razor blades - to remake the physical appearance of people. One of the top jobs has been to make models and actresses look skinnier. Now things are on the rebound, and the directive is to make sure that no one looks too skinny, according to the Telegraph in the U.K.

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