“NO!!! CANNOT! This is cheating!!!” a local photographer shouted at me, as if I conducted a serious crime. He continued, “You MUST NOT use computer to change anything in your photo! Not even a bit! You also need to know that most photo contest does NOT allow entry that is altered digitally.”
In the old day, when film camera was the only option, it would be a tragedy if you found that your photos were overexposed, underexposed, blur, contains unwanted elements (e.g. garbage at background). Thanks to the digital camera technology and Adobe Photoshop (an image editor). Now it is very easy to fix a bad picture. You can even enhance the photos by adding some special effects that could only achieve with thousand-dollar lens and filters in the past.
I talked to a few photographers. I think they have very mixed opinions about the photo editing. Some very open about it, while another group strongly against such practice. Nowadays, most new camera comes with software, which got dozens of functions that can fix, touch-up and enhance your photos.
In fact, such functions also available in the photo printing machine. Before printing, you can tell the shop what you want, for example, make photo brighter, remove red eye, increase the red color… It is like a “mini” Photoshop already, so I can’t see why the opposers think that digital editing is evil.
Underexposed Photo fixed by Photoshop:
Blur Photo fixed by Photoshop:
That reminds me that many years ago, many web designers were using Notepad to create web page (HTML). We were so proud of our HTML programming skill. When the first web page editor appeared, we were kind of dislike it and still prefer “hand-coding.” Today if you still use Notepad to design web page, many will think that you are inefficient.
What I am trying to say is — photography should be something easy to enjoy. If there is any tool that can produce nice photo, just use it, instead of worrying too much about the “technical know-how”. After all, most users only can afford cheap “family-use” camera.
However, the only digital editing that I personally cannot accept is to add / remove something from the photo. Just imagine a reporter does this to a photo for a news. Most women are envy about the smooth and perfect skin of the model on the magazine. Tell you lah, 100% of the cover girl photos have been edited heavily to make it looks perfect.