Retouching & Editing Photos: Cheating or Artistic Expression?
When it comes to photo editing, there are some photographers who spend hours in Photoshop, crafting beautiful works of art out of their photos. On the other hand, there are some who merely use photo editing software to touch up and remove mistakes in the images they shoot. And then there are those who think editing or changing photos in any way is completely cheating the system. Are they right or wrong?
In a recent video uploaded by Serge Ramelli, he discusses why he believes photo editing is NOT cheating and backs his reasoning up with a few great points. If you fall into the category of the editing-is-cheating mindset, check out his video and see if he sways your opinion:
Is Photo Editing Really Cheating
Look, we’ve all seen those heavily edited photos that look more like digital paintings than actual photo images. But is that “cheating”? Serge doesn’t seem to agree.
In one of his first points, Serge brings up the various focal lengths and apertures that both can cause that oh-so-loved bokeh effect. Serge says it’s impossible for a human eye to see something like that in real life, so is that cheating, too?
Then he goes on to talk about ND filters. Is it cheating when taking those long exposure shots of smooth, silky water and surreal clouds? That’s not how the human eye sees water and sky, but it’s not a technique we typically view as cheating.
So? What’s The Big deal?
The point that Serge is trying to make with this video is that we as photographers are all artists. We’re trying to take shots that capture emotion and what we see with a creative eye. Whether we use a lens, photo editing software, or even ultra-creative camera techniques to achieve our idea of the perfect image, that shouldn’t constitute as cheating to make us feel like less of a photographer. We should exploit what makes our photos more elevated and different than the norm!
So don’t feel bad about editing and retouching if that’s the artistic approach you’re trying to achieve in photography. Photo editing and retouching have always been around and they’re not going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, as Serge points out near the end of his video, retouching can be an art form in itself! So don’t feel bad about YOUR art form. You do you when it comes to photography, and if people can’t handle it, then that’s their problem.