The Case for Authentic Photography

Photography, as a medium today, is often second-guessed and criticized. Does that photograph really depict an authentic scene or has it been altered? With software available today, like Photoshop, photographs can be altered in tremendous and disheartening ways. It is one thing to remove a distracting utility pole or cluttered background, but it is something entirely different to add an element or subject to a photograph that was not present when the photograph was captured.

What are your thoughts and feelings about altered photographs?

I cut my teeth in the film days where dodging and burning were acceptable practices. Even occasional double images were acceptable at times. But now things have changed dramatically.

I heard someone say recently, “Photoshop is not a verb.” I could not agree more. I use Lightroom and Photoshop myself, but I have placed some self-imposed parameters to what I do and what I believe is acceptable. I am not out to deceive anyone. If I share a photograph with others, I do not want them questioning my integrity or standards. A reputation takes far too long to establish to even consider putting it at risk with such practices as completely changing or adding to a photograph.

Society will eventually determine what is acceptable and what is out of bounds. In the meantime, why not use authentic photography as you preference? I know I will.

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