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Photography or Photoshop art form

wendy9 18 475 United Kingdom
7 Sep 2003 7:00PM
At the risk of being controversial, plus I'm getting bored tonight (not being a coke drinker!), I'm intrigued by how much one can do with Photoshop to completely alter an image. Whilst it is fun, to me it is no longer photography - the camera never lies - but it is an excellent art form, so what do other people think?
Take a look at 2 images I have posted today called Fun with PS-1 and Fun with PS-2 (next one to it). Whilst the first one isn't too dissimilar from the original, the second one most certainly is.
That's it folks, now waiting for the deluge of 'oh yes it is/oh no it isn't' responses!!! Wendy Smile
Big Bri 20 16.7k United Kingdom
7 Sep 2003 7:17PM
Well Wendy, I would first say that if you wanted a picture of an Excel spreadsheet, a screenshot would be easier than a photograph.

Secondly I would take issue with "the camera never lies". My brother has a photograph with me on twice long before the advent of digital photography, using a filter than covered half the lens and a double exposure.

There are many special effects you can achieve with Photoshop that you can also do with a "real" camera (indeed, the early Photoshop filters were designed to replicate photographic filters) so were these special effects photography ?

Regarding your pictures, I would call them digital images or digitally manipulated photographs.
mitchellhatpeg 18 205 1 United Kingdom
7 Sep 2003 7:19PM
Hi Wendy,

when I click on your link it takes me to the home page.

Regardless of that, I think the camera always lies. Even if you use a top quality digital camera or a slide film, the colours are never perfect right across the spectrum and it is impossible to capture the true contrast range of the real thing.

Using the wet or digital darkroom can be about adjusting colours to match or reducing contrast to bring out visible detail in a print that would otherwise be lost. Or, it can be about using the 'photographically' captured image in a different way.

Either way, the camera always lies (even if it is subtle sometimes) and I really enjoy using photoshop!

Anthony 19 5.6k 17 United Kingdom
7 Sep 2003 7:22PM
hi Wendy, it is hard to imagine they came from the same base image, but can you explain a little what the actions taken to achieve the end result were? They do appear at first glance to be more art than photo, but then I have no bias either way. I like both traditional and digital work myself, so maybe I'm not the best one to comment. I like the first one, colour, but not so keen on the mono one.

You had better switch off the e-mail notification for this thread, if past traditional versus digital forum threads are anything to go by, its gonna get busy here.


wendy9 18 475 United Kingdom
7 Sep 2003 7:22PM
Brian, I agree that there were many things you could do with a traditional camera to create special effects, but somehow it seems to have gone overboard - and as you rightly say, they are digital images etc...but which bear no resemblance to the original.
wendy9 18 475 United Kingdom
7 Sep 2003 7:30PM
Hi Anthony, we meet again!!! I simply used the distort-spherize filter for the first one, and sketch-chrome for the second. It was just the complete contrast that astounded me and got me thinking.

Don't anyone get me wrong, I enjoy many art forms, but think there is a vast difference in the end results with these products.

Hmm Simon, hadn't tried adding a link before, must need more practice. As a teenager and for many years later I did all my own black and white developing and having gone digital I feel like I'm back in the darkroom again, except that there are so many more things I can do with Photoshop - but almost too many. But still learning and enjoying it WSmile
Carabosse 18 41.6k 270 England
7 Sep 2003 7:31PM
Oddly enough I asked a similar question when commenting on the image HERE.

I don't think this is 'digital v. film'.... more like the old arguments about 'photography v. art'.

I think the borders have become so blurred now. Anyone can (say) scan in a picture from anywhere and digitally manipulate it. I suspect that one or two pics on this site are of that nature!! Wink

Is that photography?
wendy9 18 475 United Kingdom
7 Sep 2003 7:42PM
Just taken a look at that image Carabosse and that is exactly my point. It's great for what it is, but to me no longer photography.
macroman 18 15.3k England
7 Sep 2003 8:25PM
Since the beginning of photography it has been that photographers have argued that photography is an art form in it's own right, against many artists who hold it to be a mechanical medium.

Now with the advent of DI & PS/PSP etc we have 'photographers' using DI to produce 'images' that purport to emulate water-colour, oil paints etc.

Doesn't this go against the basic principle of photography as an independent medium.

If photography is an art form in it's own right it should stand on it's own three feet (tripod), and not try to copy other media in order to be accepted by the wider art world.

But then, an ink jet printer is only a sophisticated electronically controlled spray-gun after all! ;o)
So it may be OK to simulate water-colours, though I don't know where that leaves oil paints.
Carabosse 18 41.6k 270 England
7 Sep 2003 8:28PM
I guess any of us could scan in any old thing and provided you add some, er, 'arty' digital manipulation.... hey, it'll probably become Editor's Choice!!! :-O

PS: Must go and dig out some of my old books on art and get scanning!!! :o)
wendy9 18 475 United Kingdom
7 Sep 2003 9:04PM
You must all be busy manipulating your photos, so I'm going to watch the tennis (sport or art - no I'm not going down that line, at least not tonight!!!). Later...WSmile

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