Thursday, August 16, 2007

Since this conversation is heating up...

Now I know this conversation is really starting to get going regarding the darkroom vs photoshop issue (and the equivalents in all other creative disciplines) so I figured it was about time I had my ten cents. Now, as I have mentioned earlier, I am a fine arts student. I have worked in many fields including photography and graphic design.

Having worked in both a darkroom and on Photoshop, I feel it is necessary to say that realistically, it doesn't matter which method is used to create or edit an image. If you have the skills it will still be obvious to anyone who knows what they're really doing. Sure, any average Joe can go spend a grand on a prosumer digital SLR camera, but that doesn't mean their photos are going to be any better. They could also use Photoshop Elements to remove any red-eye that they don't want, or to create that old looking sepia tone they secretly like. Yes, they are editing a photo, does this make the final product less of a photo? Nope.

Now, if you are proficent at using Photoshop and you know how to do some extreme plastic surgery to yourself, great. It requires a lot of skill to be able to do that. It takes a lot of skill to be able to achieve this in a darkroom situation as well. Photoshop is a darkroom for digital cameras.

If you have the skill, and have spent the time, it will show regardless of whether it was developed in darkroom chemicals or in Photoshop.

In my opinion it doesn't matter whether or not you work digitally in Photoshop, or Final Cut Pro, or Sibelius, or if you work "manually" in a darkroom, cutting film and jamming on a piano. the outcome is still the same, a creative work. What really matters is the intent. if the method suits your intentions, then you've done well. Sometimes it is necessary to use both digital and manual methods of production. Its like scanning negatives into a computer, or writing the music on a PC then recording it from a live performance.

Creativity is creativity. Only the technology has changed. So photo editing may be more accessible now than it was before, but its simply another avenue of creativity open for us to explore.


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